CeCe Drake…Charolette DiLaurentis… Whatever her name is!

I haven’t watched the episode from 5/30 yet, so Idk what happens in it, but I just have to say that I still think that even though she was Big A, that CeCe was just trying to protect Ali and probably her friends too! She lived in Radley for years, so of course she was psychotic and misguided, but I still think her ultimate goal was to protect the girls from Uber A…

💓 Jess and Rory 💞

Good girls love bad boys. It’s in our nature. We want to help them find their true potential. It’s not that we like troublemakers, per se, but rather that we like troubled souls. And as much as we want prince charming to ride in on his white horse and protect us from our own demons, we also want to be the nurturing hand that helps guide the leather clad Mr. Tall, Dark, and Mysterious with a troubled soul into the light of his bright future. We can’t really help it; nurture is in our nature. Heaven knows it’s in my nature, that’s why pretty much every show I can think of that I’ve obsessed over has had a lead guy who makes everyone sing, “I knew you were trouble when you walked in.” And, that’s why Rory Gilmore fell for the likes of Tristan Dougray, Jess Mariano, and Logan Huntzberger. She was a good girl with a good life and she wanted to help them find their true potential. It’s also part of the reason why she and Jess were so perfect together!

The story starts when a fatherless boy named Jess moves to a small town to live with his Uncle Luke, because his mom just can’t handle his troublemaking ways anymore. Luke drags Jess to a dinner at the house of his favorite girls, Lorelai and her daughter Rory. Rory, who is a well-behaved private school student, is Jess’ age and Luke believes that introducing them will be good for his nephew. Right of the bat, Jess is secretly impressed by Rory, but attempts to hide it by encouraging Rory to join him in his troublemaking ways. She’s stubborn, and obliviously naive though, so it doesn’t work. Still though, she does befriend him, because he’s interesting and much different than most of the other people she knows in Stars Hollow, or even in Hartford where she goes to school.

As their friendship progresses and they realize how much they have in common, they start to fall for each other. That’s when Lorelai Gilmore starts singing “I knew you were trouble when you walked in,” or at least she would have, had Taylor Swift been around at that time. Anyway, Rory starts to fall for Jess and everyone around her can see it, especially her boyfriend, Dean, and her mother. They don’t want to believe it though, not Lorelai, not Dean, not even Rory wants to believe she’s falling for Jess. So, instead of taking a step back to prevent herself from falling hard for Jess, she takes a step closer and builds her relationship with Jess into something more—so much more that when he takes off to New York without saying anything, she—a girl who hasn’t even been late for school before—skips school to spend the day with him in New York City. Even after this, and after missing her mother’s/best friend’s college graduation, she still denies her feelings for Jess until denying it for five minutes straight causes her to breakdown and cry to her mother about how terrible she is for falling for someone else when she has a perfectly kind and patient boyfriend already. Then, things go from bad to worse when Jess shows up at a wedding where Rory is a bridesmaid. To both of their surprise, she kisses him and he kisses her back before she runs off, realizing how not okay it is to kiss him when someone else is her boyfriend.

Flash forward to the end of a summer trip she takes right after kissing Jess and Rory is more confused than ever. She has all these letters from her boyfriend, Dean, but all she can think about is writing a letter to Jess. Back in Stars Hollow, Jess is kissing someone else and Rory can’t stand it, even though she’s still with Dean. At this point, you can’t even excuse Rory’s actions based on the premise that she doesn’t want to fall for Jess, because she already has and she’s taking action to keep him from being with anyone else, because she wants to be with him. While Jess is a jerk to Rory, Dean, and his own girlfriend Shayne during this time, he gets some points for at least trying to stay away from Rory while she’s with Dean. I mean, yeah, he’s only with Shayne because it makes Rory crazy, but at least he’s not trying to steal her from Dean anymore. After a while, Dean can’t take it anymore and publicly breaks up with Rory, because she refuses to make up her mind between him and Jess. This, of course, breaks her heart, but it also relieves her from the stress of choosing who to be with for herself, because Jess breaks up with Shayne and he and Rory pretty much immediately get together and that’s mostly the end of the toxicity of their relationship.

Once they get together, Jess and Rory start to be really good for each other. Since he moved to Stars Hollow, Rory has believed that Jess can do so much better than he does. She knows how smart he is and she believes in him, even though he doesn’t believe in himself. Even though he still slacks off in school, Jess slowly starts to become a better person because of Rory’s (and Luke’s) influence on his life. Rory, who was hidden in her shell before meeting Jess, also becomes a better person because of Jess. As much as Lorelai, Emily, and Richard Gilmore believe in Rory and as much as Luke believes in both Rory and Jess, no one believes in them more than they believe in each other. They know each other like the back of their own hands and often better than either of them knows his or her own self. From the moment he moves to Stars Hollow to the moment she tells him she’s written three chapters for her book, they believe in each other and encourage each other more than anyone else. When something good happens in their lives, they tell each other, and when they need inspiration because life is beating them down, they always have each other.

Eventually, because she believes in him so much that he feels guilty for not living up to the potential she sees in him, Jess disappears again and this time, Rory doesn’t go looking for him. In fact, when she receives a ghost call from him, she informs him that even though she thinks she was in love with him, she’s not going after him again. This time, she’s moving on with her life and as mad as she is with him, she still hopes for the very best for him. Because of this, he doesn’t return to Stars Hollow for a long time and when he does, it’s only to get back his car from Luke. He tries to avoid seeing Rory, because he knows he hurt her, but is forced to stay a few days while Gypsy works on his car. He almost makes it the whole visit without seeing her, but he does run into her. Then, he chases her down so that he can tell her he loves her. Afraid of what she might say, he drives off in his newly repaired car and doesn’t return until Luke hunts him down and demands that he return for his mother’s wedding.

After confessing to Luke that his proclamation of love to Rory was why he didn’t want to come for the wedding, Luke encourages Jess to work on his communication skills. Taking Luke’s advice, Jess visits Rory at Yale and begs her to run away with him because, he’s “ready now,” he “wasn’t ready then,” but he is now. He’s ready to be the man she needs and deserves, but she turns him down flat and he respects her feelings while walking away with one of the most heartbreakingly dejected looks on his face that I’ve ever seen.

Approximately two years later, Jess surprises Rory while she’s living with her grandparents in Hartford and explains to her that he wrote a book because of her belief in him. Per Jess Mariano style, he plays it off like it’s no big deal, essentially claiming it’s nothing to be proud of, because he’s it’s not that good. Of course, Rory is more than ecstatic and beyond proud of him, exclaiming that she knew he could do it. “I know you did,” he tells her, letting us see a little peek of how proud he is that he was motivated enough to write a book and prove to himself and Rory that she was right for believing him in no matter what.

This time, while he’s in a very good place in life, he observes that Rory is not. She’s dropped out of Yale, is fighting with her mom, and dating a jerky rich boy that she would have used to mock with Jess. He calls her out on how unlike her she’s behaving and she nearly falls to pieces, but is unwilling to admit to him that he is right about everything and that he does still know her better than anyone. Not wanting to fight her, Jess suggests that they catch up at a better time and leaves after wishing her a belated happy birthday.

Several months later, after Rory has mostly cleaned up her life, she receives an invite from Jess to come to the opening of a business he has started with a couple of other guys. As usual, they are both quietly thrilled to see each other. After taking the time to catch up, Jess kisses Rory and she kisses him back before pulling away confessing that she’s being unfair to him, because she’s still with the guy she was with last time they saw each other. As brokenhearted as he is to know this, he’s also beyond understanding and tells her that if it helps, she can tell him that she cheated on him with him. He seems to be touched by the fact that when she was in trouble with her boyfriend, she ran to him for comfort. This moment shows how much they’ve both grown. Before, Jess would have given into his own feelings for Rory and ignored the fact that she had a boyfriend, but he didn’t. This time, all he cares about is Rory, who also would have given into her feelings for Jess before, but doesn’t this time. However, it also shows just how much Rory has actually lost some of her maturity as she’s grown older and since starting to date Logan. With Dean, she at least tried for a while not to allow her feelings for Jess to grow, but with Logan, she runs straight to Jess for comfort when there’s trouble in paradise. Mature or not, right or wrong, it still is kind of sweet that Jess is where she ran to when she needed comforting.

Finally, over ten years later, when Rory is failing in pretty much every area of her life and Jess is succeeding in pretty much area of his life, he shows up again at just the right time to give her the support she’s always given him. Jess has become a very well-rounded and successful man, largely in part because of Rory’s (and Luke’s) constant belief in and support of him. Rory, on the other hand, is currently at rock bottom. There are very few ways in which she could sink any lower in her life than she is right now and yet, Jess believes in and supports her anyway, because he’s seen her at her best and knows she can be even better than the best he’s seen her. He also knows that she just needs to believe that herself, so he encourages her to write a book about her life with her mother. Rory realizes that this is a brilliant idea and, after some fighting and thinking, Lorelai agrees, so Rory sets to work writing “Gilmore Girls” and excitedly rejoices to Jess once she’s written three chapters and has received Lorelai’s full blessing. Luke is present during this brief rejoiceful moment between Rory and Jess and questions Jess’ feelings about Rory. Jess claims to be over it, but longingly looks through the window at Rory after Luke walks back inside shortly after she does.

By the end of the series, Rory finally seems to be on a healthy path in life—even though it’s possible she may not know who the father is of the baby she’s carrying—and she can thank Jess for that, because he’s the one who reminds her that she can and will make something of herself if she’ll just stop fooling around and set her mind to it. Throughout their whole relationship, even during the toxic moments when she’s emotionally cheating on her boyfriend with him, Jess and Rory are as good for each other as two imperfect human beings can be for each other. Through thick and thin, they believe in each other and encourage each other to be the very best versions of themselves that they can be. I’m no fool, I know good and well that neither of them are perfect, but I also know that “love keeps no record of wrongs.” Both Jess and Rory have screwed up a lot, but they’ve also succeeded a lot and many of their successes have come from the encouragement, belief system, and love they have for each other.

Also, at the end of the day, Rory has succeeded in every good girl’s dream–she’s helped a bad boy see that he can be good. She’s helped a troubled soul see the light. And she’s helped a slacker become successful. Despite all her personal loses, I’d call that a win!  😉 Plus, he becomes her Prince Charming who swoops in on his white horse to save her from demons too! 😁

I Don’t Understand Why Life is Short

 

I mentioned in my blog post for 20 Years of Buffy that I plan on writing life lesson/inspirational posts inspired by Buffy. My intentions are to write one per episode or cluster of episodes, depending on what quotes or lessons I can get from them. In this post, I’m sharing a scene from the first episode of season one and the sixteenth episode of season five, because they seem to go together quite well, especially given the nature of what I’m going to write.

 

On May 12, 2017, my grandpa (paternal grandfather) peacefully passed away in a lost battle against cancer while sleeping. On the morning of May 22, 2017, it was announced Executive producer Marsh McCall of Fuller House passed away unexpectedly. Then, later in the evening of the same day, it was reported that there was an attack at Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert that killed 22 people and injured 59 others.

My grandpa’s viewing, or wake, was on Sunday, May 21, 2017. As the evening went on and various people spoke and shared memories of Grandpa Willis, I watched as many of my twelve brothers and sisters and various other family members took turns breaking down in tears. I personally am not a crier, but I do feel immensely deep emotions that are only intensified by the emotions of others, so my feelings were through the roof as I watched each of my siblings react in their own unique ways. My sixteen-year-old brother is like me; we don’t really cry. My mom, dad, twenty-one-year-old brother (who, as requested by Grandpa, stayed in Virginia where he and his wife are stationed for his position in Navy), and eighteen-year-old sister are alike in that it’s incredibly rare for them to cry, but they will in emotional moments like at a funeral. My fourteen-year-old brother, twelve-year-old sister, nine-year-old sister, and seven-year-old sister are the emotional time bombs of the family. They’re always dramatic and act accordingly to the situation. Sometimes, it’s completely understandable, like at a funeral, while other times it’s just completely over the top. Then, there is the thirteen-year-old girl, eleven-year-old boy, and eight-year-old boy, who are completely unpredictable. Sometimes they’re as emotional as the time bombs and other times they’re as calm as the sixteen-year-old and I are. Finally, there are the five-year-old boy and the four-year-old girl. I’m not nearly as familiar with their emotions as I am with the others, because I moved out when she was almost two and he was three. I did expect them not to know what was really going on though and I was right.

The five-year-old was rambunctious and restless, because he didn’t understand why he had to sit and be quiet for so long. The four-year-old was just as restless, but not quite as rambunctious. I’d say it’s probably because she carries herself like a princess, while he’s all boy, but I don’t really know what was going on in their little heads. I do know that on May 22, 2017 while we were sitting through the funeral service, they were both incredibly excited. John, the five-year-old, was in awe of the fact that we got to see pictures of Grandpa when he was young and in the Navy up on the TV screens, while Bonnie, the four-year-old, got a kick out of being just tall enough to see Grandpa’s nose and bald head over the casket. It may seem odd for me to say this about something that happened at a funeral, but my heart was filled with somber joy at the sight of their innocence. They understood everyone was sad, but they didn’t know why. They just knew that we were there to see Grandpa and that we were seeing him in an unusual way.

What broke my heart the most though was watching them sit with Momma at the graveyard and look around at all the crying faces. I watched as the light slowly dimmed in their eyes as they realized that something was wrong. They didn’t know what, but they did know from the tears streaming down everyone’s faces that something was terribly wrong. Like Anya in the second clip, they knew that Grandpa was gone, but they couldn’t understand where or why he was gone. None of us could. We all hope and expect that, because he claimed to put his faith in the Lord, that he is going to heaven, but we don’t truly know where he is or why he’s gone and that’s what hurts the most. That’s why the light in John and Bonnie’s eyes slowly dimmed while they looked around at everyone’s tear-streaked faces. We don’t have all the answers to the millions of questions running through our minds as we say goodbye to a loved one. My family and I don’t have all the answers, the cast of Fuller House and everyone else who knew their producer don’t have all the answers, and the friends and families of the Manchester Arena victims don’t have all the answers. Do you know what we do have though? We have hope. We can hope for a better day. We can hope and believe in the Lord God Almighty who died on the cross so that we might never have to shed another tear or feel another moment of pain ever again. We can also find hope from the words of Buffy Summers in the first clip—”seize the moment” or as Willow will say in a later episode not shown here, “Carpe diem.”

Whatever your beliefs may be, no one knows when anyone will breathe their last breath. Thankfully, in the case of my grandpa, we at least had a warning that he would very likely be passing away sooner than later. There was no warning for anyone that Marsh McCall would be passing away though, and certainly no one expected that going to a pop concert for Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena would lead to any fatalities. In past years, there was no warning that the young lives of Lauren Bump or Christina Grimmie would be taken at only twenty-four and twenty-two respectively. Most people don’t go into their day with the knowledge that it’s going to be or likely could be their last day on earth. That just doesn’t happen. If it did, then we wouldn’t need sci-fi movies, because we’d be living in one.

So, let us follow the wise, albeit cliché—as she points out in the full scene—words of Buffy Summers: “Seize the moment, ‘cause tomorrow you might be dead,” and let us all also remind ourselves as often as we can that, “life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, then I’m going to go reread my blog posts about Lauren Bump and Christina Grimmie, because sometimes, you need a fresh reminder of why seizing the moment is so important and few things can remind me more than the remembrance of two girls who were my age when their lives were suddenly cut short.

how-lucky-am-i

Nathan Scott - Missing Someone

Pray for Manchester

Green, Red, White, and Blue (Original Song)

((Verse 1))

Everybody knew

You bled red, white, and blue

You were dad, grandpa, and chief

And of you it is believed

Your greatest joy in life

Was to be with your wife

Friends, kids, and grandkids too

That’s how we’ll remember you

[Chorus]

Rest in peace

Naval chief

Favorite teacher

Rest in peace, Sir

And we will remember you

Bleeding green, red, white, and blue

((Verse 2))

Everyone could see

You bled dark amber green

It was your great pride and joy

To teach high school girls and boys

Not just lessons in school

But that respect is cool

So, yes sir, we will show

Respect wherever we go

[Chorus]

Rest in peace

Naval chief

Favorite teacher

Rest in peace, Sir

And we will remember you

Bleeding green, red, white, and blue

{Bridge}

You were strong

You were a fighter

Not for you but for family

Not for self but for country

So now as you set sail

Toward the horizon

I pray for you to find

Fair winds and following seas

[Chorus]

Rest in peace

Naval chief

Favorite teacher

Rest in peace, Sir

And we will remember you

Bleeding green, red, white, and blue

{Outro}

And now as you set sail

Toward the horizon

We pray for you to find

Fair winds and following seas

“I Will Remember You (Buffy and Angel)”

((Verse 1))

You were everything to me

I was everything to you

I’d have given everything to be

Always and forever with you

You would have given your life for me

And I would have given mine for you

[Pre-Chorus]

Too bad no one told our hearts

We were doomed from the start

[Chorus]

Just like Romeo and Juliet

We were doomed as soon as we met

It didn’t matter what we desired

You and I were both on fire

Set aflame by something else

Something stronger than ourselves

((Verse 2))

You were life and breath to me

I was that and more that to you

I would have chosen to die and bleed

If it had meant I could be with you

You would have stayed with me forever

But you thought that I deserved better

[Pre-Chorus]

Too bad no one told our hearts

We were doomed from the start

[Chorus]

{Bridge}

Now all I need is you to know

I never wanted to let you go

So even as I move on now

I need you to know somehow

I will remember the time we shared

I will remember how much you cared

And I will remember how much it hurt to know

[Chorus]