In a recent post, I introduced my new friends, Frank and his family of floaters. When I met Frank, I knew I had a choice between two options: I could panic and worry myself sick over what to do OR I could calmly face the situation and take the next logical steps. So I took a breath, and chose the second option.
As a global community, we are all being faced with a similar choice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We can either react to the virus with panic and fear, or we can calmly face the continuously changing landscape of navigating a pandemic. While under an order to shelter in place, I have been wondering: could there be a potential silver lining in this whole experience?
As if someone had been listening (are you there, Netflix?), I received a gentle reminder of my experience with Frank in the form of the movie Breathe, which was delivered to my mailbox this week.
What is Breathe?
The official website of the movie gives this summary:
For his directorial debut, Andy Serkis brings to life the inspiring true love story between Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. When Robin is struck down by polio at the age of 28, he is confined to a hospital bed and given only a few months to live. With the help of Diana’s twin brothers, and the groundbreaking ideas of inventor Teddy Hall, Robin and Diana dare to escape the hospital ward to seek out a full and passionate life together - raising their young son, traveling and devoting their lives to helping other polio patients.
You can watch the trailer below:
Breathe is an AMAZING movie, and one that I’m so excited to share in this post. I mean, I have about 30 movies in my Netflix DVD queue, to which I normally add movies without any thought to check what might be coming next. I saw the synchronicity in this particular movie being delivered to my mailbox this week, of all weeks. This definitely qualifies as a “you can’t make this shit up” moment!
What stands out to me about Breathe is the perspectives of both Robin and Diana Cavendish. Both of the Cavendishes had every reason to allow themselves to panic and give in to pain and sadness, but they chose not to do that. Instead, they chose to innovate, to break boundaries, to dream, and to advocate for others. Instead of letting Robin’s condition bring their lives to a halt, they allowed it to serve as an impetus - driving them into the next phase of their lives. For those who have severe mobility limitations, the world would be very different without Robin and Diana Cavendish.
I want to challenge all of us today to be more like the Cavendishes:
If the Cavendishes can keep their underlying joy and find inspiration when it seemed life as they knew it was over, and if my brother can lay on his deathbed and ask such a powerful question, why not all of us?