Call me cynical but I don’t believe in happy endings.
What is this so-called ‘happy ending’, anyway? If we were to base our understanding of this term on what the movies dictate to us, then a happy ending is when a Prince Charming and a Cinderella get married, build a family, have kids, etc etc. An unhappy ending is when all this fails to happen, and/or what happens instead is death.
But in real life, like it or not, doesn’t death always happen?
I drew this conclusion from a vignette of a personal memory. My grandparents were what I believe to be the embodiment of a real-life ideal couple. My grandmother was a perfect and beautiful housewife; in return, the love that my grandfather had, and showed, for her was the kind that every girl or woman would ever dream to have. They were together until the end of their lives.
In the end, my grandmother developed an illness that made it impossible for her to communicate with my grandfather, and he took care of her with such amazing dedication. Some time before his death, I remember him lament — the first and only time I ever heard him complain about my grandmother’s condition — about how she would not respond to his jokes and that they could no longer laugh together anymore.
Although my grandfather was a very disciplined and sensible man who maintained a vigorously healthy lifestyle throughout the years, he passed away due to heart defects shortly after, partly because he strained himself and compromised his own health for hers.
She followed half a year later.
They had never gotten a chance to share a last joke together.
Again, I reiterate my belief that happy endings do not exist.
What exists, then, are the moments.
Like the moment when you walk in a park in the middle of a sunny, breezy autumn, surrounded by reddish brown leaves falling from the trees, and out of nowhere, a little squirrel hops by you, stops, stares at you for a millisecond with its unblinking eyes, then moves along.
Like the moment you feel warm and fuzzy when you are surrounded by your loved ones, or when you share a laughter with your best friend over some personal joke.
Like the moment you witness the first ray of sunrise at the peak of a mountain, enveloped in a sea of clouds, after hours and hours of arduous climbing, struggling, and battling the weaker part of you.
Like the moment you hold the hand of your firstborn, and it dawns on you how you have brought something beautiful into this world.
Or like the moment your heart skips a beat when the person you fancy glances and smiles at you from across the hall.
When the person you love looks into your eyes, and sleepily, tells you they love you.
When you watch your significant other soundly sleep, and without you understanding why, your heart just swells with ineffable happiness.
And when the same heart is shattered to pieces and your next of kin wraps you in their arms and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And for one uplifting second, you believe them.
It is all those moments that you should live for — not the happy ending.
Such moments are rare and fleeting, but perhaps that’s the beauty of it.
Because aren’t the rare moments the most priceless of all?