Monday, February 18, 2013

"Always focus on how far you've come, rather than how far you have left to go"

Author's Note: This is a creative piece I was assigned to write. I decided to write it on theme and I used A B transitions in it as well.

Missing someone is hard enough, but being a far distance is equally difficult. People deal with this situation every day, and they have a hard time overcoming it. In the book Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, it shows how passionate the love is for both individuals and how they will do anything to stay a pair. John and Savannah love one another, try their best to keep their family together and work their hardest to push the sadness aside in their life.

The character John, who was a former veteran in the army expresses his kindness when he jumps in the water to save Savannah’s purse. “I finally felt bottom and trudged out the surf. I shook the water from my hair, started up the sand, and met them halfway up the beach. I held out the bag. ‘Here you go,’ ‘Thank you,” the brunette said, and when she met my eyes I felt something click, like a key turning in a lock. Believe me, I’m no romantic, and when I’ve heard all about love at first sight, I’ve never believed in it, and I still don’t. But even so, there was something there, something recognizably real and I couldn’t look away.” (p.35) This caught Savannah’s attention and she started to wonder about John. Eventually, she invited him to a bonfire she was hosting with her friends and he automatically fell head over heels with her, only to find out that there was another man that loved her just the same. “You’ll meet Tim later. He’s a great guy. You’ll like him. Everybody does.”(p.37) He could tell that Savannah had a little something for Tim as well. Most guys would give up in a situation like this, but he keeps fighting to stay by her side, even in the rough times when he had to apologize for being angry at her right before he had to go back to fighting in war. “I was stumped. I searched my mind before meeting her eyes. ‘And...’ I trailed off. ‘And what?’ ‘And...’ I tried but I couldn’t come up with anything. ‘I don’t know,’ I confessed. ‘But whatever it is, I’m sorry for that, too.’”(p.160)

Love is a crucial component in this story, along with family that holds them all together like gorilla glue. Savannah is one of those characters who love being outdoors and spending time with her family. “We’re volunteering. You’ve heard of Habitat for Humanity, right? We’re down here to build a couple of houses. My family’s been involved with it for years.” (p.38) You could say she’s a people person who can talk to almost everyone. On the other hand, John grew up with his Dad and hardly ever talked to him. Sometimes he couldn’t even make conversation with him because of their lack of connection. His dad loved coins but soon it got to be too much for John and he snapped. In result to this outbreak, his dad would just say “okay,” or completely avoid the subject by saying a one worded response when he had asked a question. When John met Savannah, he let all of his feelings out about his father when they started talking about family.  “’I know,’ I said. ‘But it’s not just that. We’ve always been strangers. I mean, it’s just so hard to talk to him.’”(p.70) Back when John was a teenager, his dad had mentioned to him that he reminded him of his wife, John’s mom, who was a very stubborn woman. This offended John, but he finally realized years later that it’s worth a lot more to show him forgiveness and accept the fact that he doesn’t talk to him, and most likely never would. Throughout the book, Savannah, being the down-to-earth girl that she is, is able to bring John and his dad’s distant relationship back together. She tells John that she thinks his dad has high-functioning autism. It takes awhile for John to accept this fact, but later realizes that it must be true. He put the pieces of the puzzle together: the difficult speech, the repetitive meals, all the same routines, all of it made sense to him at last. “In the end, surprising myself again, I admitted we were almost strangers. ‘You are,” she said using that nonjudgmental, matter-of-fact tone. ‘You’ve been gone for a couple years, even you admit that you’ve changed. How could he know you?” (p.70) If it weren’t for Savannah, John wouldn’t have been able to be next to his father’s bedside during his last days of life. “‘Okay.’ He finally said. I smiled at his response. I couldn’t help it. ‘I love you, Dad.” To this he knew exactly what to say, for it had always been part of his routine. ‘I love you too, John.’” (p.249)

When Savannah and John try their best to keep their families staying active and well, things lead to sorrow and sadness. The dream couple decide it’s better to be away from each other once John goes back to war and receives a letter that was written to him. “I know that sounds like an excuse, but please believe me, when I say I didn’t mean to fall in love with someone else. If I don’t even understand how it happened, how can you?”(p.229) Savannah tries to move on and eventually falls in love with her neighbor, Tim, and gets married. John finds out about Savannah and he experiences one of the hardest times of his life, because his Dad dies that same year as well. Savannah is never fully happy because John was her first true love. Although she is happy with Tim, he is always at the hospital because he has lymphoma, which is a difficult cancer to fight. She becomes very lonely when her lover isn’t there with her to keep her company. Tim’s little brother, who has autism lives with both of them. He would go to the hospital for the whole day from early morning till late at night. This whole cancer situation was hard on Alan, the little brother, too, because he didn’t like seeing his big brother in pain. John comes back from the war on one of his leaves to visit his dad at the funeral, and decides to visit Savannah after he said his last goodbyes. He knows that it doesn’t feel like it had when they were in love from the start and gives her the news that they will never see each other again after he wishes the best to Tim. “She slowed her steps when she spotted me, then came to a stop. No hug, no kiss---the sudden formality made me ache.” (p.159) He knows Tim is a good guy, and wants the best for Savannah, so he sells his dad’s coin collection to pay for Tim’s cancer anonymously. Tim’s cancer is cured and him and Savannah live the life of a fairytale. “‘Is there anything I can do?’ I closed my eyes, thinking of Savannah and Tim and hoping that somehow my dad would forgive me for what I was about to do. ‘Yes,’ I said to the coin dealer. ‘actually there is. I want to sell my dad’s coin collection, and I need the money as quickly as you can get it to me.” (p.330)

The two lovebirds in this book try to rid of sadness, love each other, and give it their best effort to have healthy families. Times get rough, and they even get separated in the process, but they still have a burning love for each other. John still loves Savannah and he pays for Tim’s cancer expenses because he loves her to that extent. This book teaches the lesson that we should go for our dreams and never give up on them, because life takes its turn in your favor, even if we can’t see it.

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