Sweet November

Lolling on the couch one lazy afternoon with one mobile phone on each hand, my attention was caught by a scene on the television wherein a lady was called upon by the instructor to turn in her paper because of cheating.

Sara failed the test for a driver’s license because of Nelson, a fellow test-taker.  Sara then pestered Nelson to drive her around and be with her for a month with a promise that she will change his life for the better. Nelson is a typical career guy, someone who doesn’t have the time to “stop-and-smell-the-flowers”, while Sara is someone who embraces and savors life and lives for the present.


I believe this is the first turning point for Nelson – an unconscious admittance of his feelings for Sara.  Thus, paving the way for a Sweet November. So sweet a month it was indeed that passed for both that Nelson did learn to be more appreciative of life’s little pleasures which brought about the resultant marriage proposal to Sara.

It was hinted that Sara had various “months” somehow making light of her time with Nelson. But it was quickly dispelled with Sara’s words that although she has received other marriage proposals in the past, this is the first time she felt tempted to say yes.  Sara turned down Nelson’s proposal and requested him to leave for November is finished. Unspoken but most important, her days are numbered.

Does imminent death really bring out the best in us? Does the knowledge that we’ll soon be departing this earthly life, make things clearer for us inside? Is that the only time we could see the beauty in simplicity? The only time wherein we could fully embrace life without thinking of society-dictated norms?

Sara’s choice of a gift for Nelson – and for her too – is the good memories. She preferred having memories of the November love they shared be untainted by sickness and sorrow which her last days will surely bring. She chose to spend her remaining days only within the bosom of her family.

A day in December to recreate and lengthen the sweet November was staged by Nelson. The room was festooned by November calendars. A declaration that November was all he will ever know, ever want to know. A night again spent in each other’s arms – a bubble of November in December. Daylight came with reality as imposed by Sara.  November, really finished and gone. Only good memories for both, thus goodbye.

Was Sara fair in this decision? Did she not rob Nelson of a chance to continue to show his love and care for her? Would memories of her sick and dying days, really taint the love they share? Should loving consist only of the good times?

“Now turn away, ‘Cause am awful just to see

‘Cause all my hair’s abandoned all my body

Oh my agony

Know that I will never marry

Baby, am just soggy from the chemo

But counting down the days to go.

It just ain’t living and I just hope you know

That if you say goodbye today

I’d asked you to be true

‘Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you”

I prefer the way this song, Cancer, of My Chemical Romance went than the movie. At least in the song, the ill partner may continually bid the other to turn away, but they are together. That is what love is for me. That is what commitment is for me. The good and bad. The joy and sorrow.  As long as there is love to share, breath to live, why leave each other just to spare one or the other sorrow and bear death without your other half.


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