This promises to be a momentous week for me and my family. Grandbabies number twelve and thirteen are scheduled to arrive. Separate sets of parents—not twins. Talk about excitement! I can almost smell sweet baby scents and practically feel buttery, soft skin under my fingers by just thinking about it. These events will encompass a gamut of emotions from the wonder of holding a sweet bundle in my arms to the sorrow of letting one of them return to his Heavenly Father. That’s right. One of these grandsons has a serious heart condition that would require multiple surgeries to prolong his chance for more time on this earth. Emotions I’ve never experienced will likely course through my body within the next few weeks.
Two choices were presented to the couple once the diagnosis was made and after much pondering and prayer, they have elected not to go through with the first surgery. Human judgments have and will be passed on them for this course of action. It’s part of what people do because emotion drives them. In the end, the only factors of importance deal with coming to the same peaceful conclusion between husband, wife, and God. All other emotions that might be hurled at them are legitimate feelings even while the choice is not for others to make. When faced with the same situation a different time, there could be an equally right, opposite conclusion.
Just as there are no blanket judgments right for any given situation, there are no emotions that can be easily dismissed without a catalyst or cause. This is as true in real life as it is for our fictional characters. Characters should feel real emotions—good and bad, proper or not—according to their personalities and experiences. Writers strive for readers to feel an emotional connection with their characters. Readers will pass judgment as to whether this was accomplished based on their own frame of reference and experience. This may be why I connect to a character that you do not and vice versa. We don’t all love the same books or characters, but the overall popular ones are those characters who show emotion that rings true with each reaction.I can’t help but think that each of our emotional experiences not only helps us feel deeper empathy for real life people but can help us connect with fictional characters we read about or bring to life through our written words.