It’s been almost seven years since you left, but I still see you everywhere. Of course, I see you in the obvious places: photo albums, home movies, framed pictures in the study. But your spirit was so large, your influence so complete, you’re present in other places as well. I see you in the gait of your granddaughter as she walks to piano lessons -- the same stride, the same slight hunch forward -- so much the way you used to when you had a purposeful destination. I see you in the occasional dream – are you visiting me, or is it just an errant neuron firing up a distant memory? I see you in our family dynamics, in our attitudes, in our values.
And I see you in the movies.
You were so much like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, your impish grin revealing an inner guilt mixed with glee whenever we were co-conspirators in a prank or an inside joke. You had the grace of Grace Kelly in High Noon, always taking the moral high ground yet always standing by us in the end because what was stronger than family bonds? And your eternal girlishness will forever be embodied by your movie idol, Shirley Temple. You shared all her movies with my girls, and they remember it to this day.
How many movies did we see together? I know dad was my usual movie partner, but you were there for so many of them. I remember your four word review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (“It was really loud.”) And how you didn’t like Jack Nicholson, but surprised yourself by enjoying Something’s Gotta Give. Heck, you were there when I first saw Psycho, and Norman Bates informed us, “A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
I remember how you hated that movies got more violent and racy (you would’ve loved ClearPlay). That probably explains why you left most of the movie–going to dad.
Well, for Mother’s Day I think we’ll take a step back in time. I’ll get the family together to watch The Littlest Rebel or Bright Eyes or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Rebecca can bring your old Shirley Temple doll. And we’ll have some Mint Milanos, for you.