My mom died on May 10th - 7:30 in the morning this past Mother's Day, Jess and myself by her side. All of it was very similar to Jason Robards in Magnolia, which is as descriptive as I can get without being too descriptive. But it's safe to say that they have those scenes in movies because they're true.
I've eulogized her in many ways these past few weeks - either in public or in my head - and will keep doing so forever I guess. How can you encapsulate the life of a loved one and how you felt about them with some words or paragraphs? What I could and should talk about here, no surprise, is her love of movies. She had a lotta favorite music, books, and TV shows, and they're all relevant and integral to everything there ever was, but it feels more intimate and concise to talk about the movies. More so, the movies she and I saw together. Even more so, the movies we saw together in the theater, which, to my memory, was very few. Growing up, going out to the movies was a me and my dad thing, or sometimes the three of us if it was an event movie. She and I watched a lot of rentals on our own, and that's a list that's too long and amazing to be comprehensive, but worth mentioning some: Cronenberg's Fly, Pulp Fiction, Usual Suspects, Fargo, True Lies, L.A. Confidential. It's really great and fulfilling to share the experience of having your mind blown with someone who feels the same. She loved Hitchcock and Spielberg. She loved big Hollywood action (Die Hard, Twister) and cerebral horror (Silence of the Lambs, The Fog). I can go ahead and assume her Top 100 with lots of accuracy - something I actually had her do once when I was a kid - but not now. Maybe later and just for me. Instead, here's the (very) short list of movies I can remember seeing in the theater with my mom.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) I remember it was between this and something else, and I don't know how we landed on this because I hadn't even heard of it before we were in our seats watching it. I didn't know then who Bob Zemeckis was, even though I knew Christopher Lloyd best as Doc - who kinda scared me in this.
City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994) She'd really loved the first one -- particularly the score, which she was happy they reused.
Speed (1996) This one will always make me a little sad. We'd already seen it once with my dad, and I insisted on seeing it again because I'd loved it so much. She wanted to go see The Flintstones with me, but I ultimately got my way. It probably wasn't that big a deal, but everything gets magnified in mourning.
Blown Away (1996) The other "bomb" movie that year - not as good, but still fun. Mom was impressed with Jeff Bridges's Boston accent, and she loved Forest Whitaker in The Crying Game and was happy to see him in another movie.
Ransom (1996) She loved these kinda movies, and she loved Mel and Ron Howard. But we were both let down because we'd heard it had a surprise ending. It did not, and she was so sure Delroy Lindo would turn out to be a bad guy.
Face/Off (1997) This one's tough to talk about too. This was during that time of a teenager's life when they're embarrassed to be seen in public with their parents. I was, and so I sat a couple rows in front of her. Hard to think about that, but we both dug the movie and always did.
A Simple Plan (1998) Again, she loved this kinda movie. And she'd read the book, so seeing it was her idea. At the end when the credits started to roll, she looked to me and said, "Not so simple, eh?" Whenever you see the movie next, or for the first time, remember to walk away with that line.