Tag Archives: mother

Dr. Z

My mother’s favorite movie was “Doctor Zhivago”; it came out the same year I was born. We watched it four times together. She told me in confidence that she didn’t believe a grand romance like that could really happen.

The second to last time we watched it, I took her to a movie theater that was having a classic movie revival week. The grandeur and the power of the cinematography, along with the incredible story made us gasp and weep openly. It’s rare to have that strong of a reaction to a movie … but this was brilliant.

The last time we viewed it, about four months before she was killed, I gave her a deluxe VHS set for her birthday. At the end of a box of tissues she told me that I had the capacity to love like that, if I’d let myself.

The love he displays is of high caliber. Not just of Lara, though that’s important, but his love of humanity, life and love itself.

Could I possibly? This is a goal worth reaching for.

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1/8/17

Dr. Zhivago

Kind of a lazy, snowed in day. I spent a few hours in rehearsal, working on a version of ‘Sympathetic Cards’ that I’d like to build into the Cyrano act. I’m really pleased with the progress, just need to find the right wine glasses.

Best is up in the mountains, visiting her new nephew and niece, and having a belated birthday party for the toddler … need to make sure she feels included. She sent me a picture of this precious three-year-old holding one of her new siblings and my heart just melted away. So perfectly loving, pure and innocent.
I think I would have made an excellent grandfather. Sorry. Wistful side note.

Made some food (Tuna, peas and Kraft dinner) and sat down for Dr. Zhivago, which I haven’t watched in maybe twenty years. It was my Mom’s favorite, and she made it a point to share it with me whenever it ran on TV while I was growing up. She filled in the blanks of the Russian Revolution for me. In turn, the movie taught me about raw, burning passion and the patience it sometimes takes to get it.

When I was sixteen, I surprised my Mom by taking her to see Dr. Z in a real movie theater. Park Road Cinema, I think … the spectacle and color or this amazing story had us both in tears, happy ones, and it changed the way i viewed that movie entirely. She told me later (over pie) that I had given her one of the most moving experiences of her life. I treasure that memory.
Another side note: Dr. Zhivago was released on the same day my parents adopted me from the Children’s Home Society. I wonder if that was part of the reason Mother loved it so.

Families don’t always understand us, and the other way around, too. Carrie Fisher described her mother with these words: “Performing feeds her in a way family cannot. That’s why we’ve always been frustrating. People aren’t cooperative, audiences are.”

Little things. Little gestures. Little tokens of love. These reverberate mightily in a life well lived.

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Loss, Part Two

When she became a Grandma, everything in her life brightened. She was happy, joking, shining. Our relationship strengthened to a depth I hadn’t known since I was a boy. Carlaysle, and later Avalon Rose, became the focus of her joy. We talked at length about the future and what role she wanted to play in their lives.

My life found its direction in the spring of 1992. All the training I had came to fruition when I was hired to write scripts and act in plays for families at the new Heritage USA. The job paid better than moving furniture, and gave me the opportunity to pursue a career in something I love to do. Dawn was elated, and so was she. She told me that she knew this was just the beginning; the first open door.

In confidence she told me of the fear she now had of her husband. She had evidence of several affairs, and she wanted out. For whatever reason, she wanted to leave in a fashion that wouldn’t destroy his ‘ministry’. She felt that she could make plans, get away and then use the evidence she had to keep him from pursuing her. We spoke about finding a house where we could all live together, and she could help raise the girls. He had power, and money (from one of his conquests) but it was all tenuous. He was a coward at heart. If we stood up to him, he wouldn’t risk his position.

Sadly, he was far more evil than we thought.

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