Friday, May 8, 2015

"I Remember Mama"

The first Mother's Day after my beloved soul mate and wife, Maureen, died suddenly of heart failure on her 59th birthday, was emotionally wrenching for me. I was alone sitting in the home we had made together and where we raised our son. I was also thinking about how my son, Frankie, was feeling that day and what he was going to do.

As I sat there wondering what I was going to do that day, I chanced upon an old movie starring Irene Dunne called "I Remember Mama" about a Swedish family living in San Francisco at the turn of the century.

The movie is about "mama" who is the matriarch of the family in such a nurturing way that she helps her family feel financially secure whenever money matters come up by telling them, "We don't have to go to the bank." The family doesn't know that they are in a precarious position financially and that there is really no bank account. She also helps her daughter realize her dream of becoming a writer. When her daughter doesn't know what to write about for a piece she is supposed to send a literary agent in New York, mama suggests that she write about her father. The daughter just isn't inspired to write about her father and instead writes a piece entitled, "I Remember Mama," the film's title.

For me, this film was heaven-sent because it reminded me of my wife, Maureen and how great of a mother she was. She mothered both my son and me and provided us with security in making a home filled with all the wonderful elements of grounding us. She gave us love, humor, tolerance, nourishment, cleanliness, hard work, creativity, happiness, warmth and compassion. Maureen was a true matriarch par excellence.

I watch this film every Mother's Day now. I want Maureen to know that I indeed remember her / mama and have deep appreciation and gratitude for what she did for me and how she treated me.

I did not originally see this film by chance. It was given to me as a gift from Maureen to once again provide me with warmth and security. For that, I thank Maureen on this Mother's Day weekend and say, once again, a very heartfelt "I Remember Mama."

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