My mom was with us this weekend. She’s a pretty good sport about lots of things.
I chose "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant and Debroah Kerr. I knew she would at least recognize the actors and I also knew I would have to be sitting in the back (Eric and the kids voted) with her so that I could translate the words during the movie. (did I mention she’s 93 and pretty deaf?)
So we get ourselves settled into the chairs with warmed up blankets for added coziness.
And I start the
Then she gets a little agitated.
Yes, she has seen this movie before.
When it first came out in 1957.
With my dad.
At a drive-in.
My dad loved going to movies. He preferred the drive-in because he could smoke and roll down the car windows and he could talk and ask questions and discuss good points. He loved the double feature. No, she couldn’t remember what was playing with this. But she remembers seeing This Movie at the drive-in in Havana.
I’ve never once heard of this. Drive-in? Double Feature? In Havana? Who knew?? I went slack-jawed and was completely taken by surprise as she described the scene to me.
1957. My young parents at the drive-in.
All the kids were farmed out to various relatives.
He was 46. She was 43.
Their lives would be turned upside down in a few short years.
But that night, they were watching Cary Grant put the moves on Deborah Kerr.
And they were together.
And life was good.
How is it, I ask you, that I could have chosen the exact movie that took her back to pre-revolutionary Havana? And basically re-created an event in her history?
This was a God-moment if there ever was one.
I cry anyway when they just start playing the theme music to this film.
I weep when Cary Grant finally figures out that Deborah Kerr didn’t stand him up when she was supposed to meet him at the top of the Empire State Building, but that she is indeed crippled and it’s Christmas and she tells him, "It was the nearest thing to heaven; you were there!" (you’re just going to have to see it; there is no way to explain this all. If you have seen it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.)
I could see the tears rolling down her cheek in the glow of the screen.
I was weeping myself.
Just for a moment, it was 1957 and my parents were young and they were at the drive-in in Havana.
And life was sweet and full of promise.
And I wept some more – for what might have been.
For continuity, we watched "Sleepless in Seattle" tonight – because it makes reference to "An Affair to Remember."
We did it in honor of my dad.
He just loved the double feature.