A Lesson From My Mom

I was twittering back and forth earlier this week with an author friend of mine. She mentioned the movie “Saturday Night Fever” in her message, and… Wham. I was immediately tossed back to 1977. I was 11 then, and my mom had a HUGE crush on the Bee Gees. Yep, all of them, LOL. I remember her saying, “I’d really love to see that movie.”

“Ohhh, me too!” I’d said. It was, after all, an “R” rated grown-up movie. With disco, all the lights, and come on! There was the dancing! At least that’s what I remembered from the trailers. “Can I go?” I’ll bet anyone a million dollars that’s all my mom heard for a week straight.

Finally, after incessant pestering, she gave in and said yes. AND--I got to bring a friend! Big stuff back then, I tell ya. So, Saturday afternoon rolled around and off we went. I vividly remember “the talk” my friend and I had to endure before she bought the tickets. “You’ll hear bad words,” she said. “Just ignore them.”

Don’t get me wrong, here. My parents were your typical, middle class folks. They swore, occasionally. “Damn” flew around some, “hell” more often than that. I even remember a “shit” or two, LOL. But never, EVER, did I hear the “F” word, not from either one of them.

My friend and I sat in the row in front of my mom and sister in the theater, because, you know, we were just too cool to sit beside them. The movie started, and I was entranced right off the bat. With John Travolta strutting his stuff down the street in some way-too-tight pants, swinging a paint can in his hand, who wouldn’t be? And wow, there was like this huge bulge…

Yeah, even at eleven I noticed that.

To this day, I’ll never forget that first F-bomb thrown out. I turned in my seat and looked back at my mom. “Ignore it,” she repeated. So, I did. Turned out there were so many that I quickly became immune. The only part of the movie that still bugs me is the near-rape scene in the back of the car when they’re on the bridge. Gets me every time I see it.

The point to all this—yes, there is one—is how one simple tweet can so easily thrust me back in time. To a place I remember as somewhat happy. To a time when I didn’t have a care in the world and when hearing “bad words” was the worst thing that could happen to me.

If you follow us here at Fierce Romance and saw my first video-blog a week or so ago, you’ll remember me saying that my mom’s been ill. She has Alzheimer’s, and has gone downhill recently with some other medical complications. She doesn’t remember me anymore, and I know in my heart she wouldn’t remember seeing this movie with me, either. So much inside me rebels against that, screaming how it’s not fair and railing against how much it sucks. I'm nearly in tears as I type this part, because I can hear her so clearly inside my head. “Ignore it,” she’d say.

That doesn’t mean ignore her. It doesn’t mean ignore the illness. To me, it means ignore how much it hurts, at least for right now. Move forward in the movie. Move forward in life. Concentrate on what’s important, and work through it. The end is worth everything you have to go through to get there.

At least that’s what I’ve learned from listening to my mom.

Kristin Daniels




December said...


You have some awesome memories!

Nicole North said...

Wow, very touching post, Kristin! I'm sorry to hear about your mother's illness. Hugs to you.

As a kid I loved the Bee Gees and had some of their records. But I didn't get to see the movie. No way! :) Anyway, great lesson and what a wonderful memory.

Kristin said...

Thanks, D! Your tweet started it all! LOL.

Nicole, thanks. It's been a very rough few months for me. And yeah, mom loved the Bee Gees so much, she took us to one of their concerts not long after the movie came out. I even have a bunch of their music on my iPod.

Leona said...

Wow. Just Wow.

Keep your memories like that fresh and it will help you cope with the feelings generated by your mother's "forgetfulness". My grandpa, the man I remember clearly as the only good man in my life before being adopted, has alzheimers. I'm sorry.

The power of twitter, don't you know.

I'm sitting in McD's listening to a guy who must have it. He's acting as if he's on a phone. Nope, just talking and randomly changing the subject. If half of what he says is a memory, than his life was exciting. But now, the kindness of the McDonalds team here in Toppenish WA to allow him to be here and hang out (not first time we've both ended up here at the same time) instead of chasing him off because he's different, is what is giving him a life.

Good luck :)