Monday, July 10, 2017

I learned about dying from the movies

The morning after I heard my mother died, I cut off my long hair with the kitchen scissors, because I'd seen the protagonist in the movie Smoke Signals cut off his hair when his father died, and it seemed the right thing to do.
And it was absolutely was the right thing to do.

My sister e-mailed me yesterday that our father's breathing has changed---and called again this afternoon to say it's changed again--he's definitely slipping away...

I've been at peace with the good-bye my father and I said in person in February, and I've thought of myself as the black-sheep child in this movie who didn't have to or need to go to her father's side as he was dying, like Ronny Camarari (Nicholas Cage) in Moonstruck who does not go with his brother to Sicily to their dying mother's bedside because, he says,
"She don't like me." 

So I said to my sister, if it feels OK to you, please kiss my father's hand for me---like at the end of the movie Philadelphia
Our father had loved that.
When people complained, at the time, saying the gesture on the part of a gay man saying good-bye to his dying lover was the filmmaker's homophobic de-sexualization of the relationship, my father had objected strongly, saying where he came from (Milwaukee, but that's not what he meant), it was the highest sign of respect.

My sister said, yes, she would definitely kiss my father's hand for me.

And then I thought (two hours ago), For god's sake, Fresca:

So, sigh, it'll be a horrible line at the airport, everyone flying out on vacation, but I can't face another bus ride, and I don't drive, so I'm heading to the airport in a couple hours and flying down to kiss my father's hand good-bye.

I can't think of what movie that's from.

The movie of my life, I guess.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are going in person. Wishing you and your sister strength and courage over the next days and weeks.

Michael Leddy said...

Me too.

ArtSparker said...

There is something about being there at the end that helped me feel that I had contributed to helping both of my parents with their last task. Dying is a lot of work for all parties.

gz said...

if you can go in person, good. However if you don't make it, you have had good contact with him and both felt good about that.

Fresca said...

Thank you, everybody. I appreciate your words of support.