Movies have always been an important source of entertainment for Kate and me. They were even more important during the early stages of her Alzheimer’s. It became increasingly difficult, however, for her to enjoy them because she couldn’t understand the plot or what was going on in the different scenes. That led me to become more careful in the movies I chose. I discovered that she could enjoy some movies if she liked the characters and they didn’t contain any depressive content. I focused on uplifting films.
Occasionally, I would try something that looked doubtful. Once in a while that worked. The best illustration is Darkest Hour. That would seem to be one she might not like. I knew, however, that she had always taken an interest in books and movies about World War II, especially those that dealt with the Holocaust. Although she couldn’t follow everything that happened, she was taken by it. At that point, she remembered Churchill and WWII. She understood the subject matter was serious, and she appreciated the acting.
After that good experience, I had a series of failures; however, I struck gold with RBG (saw it twice) and Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (saw it four times in four weeks). Two days ago, I received an email from our local arts theater that Linda Ronstadt, another documentary, was opening this weekend. I read a little more about it and learned that it is a “feel-good” movie. That cinched it for me. I really hadn’t followed Ronstadt’s career, but I had two of her CDs, ‘Round Midnight and Canciones de mi Padre and was always impressed with her success across so many musical genres.
I still had some concerns about how Kate would respond. I knew she wouldn’t remember Ronstadt although she has enjoyed Round Midnight for years including the past week, but I thought it might be worth trying. I’m glad I did. Kate enjoyed all of the film but was particularly moved during the last part when it dealt with her Ronstadt’s Parkinson’s. At that point, she put one arm around mine and held my hand with her other hand.
As we walked out, she said something she almost always says when leaving a movie, “you’re gonna have to explain this to me when we get home.” She couldn’t grasp what was happening, but she enjoyed the movie anyway. How do I explain that? I’ll try to do that in my next post.