Kate and I have always enjoyed movies. They became an especially important part of our lives after her diagnosis. Gradually, it became difficult for her to understand the plot and follow much of the action. I was about to give up on movies when we saw two that she enjoyed in 2018. One of them was Won’t You Be My Neighbor about Mr. Rogers’ television program. The other was RBG about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We saw the Mr. Rogers movie at least four times and the Ginsburg film two or three times. I’ve had little success with movies since then.
Periodically, I’ve tried them at home with no success. It’s very hard for her to focus on them. On the other hand, we’ve had great success with music videos on YouTube and the Twenty-fifth-anniversary concert of Les Miserables. We watched the latter over and over for several months after I first got it. A lot of the non-music elements of the concert were unimportant to her although she did respond to individual singers as they sang their solos. The same is true of the other music videos we watch on YouTube. It’s really the music itself that catches her attention.
Last year, I bought several DVDs with the film versions of Broadway musicals. I thought she might enjoy them, but there is too much dialog between the songs to keep her attention. Last week, I decided to try again with Sound of Music. At first, I thought I would simply fast forward to the songs, but then I took a different approach. I narrated the movie for her, explaining what was going on and the emotions the characters were feeling. Having taken one of the Sound of Music tours on a visit to Salzburg years ago. I also reminded her of the places we had seen when we were there. I was pleased when she seemed to be engaged from the beginning, but how long would it last? The answer? Until it was time for us to turn out the lights.
The following night we began where we left off – with the scene outside the gazebo where von Trapp and Maria express their love for each other. Kate didn’t say a word, but she was touched by it. She took my hand and held it firmly. It was a beautiful moment for the two of us.
I know that she didn’t understand many of the things that happened during the movie, but it was clear that she experienced the same feelings that millions of other viewers have had while watching this movie.
After that success, I risked being disappointed by watching it again this week. It worked again. The first night, she enjoyed it just as much as last week, but she was tired last night. We’ll finish it tonight. I’m encouraged by her response. She’s always liked My Fair Lady and Annie. I might try one of them sometime soon.