This week, Kat Bouska asked, “Who would you cast in the role of your parents in a movie about your life?”
It’s Mother’s Day weekend, so I thought about suggesting who would play my mom in a movie about our life. I came up blank, and the Star By Face celebrity lookalike app only came up with a 30% match at best for this picture:
Even if it had come up with a 100% match, I probably would have disagreed. Appearance is such a small part of what made my mom unique.
If I had asked my mom who should play her (when my mom was alive), I can almost hear her response: “Oh, my life just wasn’t interesting enough for anyone to play me. There’s no story there.”
But we all have stories, and she would have (as usual) sold herself far short.
The actress playing my mom would need these qualities, to name a few:
She would need to portray humility and a deep sense of service to others.
She would need to be able to demonstrate a wide spectrum of the emotions a woman goes through in her lifetime. (She was never diagnosed, but I am 99% certain my mom was clinically depressed at several points in our life together. I write that lovingly — dealing with that probably drove much of my orientation toward mental health.)
At her funeral, her former boss (a pastor) compared her to a “worker bee,” talking about how she was always flitting around getting things done. He would have a project he needed her to do and she would virtually have it done before he finished explaining it. Although she was incredibly competent, I never saw her industriousness as the “flitting” type. She got things done without pointing out to others how much of the load she was carrying.
My mom did have a story. No actress could really portray her, no matter how much they were paid. Looking back, I wish I had more opportunities to tell her what a treasured, original human being she was.
Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via coordinator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.