A couple of weeks ago, when the local DVD rental store closed down and sold off all its stock, my husband David went a bit bonkers and bought many (and I’m not saying how many!) DVDs for his movie library. David loves films and has been building up a collection of his favorite movies for the last few years. Many of the DVDs he bought were to replace the VHS tapes that occupied a considerable amount of room in the “movie cabinet,” and being more streamlines is a good thing if you’re trying to cut down on clutter. However, that left us with 40 or 50 VHS tapes sitting by the cabinet in need of a new home.
My husband David loves movies. Whenever he has a chance he catches a movie at the theater or watches one at home, the latter usually, but not always, with Theo and me. He shares this love of film with his father, Steve, and whenever we get together with Steve, a part of their conversation is always devoted to the latest films they have seen. I am rarely a part of that conversation, mostly because I see so few films, but more likely because they were both born and raised in Los Angeles, so a love of film is part of their cultural heritage. Watching films and talking about films is a something dear to both of them and is a strong bond between them, one that will likely continue to the next generation as Theo, also born and raised in Los Angeles, grows a love of movies too.
Today we met up with Steve for lunch. We hadn’t seen him for a couple of months because he had also been under the weather. He’d been battling with pneumonia but has thankfully recovered. In his mid eighties now, Steve is one of the most active and engaged people I know, keeping himself busy with exercise, classes as his local community college, following politics, reading, the theater, and of course, movies. He’s also a very loving grandpa to Theo and a sweet, caring father-in-law to me, always sending me Happy Mother’s Day cards, birthday cards, and taking me out every year for my birthday for a special lunch that has become our own little annual tradition. Since we first met, Steve has been welcoming, thoughtful and generous to me, and over the years, we have truly come to consider each other family, a precious gift to me as I rarely see my own father, who I love dearly but who lives thousands of miles away in England. Today, David and I gave Steve three DVDs that we had recently enjoyed watching as a family – the classic The Great Escape, the heart-warming New Zealand film The Whale Rider, and the Jim Carrey film The Majestic. The last film in particular was one that I thought he’d enjoy, as it’s a tenderly made film about Hollywood, movies, memory, politics, love and loss. Most importantly, I realized today, it’s about finding oneself, one’s purpose and one’s family sometimes very far away from one’s starting point, something I can relate to and which he has helped me to do here.