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When Did You Last See Your Father? (or Mother?)

I love my father as the stars - he's a bright ...

I found myself speechless and weeping the other night after watching the Netflix movie, “When Did You Last See Your Father?”.


Husband Jon wanted to draw me out, sending out some feelers; “Was I thinking about my own absent father? Was it about my mom and her years of dementia and withdrawal from life? It took a while.

All in all it was a rather long, drawn out British father son drama where the son, Colin Firth, returns home to be with Jim Broadbent, his dying father for a last “talk”.

As the movie unfolded, I was asking Jon, “Did your father ever do that? Do think he was ever unfaithful to you mother? Did he take you camping? Did he teach you to ___________? ” I was amazed at Jon’s easy answers to my questions. Apparently, he knew his father well.

In his return home, the son recalls the many experiences he had growing up, when his dad seemed to do most everything right, and the son, typical teenager embarrassed by his dad, had avoided him as much as possible.

I won’t spoil it for you, and will warn you that at times, it drags a bit, as the son comes to regret how far apart he and his crusty, disagreeable old father have grown.

What made me cry? Thinking about the last time I “saw” my mom as she really “was”.

It was possibly when I was in grade school, when she was laughing and pretty, still spunky and proud of her slim wrists and ankles; wearing flowery aprons and “baking up a storm”; before cancer hit reducing her beauty to worry lines, wearing dingy jeans and baggy shirts. When her passion was the “underdog”, bringing the poorest child home with her after school for dinner, before her home became a fortress of her paranoia.

I cry for my mom, and the fleeting memory I have of her, head down, laughing. She was a beauty!

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for this post. I love that I can totally imagine you asking Jon all those questions as the movie played!!!

    • Thank you, for remembering me, Sze Wei, and imagining me! Thanks too for reading this!!

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