Journeys of the Heart
“You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.”~ Kahlil Gibran
Laughter is a wonderful thing, but a good cry is the way I cleanse the clutter from my soul.
My empathic penchant for sad movies about heroines who die began in 1946 when Mama took me with her to see the movie, SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY. She was crazy about John Payne, and because she was Irish, she believed Maureen O’Hara to be her distant cousin. Mama kissed the Blarney Stone early on.
I was six-years-old but I clearly remember that day at the movies. Mama started to sob about five minutes into the film and I, lacking the capacity to understand her tears, began to cry along with her. She pulled two Kleenex tissues at a time out of her pocketbook, handed one to me and then blew her nose with the other.
Mama loved going to the picture show and it didn’t much matter if they were dramas, comedies and musicals. Whatever was showing at the Carolina Theater (with the possible exception of Roy Rogers and Trigger) was a movie she was willing to stand in line and pay her twenty-five cents to see. For a lot of years, I went with her.
We saw PINKY, JOHNNY BELINDA, IMITATION OF LIFE and LITTLE WOMEN together. Tearjerkers, all. For years after watching Edward G. Robinson in THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, I’d wake up screaming, having dreamt of being stabbed with a pair of scissors.
But SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY was the film that set the sentimental bar for Mama and me. For the rest of her life, if that movie were mentioned in conversation, if she heard a recorded version of the song, or even if it were on television, Mama would look over and give me a knowing smile. That long ago day in the theater when I was just a child continued to be a shared moment in time that lingered between us for over forty years.
Once she sent me a newspaper article about the movie. It was little more than a blurb, but I still have it tucked away in my memory box, yellow now with age. I remember opening the envelope and lifting out the two-inch square news clipping. I read the heading first: SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY, and then I read the short note she had written: “Saw this in the paper today. Thought of you.”
Oscar Wilde was right. Memory really is the diary we carry around with us.
Causes cappy rearick Supports
Humane Society; Hospice of the Golden Isles; Southeastern Writers Association; The ALS Association; SC Writers Workshop.