I think this may be my all time favorite movie. I was 19 when the movie came out in theaters and my mom and I saw it together. The trailers that we had seen made the movie seem funny and more like a comedy than really what the underlying story of the movie was. I saw 4 strong women as the theme of the movie and the two younger women that were taken under their wings from the beginning to the end. My mother and I were in for a shock that we weren't expecting...
At this point in my life I was very angry about having J/RA, I had to leave college due to the fact that my parents pulled me out for a week, I had fallen on campus (there was no talking to them). The drop in my grades I was never quit able to bring back up. I moved home and got a job and I was doing pretty well when 6 months after I left college I woke up one day and my right foot was the size of a football. There went my job and my ability to drive, on top of treatment I was no where near old enough to follow much less did. I had injections, 10 weeks of casts and 100's of NSAID pills. Like the genius child (and I was a child, I had been over protected all of my life) I was, I walked on my cast and didn't take my meds because they hurt my stomach. My surgeon refused to do surgery because he said I would regret starting so early (I wanted to be done, I hated him). Thankfully while I was being a brat he was a wonderful surgeon with a horrible bedside manner (ironically, he was the doctor that diagnosed me 17 years earlier).
So, picture my mom and I sitting in this movie theater getting ready to watch this movie having no idea what we were about to see.
I little primer if you've never seen the movie. Daughter has diabetes and shouldn't have children, gets pregnant anyway, mother upset. Daughter has the baby and then mother donates a kidney, takes care of the baby until he's one and then dies with the baby screaming on his own...
It was the first time I had really grasped that there could be consequences toward my health from my choices, Shelby makes the choice to have a child when its not good for her body she pays the ultimate price. It was also the first time my mom got to really see what it was like for me to be sick at 19 and what what "normal" people had. She used to be angry at me every day when she would come home from work and I'd be such a pain in the butt because I was casted for 10 weeks, then she ended up in a cast and had to bathe and crutch and all the rest and she had a whole new idea of my experience. And now I'll talk about the big elephant in the movie theater...was I ever going to be able to have children and how would it affect my life and theirs.
Needless to say we bawled through almost all of the movie. It was the first time I was actually able to understand what my parents were feeling and I believe the first time my mom had any clue when Shelby says, "you're just angry you can't control my life" how angry I was to be sick as a child.
We had a very long talk at that time which we really needed and the rest of that recovery period was much easier for both of us. They made sure the house was cool for me and didn't give me a hard time about not following the rules...they knew it would have made things even harder for me. I tried to understand every "no" that had brought us to that point (it was hard there was a lot of "no" in my life).
Fast forward to today, of course I'm bawling through this movie and now I'm on the side of having a daughter with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. All of the sudden I'm on both sides the side of the mother who wants to smack her for getting pregnant even though she produces a beautiful child and the daughter for throwing caution to the wind and doing it anyway. That part where MaLynn is in the cemetery nearly bought me to my mamas knees but that sure doesn't mean that I tell my daughter no she can't.
This movie was actually a game changer for my mom and me, we went from being enemies to finally seeing each others side and working together to get things accomplished. I started doing what I needed to and understanding if I cooperated we would hopefully get this under control and if they stopped with so much "no" and made things a bit more easy for me we'd all have an easier time.
It's funny that a movie can hit you in a place you never imagined, I can still see the theater and smell the popcorn and I remember both of us trying not to cry and by the end the ugly cry.
I think I'm going to show this movie to my daughter when she gets a little older and hopefully maybe she will understand her old mom a little better it sure makes me understand her a lot more.