I love this movie, The Descendants.
Yes, yes. You probably haven't heard about it, to some it won't even be rental worthy. George Clooney is in it; that girl from Teenage Mom. Its not an action film or a chick flick. Very Sideways and About Schmidt-like. I watched this the first time when I was with in LA with my mom and again in Boston with this guy I didn't want to watch anything romantic with/knew I can't wait until the DVD came out.
I find this the most appropriate for today. Father's Day, Hawai'i, a parent passing.. I realized the reason I loved it was because even when a parent or a person passes away, the film reminds you it doesn't necessarily clean their slate. Yes, it is easier to "let bygones be bygones" but the thing is that there are actual consequences to the choices that those who had passed away made. They just don't go away after they die. We, the living, have to work through their choices even when they are gone.
For example. My father. Now, I am not saying that my entrance to this world is a mistake, per se. But I wonder. Does my father living a certain life that may not have been parallel to what he may have wanted, take away the credibility of my existence? Yes, yes. Heavy. But my point is that I was searching for a long time if I was meant to be here. Not this, what is my purpose in the world kind of thing but more of, if me being here was an "oopsie" then is there a deliberate reason or telos of why I am here. The only way I can justify this is that dads, moms - parents are fallible. Just like their children. There is no miraculous shift when one becomes a parent that makes them impervious to mistakes. They are human beings. They lie, they cheat, they lack confidence. But their mistakes are not necessarily their regrets. Nonetheless, I wanted him to explain himself. I wanted to know the truth, give him the third degree. I hated that any information I would get from him, to understand him, was always secondary. From what he wrote, from people's stories, from everything else but his own voice. Side note, there is a quick taping that my cousin has, from an interview he had with my grandmother on a tape. His voice is so soothing. Eloquent. Anyways, I guess the beauty of not being able to speak to him now is that there is no additional info infiltrating in, I can just work with the facts I do have and mobilize it to an idea of him in the present. Makes it easier to juggle. Not fun but easier.
People tell me he loved sitting outside at caffes, spending hours at museums, knew plants scientific names. Unfortunately, my image of him as a father is faint. I'd pretend that he would have enjoyed my presence, my conversations, my thoughts... my hugs, as his daughter. I hate that I am limited to any tangible experience with him. But back to the movie. There is this last scene where it ties in so well with my father's narrative. I would picture myself in the waters of Hawai'i, giving peace to him just like in the last scene. Nonetheless, let the records show, it was my choice to not have gone. I did not want that to be my last image of him. I hope he's not mad at me for not going. But if I could explain to him about that day, it would be: I'm sorry Dad that I couldn't have been 'there' for you. Both when you were here and when you were not. I was limited and fallible in what I knew and what I was wiling to accept in my life at the time. I know you wish you were with me here, too. I love you. Happy Father's Day.