I cry at almost every montage. Actually, I cry, then Brian laughs at me for crying, then I cry some more trying to convince him why he should be crying too. The scene usually ends with me pinching him, and letting him believe that he wouldn't have become teary if I hadn't distracted him with my ugly cry.
It really doesn't matter what the montage is about -- I'll at the very least get choked up. The introduction pieces to major golf tournaments, any part of "Planet Earth," the recent Children's Hospital commercials, or the old Gatorade ads with injured athletes persevering to "Love Hurts" -- you set it to music and I'll cry. Given this starting place, you can imagine what I'm like during the Olympics. Never mind the actual event recaps, I'm already a mess at the Visa commercials. I mean seriously, am I expected to stay composed with a combination of Morgan Freeman's voice, Natalie Comaneci's perfect 10 routines, and the message, "Go World."? I know I look foolish, but I don't care. It feels good to cry and laugh and pinch my husband for picking on me.
But this entry isn't about montages. It's about my mom (and she's a sucker, though a more modest one, of montages too). Anyone who knows me knows that I could never, ever, sum up what I think of my mother in anything short of a 60 volume series of writings, each series at least 500 pages thick. Actually, even that wouldn't capture it, so a little blog post sure won't do the trick. That means, I'm left with metaphors, some symbolic way that I could express a tiny slice of the universe of love, respect, and admiration that I have for my mom.
Enter, the montage, the ugly cry, and the Olympics. I know, I know, I probably need to lighten up on the emotion that is likely generated in conference rooms of ad executives likely mocking the vulnerable audience of people like me. But in all seriousness, the video I have posted below is something special. And it will do a tiny bit of justice to what I think of my mother.
I was only 12 when Derek Redmond ran the semi-final 400 meter race in the Summer Games in Barcelona. I remember seeing this footage back then, and I know that my younger, but just as ugly ugly cry was in full gear. Most of you will probably recall the race when you see it again. If you think it's just a bit too much set to Cold Play, cut the volume, because the video is real, and worth a look.
OK, so obviously I'm no Olympian, and my Mom is definitely no Mrs. Raisman (she admits that she spent most of her time at my swim meets and basketball games reading her book, or at least wanting to). But this video, now more than ever, reminds me of my mom.
Without any intention of sounding conceited, I feel like a few weeks ago, my life was going along like the first half of Derek Redmond's race -- I was cruising, blessed with everything I could ever ask for. My mom was in the stands, so to speak, cheering me on.
Then came the hamspring tear, or in my case, the cancer. I broke, or rather, it was revealed that I could be breaking. Like Derek Redmond, I fell to my knees, and limped along for a bit, trying to pretend I could deal with it all. Then my mom rushed out, and while the tears streamed down my face, she stayed strong.
I'm sure that Derek Redmond's father wanted to curl up in a ball and cry the moment that he saw his son's dreams crushed in Barcelona, and my mother probably wanted to do the same when I told her that I likely I had cancer. But my mom ran out to me, not caring about rules or recognition, and carried me. She answered the phone when the doctor called to confirm the biopsy results that we already knew, because I didn't want to have those words in my memory. She lined up all of the doctors appointments that I was too devastated to admit even needed to be made. She called the best doctors she knew and made sure that I would be in the most capable, and kind, hands. She babysat our kids so I could nap, she figured out the Partners Healthcare portal so she could send questions to my doctors electronically, and she made a calendar of all of my upcoming appointments. She came with Brian and I to all of my appointments, and comforted him when I couldn't. But most importantly, a few nights ago, when I completely broke down at the dinner table, she let me cry on her shoulder, telling me I deserve that time to be upset, angry, and scared.
At the risk of overkilling the montage metaphor, my mom has always been the brightest light to guide me home. And I know that she will fix me now, because she always has in the past.