I have this secret thing that I do at every movie. I scour the credits for my first, middle, and last names. I like to find my names in the credits of movies that are uplifting or encouraging or somehow speak to the best version of me.
When necessary, I even allow variations of my first name, like Sue or Suzanne. When I find my names, this is some sort of confirmation to me that the message of the movie applies to me. In movies about relationships, I also look for my husband’s name.
Tonight, we went to see “Still Alice.” I had read the book a few years ago, and as I do with most novels, had forgotten every last detail, but had a general impression of the book having been really good.
At this end of this beautiful film, I did my secret credits thing. One of the first non-cast credits was someone named Susan something. Susan was in the credits FOUR times (highly unusual). My middle and last names were also in the credits more than once. Plus my husband’s name was in there, too!
The message I took away from the movie was LOVE. Love of family, love between a man and woman, love of life, love between children and parents, sacrificial love.
One of the realities of living with Down syndrome is that early-onset Alzheimer’s (the subject of “Still Alice”) is quite a bit higher in persons who have Ds. I haven’t wanted to think about this. After all, Kepler is only 9, and he is as bright as the sun, and while cognitively slow in some ways, the thought of him losing himself is a thought I cannot allow myself to have right now. All we have is the present. Not everyone with Ds develops it, even if they have the higher levels of beta-amylase that are present in the brains of those with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
The message of “Still Alice” to me was to LOVE now. Love today. Love in every way I can. Receive all the love that is given to me. Love the now.