Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Post

One of my favorite opening scenes is from the movie "Blade Runner" (Ridley Scott, 1982). A "Blade Runner," Holden, is administering the "Voight-Kampff Test" to Leon, an escaped "replicant" (android). It's the Blade Runner's job to execute any replicant attempting to pass as human on Earth (or anywhere else). The test consists of a set of questions and scenarios designed to evoke an emotional response, which allow the Blade Runner, with the aid of some fancy gadgetry, to identify subjects who aren't human. Leon responds to a question about his female parent with the well-known (at least among fans of the movie) line: "Let me tell you about my mother." At which point he blows Holden clear into the next room with a couple of shots from a hand-held Howitzer.

Why do I bring this up? Do I mean to dishonor Mother's Day with such a reference? Well, no, not really. I only mean to suggest what the scene suggests (irrespective of the Blade Runner story line), which is that for some the subject of one's mother is not all about flowers and obligatory long distance phone calls. I assure you I loved and honor the memory of my mother, but she wasn't easy to talk to (no doubt she must have thought the same about me), and not all my memories of her are pleasant. Of course the day is also about the mothers of our children, and I will certainly call my ex-wife as soon as I'm done with this post to give her my best regards and chat about our daughter, our families, and mutual friends.

In honor of my mother, I append here a favorite picture of mine, from a series of mini portraits she had in her photo album that I call her "1941 Stylin" series. This was taken about 3 years before she married my father, and she appears to be having a good time on the occasion, whatever it was.

I personally have few clear memories of her in such a good mood, but this seems to me as good a way to remember her as any, and I think she would have liked this idea, too. Rest in peace, Mom.


Julia Helen Pactovis Levery (née Jolán Paktorovics, 1916-1998)

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