REFLECTIONS: A night to remember: Mother & 3-D

MOVIE TIME: Jack’s mom prepares to watch the latest “Star Wars” movie. (Pioneer photo/Jack Batdorff)

MOVIE TIME: Jack’s mom prepares to watch the latest “Star Wars” movie. (Pioneer photo/Jack Batdorff)

Hmmmm.

I was trying to think what would be a good topic to start off my column for the new year.

And I keep coming back to what I didn’t finish last year.

I don’t procrastinate … naw, not me!   

So just pretend that this is the last column of 2015.

K?

Someone asked me the other day what I did for Christmas.

I told them that since we had spent the family Christmas the week before at my 99 year old mom’s house in Traverse City, that the REAL (Mom’s word) Christmas on the 25th was at my daughter Wendy’s house in Manistee.

(For the record, Mom calls the family get together the week before Christmas each year the FAKE Christmas…which has become a noted date each year on our calendars.)

Susan and I decided to make the trek to Manistee as Mother … and her very able caregiver Dana … were going there to spend the day and evening.

As I sat musing what I could do to make the day interesting after dinner time had waned, a light bulb went on in my head and I had this epiphany:  A-Ha!

So I called the Vogue Theatre in Manistee and ordered tickets for all to see the latest and greatest of the Starwar Epics.  In 3D.  For EVERYONE … including my mom, who hadn’t set foot inside that theatre since 1955, when she and my dad moved from Manistee to Traverse City.

Now you have to remember something:  Mother will be 100 years old on September 22, has had macro-degeneration for thirty years (in other words can only see the things you don’t want her to see), uses a walker…and is hard of hearing.

Now…anyone that has seen the seventh episode of Star Wars…” the Force  Awakens”…can see where I’m heading.

As we wheeled mom into the Vogue, I had to pause to give a Think: THINK about this woman who has seen nearly a century of life pass before her … and what must be running through her head.                       

THINK what must be on her mind as she rolls into the Vogue…a theatre she left some sixty years ago.                                                                                                           THINK if she can feel the change…the charged atmosphere of the volunteers and patrons of this incredible theatre …                                                                               THINK if she can feel the pride that’s bouncing off its walls as it showcases to others what a community can do when it puts its mind to it and pulls together as one.

And THINK how she views and compares the old majesty of the Vogue to the new majesty that has been recreated there.  Oh yes, macro degeneration does NOT always take ALL the sight senses away.

Finally, I was THINKING out loud, THINKING of how she would react to her first ever 3D performance.

That’s a lot of THINKING.

As the blockbuster began to unfold and the screen took life…and the crescendo of the music began to build, I looked over at mom, wearing those stupid 3D glasses and I felt proud … proud she was there and proud that because of her, I was there…as was part of my family that chose to join together one more time this Christmas.

I looked at Mom once again … and I could hear mother saying something about the sound and watched as Caregiver Dana carefully inserted a bit of cotton into each her ears to deaden the sound a bit.

It was a day to remember.

I checked her out several times during the play as she munched popcorn and watched the plot unfold.

And once again I could feel that pride … the pride that only a son could feel.

There’s a warmth that one feels when he is in his comfort zone…and I was totally zoned out.

As the music waned and the extravaganza came to an end, I watched as our fellow moviegoers gathering their belongings, their empty cups and glasses and began to file out.  And there was mom.

She was sitting still.  The 3D glasses still perched on her head, gloves on her lap…and a few  popcorn crumbs dribbling down her front.

“Well mom, how did you like it,” I asked.

Her retort was simple “It was a bit noisy,” she said, “But what a beautiful theatre.”

Enough said.

That’s how I spent my Christmas.

My REAL Christmas.

It couldn’t get much better.

Jack Batdorff is the chairman of the Pioneer Group. Email him at jbatdorff@pioneergroup.com.

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Posted by Jack Batdorff

Jack Batdorff is the chairman of the Pioneer Group. E-mail him at jbatdorff@pioneergroup.com.

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