Last night, Maureen O’Hara received an Honorary Oscar. I’ll never forget watching The Quiet Man with my Grandpa on St. Patrick’s Day every year. I love the Oscars; I’m a sucker for watching people get their Oscars and being so happy. (My friend, Paul, throws a mean Oscar party, too!) I am grateful to the entertainment industry, it gives so much enjoyment to the world and it’s given me special moments with Katie over the years.
The Lion King- right before Rett syndrome came along, Katie had loved watching the trailer for The Lion King. By the time Lion King came out on VHS, she no longer spoke, could not communicate, didn’t want to be touched and screamed a LOT of the time. But, when I put that movie in the VCR…a miracle! She immediately stopped screaming, sat quietly and watched that movie, in its entirety, four times that day. For the next year and a half, she watched it over 1300 times. My other children learned the dialogue, we owned three tapes and one copy went in the diaper bag anytime we visited people. Her first communication in over a year, was to hit at the TV, meaning “put in Lion King!”.
Soon, she began to rock to the music and after that I was able to sit behind her and hold her while she watched. I credit The Lion King for bringing her out of the seclusion and prison Rett syndrome had locked her in.
Singing in the Rain- oh, some time around six or so, I rented Singing in the Rain. One of my all time favorite movies. There was Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor tapping and dancing to Moses Supposes and there was Katie, sitting on the couch and she begins to swing her feet! She was dancing!!
Since those long ago years, movies have given her joy and laughter. She’s clapped her hands, giggled and understood humor. She’s danced to musicals, thankfully moved beyond just The Lion King, and most of all I can share my love of movies with her and gives us moments of “normal”.
T-21, I am nearly giddy thinking about the many more “nomal” moments that may be in store for us. And, I imagine they will feel anything but “normal”; they will be extraordinary.