If you have not seen the movie “Hello, My Name Is Doris” starring Sally Field . . . DON’T READ THIS UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE SEEN IT OR READ IT AND SEE THE MOVIE ANYWAY.

This movie speaks to me on so many levels Where do I begin?  I could do without the profanity in the movie, but on the whole,  so much of what is in the main character, Doris, is in me.  I am eccentric and I don’t mind it one bit. I like eclectic things and ALL types of music. I like fuzzy bright socks and I LOVE to wear hats.  Especially fedoras.   I cared for my mother and father during their winter years until their passing.  My father passed suddenly in 2011.  Ironically, my marriage ended, so my son and I moved in with my mother to care for her. My mother passed in 2014.   Doris was engaged but never married because she could not move.  Her fiancée received a job offer in another state and wanted her to go with him.  She said no because “who would take care of their mother?”  Her brother made it clear that he was not going to. Doris was twenty when she turned down that offer of marriage and she never experienced that kind of love after that.   Unlike Doris, I experienced true love for a time and got a wonderful son out of the bargain.  The mother dies and now the brother of Doris wants to sell the home.  That was the only home that Doris ever  knew.  She not only took care of their mother there.  SHE LIVED THERE.  That was now HER home.  My son and I have lived in my childhood home from 2011 to the present.  It is OUR home.  After the passing of my parents,  my siblings did not kick me out or try to sell the house out from under me. Unlike the brother of Doris, they appreciated what I did for Mom and Dad and agreed that I should remain in the home (especially since at that time  I had been living there with my son for four years.)

Doris has a hoarding problem which she eventually works through.  I collected a ton of things over the years and had not even realized it until the passing of my mother.  I had to go through 62 years of stuff that belonged to my parents and 22 years of stuff from my own life (before divorce). It’s amazing how much one can collect over the years without even noticing.  As with Doris, once I overcame the urge to hold on to something that I did not  really need, the feeling of release was liberating.  Doris eventually finds herself, quits her job, and moves on.  I, after five years being out of the workforce, decided to go back to work.

Yes, there are so many similarities between Doris and I and I am okay with that.  It is amazing how quickly we can lose ourselves when we are caring for others, especially our parents.  Who knows what is on the horizon for Doris?  Who knows what is around the corner for me?  Only time will tell.

~~~Malinda Gwyn~~~



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