Why does it hurt to remember favourite things?

I confess. I found “The Sound of Music on Oprah” on YouTube today and I watched the whole show. (Yes, I had Nicole’s permission to do this, after our serendipidous moment yesterday.) As the show was beginning I was certain that I was going to cry the whole way through. It just brought back way too many memories of my childhood and my grandparents. But I didn’t. I think it was because I knew all but two of the “behind the scenes” fun facts that they revealed (I have spent a lot of time thinking about and studying The Sound of Music), so the show wasn’t as “exciting” to me as it might have been for more normal people.

The part that got me was when the von Trapp great grandchildren came out to sing. (You can watch it at the 10 minute mark of the video below.)  No, I didn’t cry. But I had that bittersweet feeling that accompanies moments that remind you of such great joy that they make you feel horrible and almost empty. Of course, it doesn’t help that the song they sang was Edelweiss which is my all-time favourite song from the movie. We even had it in the prelude music at our wedding and sometimes I sing it to the kids as a lullaby. But it was more than that. It was the clips they had on the screen behind them from the movie. It was seeing Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer watching the singers and realizing that there will come a time soon when they won’t even be around. (Although, this also made me relieved that I didn’t pursue marrying Christopher Plummer, though I really wanted to when I was 5 years old. The man is almost 50 years my senior, after all…) And then it reminded me that I am no longer that 5 year old sitting on my granny’s knee in her big old squeaky chair watching that movie one or two times a day, singing along with her, and feeling her tapping her arm or move her slippered-feet to the beat of the music. Those days are gone. They were beautiful, but they are gone. 

And it really does hurt to remember your favourite things… even though they are your favourite. They don’t last. Movie actors get old. And grandparents die. And we all grow up and wish we could hold onto some of those things with more than just that half-beautiful, half-rotten feeling that “those times were amazing”. But I guess that’s what we have. And it’s best to hold on to your favourite things and the bittersweetness of remembering.

What’s that line from the song? “Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever….”

Posted in Entertainment, Memories | 6 Comments

6 Responses to Why does it hurt to remember favourite things?

  1. Jyl says:

    Okay…so I’m thinking you will be booking me in for a movie night at Christmas when I reveal to you that I’ve never seen “The Sound of Music”. Even though it was the movie my parents went to on their first date, I have never watched the movie. Honestly, I’ve kind of just always figured it’s a mash-up of “The Brady Bunch” meets “Mary Poppins”.

    I understand if you can’t be friends with me any more.

    But would it help if I told you that I’ve walked the hills that Julie Andrews ran across and, as I was watching the above video, I recognized many places in the background that I visited when I was in Salzburg?

  2. Nicole says:

    I totally agree with you on the end being the part that got me the most. It was a lovely tribute – just finished watching it moments ago and I completely agree with everything else you said. Well done, my friend.

  3. Oh Jyl! It is definitely a date. The best part? Think of how much poutine we could eat in 3 hours?! 🙂

    I’m curious to see what you think, because as you can tell the movie isn’t just about the movie for me, it’s about my childhood and my family and about where my love of music came from. When you don’t have all of that vested in it, you can give an unbiased perspective on it. So it will be interesting to think what you think, because now we HAVE to watch it!

  4. Angie says:

    I love that movie, it also makes me think of my grandma.

    Since I married my husband I kept bugging him that I would make him watch The Sound of Music because he had never watched it. He finally agreed to sit down and watch it with me, and he loved it! It is such a beautiful story, and the music is so fun and nostalgic.

    I watched the episode of Oprah, and I have to say that I didn’t know that Julie Andrews was only 28 when that movie was filmed!

  5. Toni says:

    Dixie – my mother used to sing ‘Eidelweiss’ to me too when I was small, though that’s less of a surprise (and the fact that she sang it in German) since you know me. Very much a film from a particular era though, remembering a Europe so recently embroiled in war, and unavoidably with all the overtones of those events (and hindsight too).

    It’s interesting that we used to see films shot in Canada (or northern North America) quite a bit in the 60s and early 70s, all with the overtones of a big country, hardy outdoorsy folk and open prospects. It’s an interesting contrast to virtually all European films I can remember from my childhood, which featured a feeling of claustrophobic oppression from past ages and/or the remembrance of wars gone by. I’m thinking of everything from Mary Poppins through to The Italian Job. It reflected life here too, where many homes still owned a soldiers helmet or a gas mask, or had a bomb shelter in the back garden.

  6. Natalie says:

    I love this movie too. I used to watch it with my mom growing up (my grandma passed three years before I was born). I got a DVD pack for Christmas a few years ago and love the bonus’ on there. You probably have it too. Lots of little info.

    I would love to hear what Jyl thinks of it since she would watch without that filter of nostalgia 🙂

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