Short films can be a powerful tool to get us to talk about an uncomfortable subject when we’re too afraid to bring it up ourselves. Bill Hoversten’s Mother’s Day Memories takes on the issue of Alzheimer’s Disease.
John (Bill Hoversten) is in Los Angeles on his annual Mother’s Day call to his mom (Jody Jaress). Though the conversation begins relatively normal, she starts to forget essential parts of John’s life, like his wedding to Michelle (Kat Kramer). As his mother begins to panic over forgetting details of John’s life, his father (Conrad Bachmann) complains that John is confusing his mother, and the two have harsh words. Later, John receives a call that his father died, and now he is responsible for taking care of his parent’s affairs and his mother’s care and well-being.
Mother’s Day Memories is based on writer/lead Hoversten’s experience with his mother’s Alzheimer’s. The beauty of his short film is he’s blazed a trail that many of us may one day have to go down. The film is a love story to his mother and a message of love and empathy to anyone going through it today.
“…she starts to forget essential parts of John’s life, like his wedding…”
As a critic judging a film on its own, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the story’s melodramatic nature. John is angered at his father’s approach to pray the problem away and his mother’s sadness about missing John’s wedding but then sees a picture of herself with the bride and groom. Some of the emotional moments feel over-the-top at times, and maybe there’s a little too much commentary about actions that just took place.
It might be easy to be cynical when I’m on the outside looking in. I’m not currently in a situation where I’m faced with the realities of Alzheimer’s. I will admit, I’m coming from a place of ignorance and maybe fear. At the same time, I have senior parents, and Lord knows what the future holds. I appreciate Hoversten’s story because it is a reminder to cherish the moments I have now with my parents.
For those in the midst of caring for one with Alzheimer’s, Mother’s Day Memories is here to say you’re not alone and your feelings of guilt, frustration, and helplessness are normal. It’s a definite recommendation and must-see for anyone stepping into or far down the path of the world of Alzheimer’s.
"…you're not alone and your feelings of guilt, frustration, and helplessness are normal."