Knowing Someone

Silly statement, there have been literally endless pages written about the impossibility of truly knowing someone, regardless of how relatively close they were to us in our lives. I’ve been thinking lately though about how little I truly knew about my mother after her passing this last November. Today this was put in my mind by a memory of something she found amusing. There is a scene in the movie Jumping Jack Flash with Whoopi Goldberg, where she is being pulled behind a car inside a phone booth. She is panicking, justifiably so, and she’s on the phone with someone saying “I’m a little black woman in a big silver box!!”. My mother thought this scene was hilarious. She would laugh and laugh anytime it was on, and would even reference it at other times. I’ve never even seen the whole movie, and have no idea what it’s about overall.

To this day, I have no idea why she thought it was funny. I don’t find it amusing, and I’m not a fan of Whoopi Goldberg in general. My mom loved everything she did. I’ve often thought about this over the years, even before she died, though it never seems to have occurred to me to ask her about it. We talked a good bit when I was younger, I mean most times we were the other’s only companion during regular days. Though we conversed, she didn’t often discuss philosophical things with me. In fact, I could count on one hand the number of times our conversations weren’t practical or pragmatic in nature. How to do this or that thing, or something similar. It’s different for me and my kids, I do have practical conversations with them, but far more often it’s philosophical in nature. We talk about the why of things more than the what. I feel like if they know the why, the what becomes clear on its most often. I think it just reiterates my original statement that we can never really know someone, though I hope my kids are not thinking of why I might have said something once I’m gone.

Dave @mellowdave