My Secret Fear, with an impromptu movie review thrown in

First of all, I am not a hypochondriac. Well, maybe you should define hypochondriac first. I did this subconscious mind test thing on tickle.com, I think, and got ‘romance’ as the answer the first time I did it, and ‘health’ the second. I chose to negate the second one, since it’s obvious that the accuracy of the test had been sullied by my taking it the second time. Anyhow, that’s the only defense I have for what I’m about to say next. I don’t imagine having illness that I, in reality, don’t. I don’t fantasize about getting a dramatic disease. I like being healthy. I thank God each day for my body. I feel good about it. It’s not perfect (who feels their body is?) but it’s a lot better than others’ my age.

That said, what is my secret fear? It’s to get Alzheimers. I am a really forgetful person. I was in denial about this till recently, when I forgot (and temporarily lost) my teacher’s log book (It’s like a super-important all-in-one planner. It belonged to the teacher I was taking over for right when I joined school, and contained everything I needed to continue). Obviously I started freaking out, since I needed it to make the student’s report cards. Someone found it and sent it to the principal’s office. She was NOT happy. I told her that I’m anally cautious of my belongings and I never lose anything (Like I said, I was in denial, plus I actually don’t lose anything at home) only to forget the teacher’s copy of the grade 4 textbook in the grade 6 classroom the very next day. I asked around for it in the grade 4 room, thinking I’d left it there. Went by the principal’s office only to see in poisonously lying on her desk. She wasn’t there, so I swiped my book and ran off with it. Wasn’t able to avoid her for long. I wasn’t in trouble or anything, but I was horribly embarrassed. This is not supposed to happen when you are trying your best to NOT let it happen. I’m scared.

I keep thinking back to the Korean film A Moment to Remember starring Sohn Ye-jin(Personal Taste, The Art of Seduction and many others) and Jung Woo-sung(Padam Padam, The Good, The Bad, The Weird) which was a beautifully told story about love and EARLY ONSET ALZHEIMER’S. That movie left me crying for days. It was so hauntingly sad! It was moving and gut-wrenching and inspiring and full of life and loss and love….I have no lack of adjectives to further describe the film, but you get my drift. In it, the leads, both of whom have very different personalities and backgrounds, accidentally meet because of a incident caused by Ye-jin’s forgetfulness. We think it’s just because she’s been cast away by her lover, who failed to show up at the train station where they assumedly were planning on running off together. They meet again at her father’s construction site, where she takes a fancy to him and follows him around, despite never having met or dealt with anyone like him. Gruff, rough, and of very little words, but deeply deeply loving. She enters his life and smoothes his rough edges. He gives her all the adoration and love she never got from her previous boyfriend. They get married, which also came with it’s share of hurdles to overcome. By then, you are so absorbed in the film, you’re not consciously aware of any problem that the plot is moving towards or in the process of overcoming. You’re just living in the moment with the protagonists, living their lives with them, as it unfolds on the screen. Then little thing start to go missing. Which add up and create a sense of unease deep within you. You pray things’ll be fine. It’s just your imagination, right? You, along with Ye-jin (Sorry, I;m too lazy to go look up her character’s name) are both in denial. You think back to how they first met, and start to fit the puzzle pieces together. She finally goes to a neurologist, who delivers the earth shattering new that she’s got Alzheimer’s and will lose everything that makes her who she is, all her memories, everything, within the next few months. Sohn Ye-jin is such an amazing actress, it really fills me with awe. Every scene with her is moving. Either it’s moving with its natural grace and subtlety or tear-inducing with its raw emotive strength. I dunno. She just made me cry a lot. She goes home and pretends everything is alright. She quits her job, in an effort to spend as much time with her husband before things start slipping away. He doesn’t know anything and is happy to have her at home. She asks him if he wants a child. My heart bleeds. Anyhow, he finds out. Then both amazing actors make me cry buckets. The love between them is tangible. He tells her that he’ll take care of her. He promises it. Life goes on. There are good days and bad days. She gets worse and he outwardly remains a pillar of strength, despite dying inside. One scene, though left a ginornous gash in whatever was left of my heart. He’s leaving for work, and she says she loves him, and CALLS HIM BY HER EX BOYFRIENDS NAME. He doesn’t even bat an eye lash, and smiles at her before leaving. It’s when he closes the door behind him that his face crumples up and the unstoppable tears come out again. It’s agonizing to witness. Long story short, he eventually realizes that he can’t take care of her. He can’t guarantee her safety while he’s gone, and her condition keeps on deteriorating. He doesn’t want to, but is persuaded by her parents that sending her to a home for people like her would be best for her. He realizes, regretfully, that he never told her he loves her. It was understood that he did, but he never actually said it to her. He thinks it too late, but one day after realizing that he can still bring her back, goes to see her. He takes her to a convenience store like the one where they met, filled with a cast of the people in their lives. They act like regular shoppers and staff, while some even cry looking at her. She looks around, confused at the familiarity of their faces and the situation. She remembers. He tells her he loves her. They drive into the sunset.

The end.

BUT SHE STILL DIES FROM ALZHEIMER’S DOESN’T SHE? HE STILL IS DEPRIVED OF A LONG AND FULL LIFE OF HER COMPANY! THEY DON’T GROW OLD OR HAVE KIDS OR GRANDKIDS. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO STOP CRYING?! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO NOT FREAK OUT WHEN SHE STARTED OFF DOING THE SAME FORGETFUL THINGS I DO?!

Calm down, Jawa. Calm down.

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CALM DOWN? SHOULD I ADD ‘CRAZY’ TO MY LIST OF FEARS? SINCE I’M HAVING A FICTIONAL CONVERSTION WITH MYSLEF?!

Oh, man. So you see, I am scared I’ll get Alzheimer’s. My grandfather’s sister has it. There. That makes me susceptible, doesn’t it? I loved the movie, but the seed of discontent it had planted is growing into an ugly weed. Must not think about this anymore. Commenters! Please console me! Tell me I’m stupid and that this is perfectly normal. Even if I won’t really believe you since I told you to say so! …Maybe a not-so-smart-move on my part.

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About thejawavillager

I am a mad scientist with an underground lab rivaling Dexter's that I will soon use to rule the world. Join my army or be killed in the aftermath.
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22 Responses to My Secret Fear, with an impromptu movie review thrown in

  1. foraredrose says:

    jawavillager, first off, thank you for the wonderful review! Second off, don’t worry! *hugs* Sometimes when you concentrate more on trying to remember something, you forget it even more than you normally would!!!!! But I understand where you are coming from, so one random tidbit I have is that I have read of multiple studies that people who are bilingual are either less likely to get Alzheimer’s or if they do, they get it later than average (blanking on the actual details >.^-^)> <(^-^)^

    • foraredrose says:

      Somehow this part got cut out!

      “I know you said you were Pakistani, so sorry if I’m blanketly assuming you know another language, but I hope this makes you feel a little better 🙂 A dancing Kirby for you!”

    • That actually made me feel a lot better! Thanks! *goes off to learn a third, fourth and maybe even fifth language*

  2. Lazy Goose says:

    Hi jawaville,
    I only read to the beginning of your review since I didn’t want to spoil the movie for myself. I will read it after watching movie…someday.

    I am forgetful too! I lose things a lot. My mom used to say I always have my head in the cloud. It’s not just you. I hope you feel better!

  3. Becoming Bitter says:

    Sandy, Sandy, Sandy…

    We will all die one day. If it’s not one thing, it’ll be something else.
    There are more chances of getting cancer rather than Alzheimer’s to be honest with you.
    I don’t feel like playing a numbers game right now, but there are several stats on the number one killer out there.

    Pray and be happy. *pets Sandy on the head*
    Everyone is a little forgetful and if you’re really that worried – do a brain teaser or some sort of game that will keep your brain active (like Sudoku, cross word puzzles).

    You’ll be fine.

  4. Min says:

    Jawa!
    ok I don’t know if I’m the best out there for consoling on this topic, since I have the same fears you, though I have had several years to come to terms with the fact that I’m forgetful.

    Because of my acceptance of my forgetfulness I’ve taken measures of ensuring myself on what I need, sometimes it seems like I AM going crazy. See I have post-its up the wazoo detailing what I have to remember to take with me each day, i.e: house keys, car keys, ___ book, you have three classes today, take money for your gym fee, you need your soccer shorts, and on and on it goes. Then I write other notes on my planner. and yet somehow something escapes me and then I feel like an idiot and start worrying if I’m losing my memory. it’s times like those that I also fear I might become a hypochondriac.
    However to combat it I do a lot of jigsaw puzzles, crosswords puzzles, and have a logic question book… it helps to keep the mind agile and perhaps prevent early onset of the disease.

    • Yeah, I write things down too. I jot down a to-do list somewhere everyday, and keep a boardmarker on my dresser, so I can write important stuff on my mirror. Mirrors beat post-its, LOL. *sigh* I feel better knowing that I’m not alone, but it would be infinitely better if neither one of us had this problem.

  5. Raine says:

    I am forgetful. I can’t help it. I do that ALL the time. I’ve forgotten my CELLO before and have had to drive home to get it. We just got to keep reminding ourselves and I don’t know if it will ever get better, but…we can try. The important things, really, are intangible.

    As for Alzheimers, that is a fear of mine as well. I don’t have a scientific fact to give you. Or even anything really comforting. You have two things RIGHT now. GOD and NOW. These are the only two things you can ‘control/have faith in’. God is always there. The now is something you can work in and through. Worry is healthy, but not if it’s consuming. I don’t think your worry is consuming, that’s not what I’m saying. Rather, live in the now with some thought for the future: learning, keeping your mind and body active and healthy and enjoying life as best you can. Seriously, that’s all you can do, which is a relief and a bit scary. But that’s life. You are a wonderful, wonderful person who is totally capable of doing this. I mean, look at your “Sea Report”. You seriously mirrored how I feel about nature and beauty and living in the moment.

    Anyway, that’s what I have to say about Alzheimers.

  6. JoAnne says:

    Jawa, early onset Alzheimers is extremely rare, despite a Korean proclivity for making it a plot point. Forgetfulness in a young healthy person is more frequently a sign that they are not focusing on the moment that they are in. If you live in your head and your body continues to do what it needs to do to live in the world, you’re gonna forget stuff. Because you’re not really there at that time. Or if you’re over-tired, or over-stressed, or too busy…you will forget things. It’s not Alzheimer’s, so relax and take a deep breath and stop for a moment, next time, and really look at where you are and what you are doing. Then you’ll remember what you need to remember.

    • I’m so happy I wrote this post! Every comment contains a nugget of previously unknown information that makes me feel better. Thank you Jo Anne Unni 🙂

      • JoAnne says:

        I’m glad 🙂

        Also, I watched A Moment to Remember last night and within 30 minutes had written to Raine that she should watch it too – and at that point it was mostly just about the sound track and my discovery that it’s not Kang Chil I respond to, per se, in Padam Padam. Apparently it’s Jung Woo Sung, because his physical characterization of both men is pretty similar. Wondering how come JB didn’t bring up the similarities when she began recapping TDP.

        AND I think you mentioned He Was Cool somewhere, which I also watched and enjoyed thoroughly this weekend since I’m totally lusting after SSH right now. Also recommended to Raine for the Japanese feel of it, and got a kick out of the PP ex-boyfriend with the really bad hair.

        • JWS is amazing, period. I haven’t watched many of his works, but the little I have watched has firmly established the fact that he is an incredibly versatile actor. The kind of actor who seems like he’s not acting, he IS the character. You forget about any other role he’s done, he becomes THAT person, in THAT moment.
          What’s TDP? Sorry, I’m still not as well-watched and I absolutely suck at connecting the dots, drama-acronym-wise.
          I’m glad you liked He Was Cool. SSH is so surprisingly good in it, probably since it was a role that didn’t call for too much serious angsty acting. I’m not complainin’. I’d rather see him lookin’ fine and acting in a role that suits him than in a role that he simple cannot act out. (I haven’t watched his older dramas, but I got the impression from various comments on DB that he doesn’t do well in serious melodramas.)
          Wait, the PP boyfriend with bad hair? Are you talking about Prosecutor Princess? I don’t remember anyone like that in PP. :S Like I said, haven’t watched that many dramas so there are probably many I don’t know about.

          • JoAnne says:

            Sorry – TDP is Thousand Day Promise, the recent melo about a woman who gets Alzheimers; she’s been having an affair with an engaged man and they break it off right before the wedding (and she finds out she’s sick but doesn’t want him to know) but the guy actually loves her, not the other one, and so he ends up leaving his fiance to be with the sick woman, they get married, etc etc. Really a lot of parallels with the storyline of A Moment to Remember.

            PP is Padam Padam. Ji Na’s ex boyfriend is SSH’s buddy – the one that likes the friend – in He Was Cool.

            As for SSH’s acting – I really don’t find him that bad at it, although I did stop watching Summer Scent – none of those people really interested me since all they did was stare at each other. But I thought he was great in My Princess and I liked him just fine in Autumn in My Heart and I adored his cheekiness in He Was Cool. He’s got that little one-sided smile that says ‘I’m the cutest thing you ever saw, aren’t I?’ down pat. I love a guy who knows he’s adorable but doesn’t take it that seriously, and he seems to be that guy. He’s like…a younger George Clooney, if you are familiar. Pretty, willing to take advantage of it, but a guy’s guy who eventually says ‘ok, that’s enough, stop talking about my face.’

            I remember laughing outloud at one point in My Princess, because if you happen to see him from a downward looking angle and his eyes are closed? he has the longest thickest lashes you have ever seen in your life – and she comments on his lashes and he says ‘don’t talk about my lashes. I hate it when people talk about my lashes.’ and I had to laugh because I’m thinking he must get it a lot in real life, too.

            • Haha! TRUE, about his lashes. I agree with you on everything you said regarding SSH. esp the ‘I’m the cutest thing you ever saw, right?’ look. Did you read that interview of him on DB? I liked how frank he was about himself, as an actor and as a person.

              • JoAnne says:

                I did read it back when I was first finding DB and just kind of bopping along from post to random post, but I had never seen him in anything and had no idea who he was. I do remember thinking at that time that he sounded refreshingly honest and like he had done some real growing up; not just a pretty face. I re-read it after watching My Princess and it just confirmed for me that he’s someone likeable and not hung up on being pretty. (And truly, oh my goodness…so very, VERY pretty)

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