I’ve meant to write this blog since March 23, when Elizabeth Taylor died. Other things kept happening, though, including Tim spending five days in the hospital, and I wavered as time went by. However I have treated myself to a late afternoon cup of coffee and feel a little more inspired now…
My perception of my mom while I was growing up was that she was a very reserved and private person, even with her daughters. It frustrated me that she never seemed to want to share her deepest thoughts with me. Most of my understanding of her inner life came to me in different ways after she died, and I have felt more connected to her since her death.
But I do have to admit that some things she said and did flew right by me as I was so focused on what I imagined she would share that I missed many little things she did share. One of these things was a connection she felt with Elizabeth Taylor.
I’m guessing it might have been around 1966, when I was nine years old and when Taylor’s movie, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? came out. There must have been a lot of buzz about it because I remember asking my mother, who is Elizabeth Taylor?
Mom explained that Elizabeth Taylor was a very famous movie star who was only four months younger that she was and that she “grew up” with her. She said National Velvet was her favorite movie and that she first saw it when she was 12 years old.
My own comparisons go a little further. My mother (as a child at right) was also named Elisabeth, but she spelled it with an “s.” Her coloring was similar, jet black hair and full dark eyebrows. Mom’s eyes were brown, though, but she was just as beautiful. As grownups, they could not have been more different, Taylor leading a glamorous lifestyle and Mom a down-to-earth nature and animal lover.
Somehow I have never gotten around to watching National Velvet. Taylor’s death jogged my memory and so I added the film at the top of my Netflix list, but I guess there’s a bit of a wait because other movies keep coming ahead of it. When it finally arrives I will enjoy watching it and imagining what it meant to my mother sixty-seven long years ago.
Image source: People