Months ago I saw the preview for "Lion" and earmarked it in my memory bank to see. My Mother went to see it and told me it was beautiful and sad. A couple of poets that I really respect posted on Facebook their recommendations that this was a "must-see" movie. Thursday night I ventured to the small theatre I cherish in my community and I allowed the brilliant Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel to take me on Saroo Brierley's journey to find his home, his family and himself. Spoiler alert, if you haven't seen it and you want to, read no further. My heart ached and my eyes leaked pretty much from the start to the finish of this film. I did not know going in that this was a true story. Dev Patel's portrayal of Saroo reminded me so much of my son. He is handsome, gentle, caring and although his story is much different than my son's, his pain is of a similar nature. I felt this movie deeply.
A pivotal moment comes when Saroo's adoptive Mother informs him that she could have children, she chose to adopt and he had no idea. My son was born in my heart and not my womb. You could see Saroo was conflicted between the love he carried for his birth Mother and the love he had for Sue. He perceived that Sue would be heartbroken if she knew of his search for his Mother in India.
I was never certain of having a child, unlike the majority of women that I have encountered. Most women never question if they would or should be a Mother. At times I have regretted that I did not reproduce. Unfortunately because I have voiced that regret it has been subject to misinterpretation. I never for a minute meant that my Son was anything less than EVERYTHING to me. My son, just like Saroo to Sue, was so much more than I ever could have dreamed of, or designed with my own DNA. He is truly amazing. I was talking to him about how people grow and change and commented, "you know how when you are friends with some people that you knew when you were younger, but at your present age if you were to meet them for the first time you likely would not become friends?" His honest answer was, "No Mom. I cannot think of someone I would not be friends with." This is true. I have seen him spend time with people who clearly were undeserving of his time and energy, like people with racist tendencies. I believe he feels that even if he opens a small window for them to consider things in a different way that they were worth the investment of his time. He really makes me stop and think and reexamine my approach to people and life. For all my uncertainty of reproducing I have never regretted being his Mother. It is sometimes a heartbreaking role but more often than not it surpasses my wildest expectations.
When I returned home from the movie eyes still red and puffy from the experience I searched on the internet for Saroo Brierley. I had a keen interest in finding the man behind Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel's portrayal. He did not let me down and I watched with a full heart Saroo with both Mothers in photos and videos. I went to sleep with a full heart grateful for my son and to the woman that birthed him. My baby, you are almost 35, and you bring so much beauty to my life.