“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart”- Henry Clay
This week was one that reminded me how blessed and grateful I am for the millions of tiny things that always come to a head and reveal that they were huge things.
For me, this week’s realization consisted of a movie theater, 20 feasts, Valentine’s Day and the fact that an action 5 years ago would change my life in so many ways. I don’t want to live knowing that others impact is acknowledged.
The letter is a bit lengthy, but I wanted to share what a wrote, but preface it with saying that the love and kindness shown to me at my 20th feast, left me in tears and utterly grateful for people who may be strangers but have made a lasting impact on my life forever. Thank you, Alamo Drafthouse Theatre…and Don, for telling me about them! (They even had the chef come out and presented me with a signed menu (see pic above)!).
Now, the letter:
I’ve never been one too privy at making a long story short…but I’m going to do my best and ask that you forgive me if I completely fail. To start, this email is in regards to the “Before Sunrise” Valentine’s Day Feast. Now the story: My husband and I have always been huge movie buffs. From foreign to horror to the utterly complicated. My husband was in the US Army and when he wasn’t training, there was nothing we enjoyed more on the weekends when he was home, than an amazing meal followed by some film that most people hadn’t heard of.
He deployed in October 2006 and would always surprise me with the “already released” films in Iraq that I hadn’t seen. Or my personal favorite, “The Complete Joaquin Phoenix Movie Collection” in languages I can’t even pronounce.
Movies were and have always been a huge part of our love story (we even had our first kiss while watching “American Beauty”).
That couldn’t have been solidified even more than after May 21, 2007. I came home to find two men there to notify me that Michael had been killed by explosives just an hour after we said “I’m so in love with you”, for what I never knew would have been the last time.
I died that night on the front porch.
I remember, days before his service, just lying around and watching one of his favorite movies over and over, as a way to just feel the way I did when he was alive, the way I did when we could lay there together.
For the sleepless months that followed, movies were the only way I could feel connected to anything or anyone. (I can’t tell you how many times I watched “Top Gun” just to see how Goose’s wife reacted…which is totally unrealistic in retrospect…but still, it helped ).
Weeks later I went on to start filming a documentary with a friend in the film industry that knew my love for movies and had heard the memories of our dinner and movie nights. He told me I should look into going to the Alamo. He explained how it worked and how I could overcome two big obstacles since Michael’s death; Going to the movies and enjoying an amazing dinner solo.
I went online and saw that there was an Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Birds’ feast. I purchased it and tried to talk myself out of it too many times to count. I even had a friend meet up with me before hand to give me that extra push the day of the feast. I sat near the front to “keep a seat” for Michael, and ended up having one of the best moments and nights since his death. I remember driving home and feeling my heart feel the same way it had before Michael died.
I was hooked! The feasts let me have a part of me and Michael that I thought had died forever, come back alive in the midst of amazing meals and wonderful films! To put it not so lightly, I became a Alamo Drafthouse Feast fanatic!
“Groundhog Day”, “La Dolce Vita”,“Lord of the Rings Trilogy Feast”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Casablanca” ,“Indiana Jones”, “Back to the Future”, “The Big Night”, “Chocolat”, and the list goes on to why I am writing today.
It’s been 5 years since my first feast and five and half since Michael passed away, but the reason I’m writing is that this Valentine’s Day feast will mark my 20th feast at the Alamo (I made sure and counted the 3 trilogy feasts as one a piece instead of 9 to make it a real landmark)!
So my request is simple, is there anyway y’all could have the menu signed by the Chef heading up this particular feast?
And lastly, and mainly a huge reason for the beyond lengthy email, I wanted to write and thank you all at the Alamo for giving me a place to feel my husband’s spirit, to feel the love we will eternally share, and for allowing me to see in a simple way, that there is still so much beauty and amazing life to experience after the worst of tragedies.
Proud Military Widow of Cpl Michael Davis