I watched a movie with my mother tonight. We must have seen it a dozen times over the past forty years or so, but this time, it was different.

I took my time listening to all the dialogue, the acting, pacing, direction, and fully concentrated on what I presumed the sub-text was all about. I would occasionally point out to my mother how we might have missed a certain expression on an actor's face the last time we watched that scene.

There I was on the couch, side by side with my mom, feeling like I was twelve again

There was not a lot of chatter. No, it was all about the movie and its players. The actors are old now and it wasn't hard to remember what the fuss was all about back then. Surely the actors were handsome and beautiful. But the film's story had many messages that had gone un-noticed the numerous times it had been seen before.

While the actors have grown older with time, the characters they played were preserved on film. As the years have passed, I've grown older too, and I think I can now start to really appreciate what an excellent piece of work the film is.

So there I was on the couch, side by side with my mom, feeling like I was twelve again. I wasn't tired enough to go to sleep, When I turned on the television and saw this old film start up I, thought why not watch it another just one more time. After all, my mother loved this movie, too.

It was a story about a family during a crisis, and how it brought out the best and worst in all of them. It was a story about life and death, and love and addiction, and guilt and shame, and hope and grit. It was a movie about dealing with the past, your present, and future. It involved ethics and compassion and sometimes, the lack thereof. Watching it with my mother reminded me how much she's taught me. My, it had been so long since we spent some quality time together. Yes, this movie was one of our favorites.

No matter that it kept me up until two o'clock in the morning. No matter that I should have been sleeping. My mind was hungry, and it was so peaceful in the house. It was good to notice all these new things about this old flick and sit quietly back, content and engaged.

Part of the beauty is finding something new that you didn't expect.

There was a scene in a basement where son and father face the truth about themselves and their relationships with each other; how they both come to realize that they were misunderstood by each other and in a sense, by themselves.

The wives and mothers in the scene are in an upstairs room; the mother is in denial,while a daughter-in-law is ready to fight for the truth; there is another daughter-law who thought nothing less of hurting anyone who might get in the way of her family fortune.

Sitting next to my mother, I realized that no matter how long your life is, it's never long enough to learn all that you need to know. Part of the beauty, I often think, is finding out something new that you didn't expect. Something that has been in front of your eyes all along.

I watched a movie with my mother tonight. I needed to watch it with her. I needed to share that time and experience with her. We had seen that movie a dozen times. But this time it was different. I was older and I had a different perspective.

This past Rosh Hashana marked six years since my mother died. I needed to be with her in this way.

To be with her and without her.

Eventually, all the characters come to their own realizations. For better or for worse, the truth wins out; the storm passes.

But it's never the end. And that's a movie I have just seen for the first time.