Tonight Josh, my brother Tom and I are going to see my Uncle Rick’s film Forgetting Dad at the Denver Starz Film Festival. We all had a chance to view it when we were in California for my mom’s wedding over the summer but I want to make sure I am there to support my Uncle Rick at this screening. He’s flown in all the way from Germany for it. He’s lived in Germany for as long as I can remember but he never misses an important family event. He even surprised me and flew in for our wedding last year. Anyway, the film has been playing festivals all over the world and was even submitting to Sundance. Unfortunately it was not accepted this year, but it has won awards world wide.
Forgetting Dad is about my grandpa, Richard Minnich. When I was 6 years old, he was in a car accident and developed amnesia shortly thereafter. At the time I didn’t fully grasp the situation. I just knew that when he came to visit for my First Communion the following spring, that he was a great playmate. We even did multiplication flashcards together because that is what we were both learning in school. We practiced cursive together and played games for hours. He seemed like he was one of the kids and would much rather play with Tom and I than be with the adults. I remember him travelling to Omaha with us on the same visit to see my Grandma and Grandpa Walker. He loved every moment he spent gardening with them. There is even a great picture of he and my Grandpa Walker in their straw hats.
I don’t remember what he was like before the accident but the rest of my family does. His amnesia has impacted my mom’s side of the family greatly. When my mom, aunt and Uncle Rick were in high school, Grandpa Minnich remarried and had two more sons, Justin and Matthew. I never really got to know them well, because at the time of the accident, Justin was just 8 and Matthew was just 4. After the accident Grandpa and Loretta divorced and the only time I remember being around my uncles was on a brief weekend visit when I was 13. That visit was also the last time I saw my grandpa. My uncles, aunt and mom have all struggled to understand what caused his amnesia and why he hasn’t gotten his memory back.
Grandpa Minnich is now remarried and lives in a remote town in Oregon. He was unable to come to my wedding because of heath issues, but still sends cards that he draws on and lovely letters. Someday I hope that I’ll see him again and come to know him. Until then, all I have is the film which opened my eyes to what everyone else was going through when I gained a playmate but everyone else lost their husand and father.
I’ll let you all know how the screening goes tonight. It’s showing twice, once tonight and an afternoon showing tomorrow. You can view the trailer here. I tried to get a big group of Josh and I’s friends to go, but so far I’ve gotten little response which is disappointing. Oh well. What’s important is that Josh, Tom and I will be there for him.