What could have been.
I heard a woman say once that those are the most damaging words one can pronounce in any language.
I have been confronted by this instance several times this week, which marks my first one being back in Los Angeles after an all too brief holiday break in El Salvador, both on the screen and off.
La La Land was first, with the wistful ode to what could have been in the final sequence, in which our protagonists find love and peace in each others arms.
Now comes Mommy with a despondent look at what life could be like for someone we love if only we manage to make things right. The what could have been scenario is not only beautiful in that it shows Steve (Antoine Olivier Pilon) finally free of his ailments, but in that his mom is finally at peace knowing her efforts paid off. Everything she did in the name of her son, every humiliation, defeat and investment was worth it to see her only boy become a man full of victory and happiness.
It does not happen, and we are left forever to rue what could have been, regretting what was done and spoken, and aching for the time when the possibilities stretched before our eyes and the future was free and bright.