The Disease of Mildred Pierce

imagesAnyone who has seen he classic film ‘Mildred Pierce’ starring Joan Crawford would say that all of her problems she caused by herself. That’ not true. . . .it can’t be true. The rare kind of pain that she possessed I am seeing more and more of every day in other people. This kind of pain is so strong that it silently overcomes all of the human body, and everything inside of it.

Yes, the film starts with Mildred’s cheating husband leaving her and her two children but that is not where the pain came from. Matter of the fact him leaving was the best thing that happened to her! She had been fired from being a full time wife so now she can pursue being a full time restaurant owner.  Her business skills were so perfect that even the soon to be ex husband could not deny it.  If life has continued like this she would never have this disease I speak of. Life did not continue like this for Mildred Pierce though. Her youngest and most gentle child passed away right in front of her eyes. Her last words were ‘Mommy.’ That one word repeated itself in Mildred’s head through the success of her career. No money could ever bring her back so her wound could never be stitched. She continued to bleed out slowly and silently in everything she did for the rest of her life even though she had one other child.

Veda was her eldest child but really she was never a child. Veda never showed any love for Mildred, and it got worse after her baby sister passed. That’s how the real disease began, when Mildred became desperate for Veda’s love. Veda’s love would always have an impossible price though. Mildred’s downfall came from her attempts to fill that price even though she knew she couldn’t afford it with all of the money she had.

Next time you say to yourself at the end credits of the film, ‘Well Mildred brought everything upon herself,’ remember how inaccurate it is. You could say that Im reading to deep into it I suppose that’s fair. However I’m still right to say that it was not Mildred’s fault because she had an incurable disease. ‘Mommy’ is the name of the disease. For once you become a mommy and that job is taken from you when that child is taken from you, the end is only that much closer.