Today, August 15th, marks the five-year anniversary of the passing of my dear friend, Belinda Christine Lazaro, from uterine cancer at the age of 39. It’s hard to believe that it has been that long. We who loved her–and there are many of us–have done what we could over the years to keep her memory alive and to live as she would want us to. Her parents have memorialized her with a plaque near her favorite tree in City Park in New Orleans, a lovely spot that I visit whenever I am in town, as I will be again in a couple of months.
Belinda was a great reader of many things: of Shakespeare and Bridget Jones’ Diary; of Jane Austen. She was a lover of fine champagne and of dogs, especially her poodle, Monte, who comforted her until the end, and is cared for himself even today. She was a lover of films, too. She played a Facebook game once, wherein she asked her friends to name their favorite films; and there’s a similar Twitter hashtag game being played on the subject this very day. I went searching this morning for the old Facebook post I had made on her page, but I was unable to find it, mostly because I was happily derailed by reading all of the messages of love and sympathy and anguish that her friends and family had posted after the service for her. Between what Belinda actually did over her life in the hotel and health care industries and the influence she had on the people who were part of her world, her life added up to all the things that make living this life worthwhile.
As best I can remember and judge, these are my favorite films, in no particular order: Sergeant York; The Best Years of Our Lives; Aliens; The Godfather; The Godfather II; The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Interstellar; Scott Pilgrim vs. The World; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Ben-Hur (1925); Good-bye, Mr. Chips; The Seventh Seal; Pan’s Labyrinth; Chinatown; Inglorious Basterds; and, in honor of Belinda, Red, the last movie we talked about before she died. There’s a chase scene through New Orleans in that one which actually makes sense, and it’s a good comedy, to boot.