The Theory Of Everything is a worthy film . The story of the relationship between Steven Hawking and his wife Jane from their meeting in 1960s Cambridge until their break up in the 1980s is one that I have seen reenacted many many times during my days working with spinal Cord Injury patients. The pressures of caring for a severely disabled loved one so often creates an insurmountable wedge in even the most robust of relationships and this difficult journey was sensitively and at times beautifully observed in the James March fïlm, as Jane Hawking ( Felicity Jones) and Husband Steven ( Eddie Redmayne) finally split after years of battling his motor neurone disease together.
Regular readers of Going Gently may remember that my brother Andrew died from motor neurone disease three years ago now, and I must admit that some scenes in the film, I found rather difficult to watch. One sequence in particular had a certain resonance with me.
It was the scene where the already disabled Hawking hosted a meal with his university chums after obtaining his PhD. As the table banter of eating and drinking grew louder, Hawking's alienation from the situation increased, so much so he felt obliged to leave the table to sit alone on the stairs.
I witnessed a similar scene when at a family meal , my brother who was unable to eat a normal diet, got up from the table during a coughing fit to sit alone in the living room out of the way.
I remember the family carrying on with the dinner the best we could, while my brother in law quietly joined my brother in an act of support and solidarity.
I also remember that he kissed my brother on the head, a little gesture of sweetness in the face of a very, very cruel illness.
Funny what you remember eh?