One way I was able to connect with my mom years ago (2008) was that we read Nights in Rodanthe together then we went and saw the movie when it came out. I think it helped a little bit. Next step was for her to pick the next book/movie combo. Guess what, it never happened. So after all of this, I decided to try again. Popped onto Amazon and bought us a both a cheap copy of The Great Gatsby because the new movie is coming out this year. It was one of my favorite books in high school.
When I told her about it she told me also that she was writing a letter and that it contains some of the 'hard stuff'
I have yet to see this letter so far. But I'm looking forward to reading it.