When I pulled up to my parents' house, neither my father's car nor my mother's was in the driveway. And as much as I love my sister, seeing her waiting for me on the front porch caused my stomach to clench. "I have bad news," she said. "I'm too late." It was a statement, not a question. So, Nic and I walked the dog, not knowing how long it would be before my parents would be home to take care of her. We grabbed the list of people from church who would need to be called. Nic drove to Mimi's apartment, and I talked in disjointed bits. I told myself that even if I had come first thing in the morning, it wouldn't have made much difference, that Mimi would not have realized I was there. I talked about Mimi's old car, which she named Gus, but that I couldn't remember what Gus was. "A Chevelle," Nic told me. And she relayed a story that Mimi had told her a few weeks ago, a day so many years ago in which she was showing the power that Gus had by racing with the man in the car next to her at the intersection. Mimi had a gift of gab, and told us so many stories over the years, of my grandfather and the rest of his siblings, of my dad and uncles as young boys (she used to tell me that my dad could be an "imp of Satan"), of her time as secretary to a bank president. We spent the next few hours at the apartment. The hospice worker came, disposed of the medicines, told us the next steps, offered bereavement services if we needed them. Representatives from the funeral home came, arranged some details with my father. A neighbor came by to tell us what a wonderful lady Mimi was, how friendly and open and funny she was. The home healthcare worker told me how Mimi was always so happy when her monthly fruit basket came, the baskets that Nic and Brian and I sent as part of her Christmas gift. We also laughed about "the look" that Mimi had. How she would tighten her jaw and shoot you a sideways glance that would wither you, should you be so foolish as to tick her off. My dad was the recipient of the look more often than not. And we talked about how she took care of everyone, and never wanted to have anyone worry about taking care of her. She was apologizing to the everyone, not wanting to be a burden. Mimi never married, so her nieces and nephews were like children to her. And she always did look out for everyone. I can't speak of how Mimi was before she retired, but the affection and respect that Mr. H had for her over the years gives me an idea of what she was like as a secretary, and how she took care of him (the care and feeding of executives can be tough). She was a strong lady, right up to the end. Nic found a family Bible. It had belonged to one of my other great-aunts, and after her death, Mimi had continued to record the dates of everyone's death. There was one line left. My father filled it in.


Post a Comment

<< Home

follow MamaKaren at http://twitter.com

Who's Who

    Hubby- aka DH My husband since 1995. He is the head of the band department at a college prep school, and dabbles as a wanna-be pop star.

    The Princess- aka DD. Third grader at the local parochial school. Loves butterlies, sparkly things, the color purple and has recently developed a crush on one of the twins from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Is ready for her teenage years, having already perfected her exasperated sigh and dramatic eye-roll.

    Hoss- aka DS1. Kindergartener and resident spirited child. His aunt likes to call him "the evil genius" because of his penchant for letting a lack of intellectual stimulation lead him into mischief. Likes trucks, sports, building things and burping. His current favorite word is "underwear."

    Lil Joe- aka DS2. Born in 2003. Doesn't say much we can understand, but has mastered the important stuff ("eat!", "Wash hands!", "Want chocolate ones!", "Hockey game!") Likes to push buttons, much to the consternation of whoever is trying to watch a DVD. Firmly refuses to use the potty, despite evidence that he is physically ready to be out of diapers, indicating a level of stubborn that eclipses even that of his parents and siblings.

    Me? I'm the Mama. That's all you need to know.

    Wanna contact me?
    Send me an email.