I Know Why I Believe

The flights were great (to Paris and then New York); the Dowager Duchess is still amazing; the Kid Brother is still one of a kind; and I´ll share lots more some other time.

What I have to share today is much too big [to me] and important [to me] to delay. First is a story that actually matters. A very special day with some very special relations. Following that will be a story that shows how truly shallow I am.

My wonderful cousin Evie drove in from her home in New Jersey today. She, The Dowager Duchess, and I then went to visit my Aunt Sylvie. Evie´s mother, Lilly, was the eldest of seven. Sylvie (who will be 94 in December) was third in line after the only brother. My mother was number 5 (nine years younger than Lilly and nine years older than the youngest sister).

Aunt Sylvie has been living with dementia for many years and now doesn´t know anyone or anything except her heaven-sent care-giver Leah who has made it possible for her to remain in her own home all this time. We´ve all had our experiences with people with dementia and Alzheimer´s. It´s heartbreaking and sometimes surprising. Today was both.

Sylvie used to visit us every year when we lived in California — first in San Diego, and then San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara. She and my uncle Harry had had a very difficult life. They had two severely developmentally disabled sons who required all their attention. Thankfully, both sons now live in group homes and are well taken care of.

AUNT SYLVIE AND UNCLE HARRY´S WEDDING, 1946.
HARRY´S PARENTS (LEFT), MY GREAT-GRANDPARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS (RIGHT).

Sylvie had never been on a plane until she began to visit us after my uncle died in the mid-´90s. Dale, Chucky, and I were always very close with Sylvie and Harry. And Jerry and I treated Sylvie like another mother. When we arrived at her apartment today, she was extremely unfocused. We each gave her a kiss and told her who we were. It didn´t register. When I knelt beside her I reminded her, as I always do, that I was Chucky and Dale´s brother. She squeezed my hand and said, “When are you going on a plane? I want to come, too.”

Flirting
Whenever we visit Brooklyn, we make a point of having at least one lunch at Parkview Diner. It´s not far by car from The Dowager Duchess´s apartment. So, after visiting Aunt Sylvie, we three drove to the restaurant where San Geraldo met us for lunch.

PARKVIEW DINER, CROPSEY AVENUE, BROOKLYN.

Our waitress was someone we had never met. She was warm, charming, professional, and adorable (early 20s adorable). She and I really connected and she kept commenting on how much she liked me. She finally asked me my name. I introduced myself and then introduced everyone else. ¨This is my mother, Mimi; my cousin, Evie; and my husband, Jerry.”

MY THREE-EGG OMELETTE, BACON, MUSHROOMS, AND CHEDDAR; WITH HOME FRIES.

MY NEW GIRLFRIEND, DEE. SHE HATED ¨THAT CHEESY GRIN.¨
(SHE MADE ME PROMISE HER BOYFRIEND WOULD NEVER SEE THIS.)

Dee blushed scarlet and said to Jerry, “Oh, my god! I´ve been coming on to your husband!” She rushed away to compose herself before coming back to apologise. I told her she had made my entire year (but, honestly, I think I´m now covered for life). The Dowager Duchess commented, “Well, she wasn´t really flirting.”

As for me? I believe.



“Then I know why I believe.” (OK, but I really don´t believe)…

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

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