My 89 year-old neighbor, who’s lived in my building since the year I was born, is leaving to move into an assisted retirement community in Washington D.C after being diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s.
Boy, did I not see that one coming.
When I moved in four months ago, Mimi became my instant friend. I’ve written about her… ttp://athingirl.com/2016/03/18/ tp://athingirl.com/2016/03/08 a cross between Katharine Hepburn, Hilary Clinton and a friendly moose…so vital, so funny…and now, felled like a sick Sequoia.
I’ve been weeping since she told me. “I’m not who I was,” she said, in her finely pressed Brooks Brothers pajamas, pearls peeking round her neck.
“Who is?” was all I could say .
“I feel I should make the move while I still have a few marbles left.”
A few? She’s simply amazing for her age. So what if she misses a cue or two…big deal?
I’m 62 and often ask, where the fuck am I?
Of course, this is my selfishness talking. I can’t bear the thought of no more cheese and wine nights when we gossip like teenagers, the thirty years between us falling away. Girls are girls, after all…doesn’t matter what decade we dwell in.
She seemed more worried about me than herself, especially when my eyes filled with tears. Out came the white wine in her shimmering Tiffany goblets, as we toasted to being neighbors and new friends.
Loss…it seems to be the one thing one can count on, like a relative you’d rather not see.