No More Mimi

Yesterday Mimi, my friend and neighbor, left, moving to Washington where I will more than likely never see her again.

Yeah, I know, it’s not so far, but as she said good-bye, I knew, we were at the end of something.

Not everything is meant to last, and this had a very short lifespan of 4 months.  She was my first and only friend in a new building at a time when I too left my home of many years, feeling lost and strange wondering if I’d ever feel I belonged.  Though a very polite place to live, it’s not a very warm one.

Mimi was the exception to the rule, like sun, shining on my shoulders.

She brought me flowers and cookies, called every day to see if I was okay.  I took to her like a shelter animal sniffing out a person’s innate goodness.

We had many cocktail hours together when she told me stories of growing up in Jefferson country (Charlottesville Virginia), where she had a horse named Patrick Henry she rode every morning before school.

I heard her numerous tales of China, going there 9 times to help build schools in areas where there were none, carrying bags of books, she’d hand out to children she’d meet along the way.

Never married with no children of her own, I related to her aloneness and fierce independence humbled by all the good she did in her 89 years.

Humility hovered whenever showing awe, waving away my admiration.

“It’s what you do when you have more than most,” she said, “you share whatever it is.”

Raised in a very cloistered, Catholic household, never shedding that built-in altruism she learned from pious parents and noble nuns who taught her from grade school right through college.

“Did you ever wanna be a nun yourself Mimi?” I asked one day.

“I did, till I met Johnny.”

“Johnny?” I said, my ears flapping like Dumbo’s.

“He was my one, true love, other than Jesus of course, but my parents didn’t approve.  He was Episcopalian…a farmer like his father and grandfather, and they felt he wasn’t fine enough for me.”

I saw how sad her eyes got remembering, when it had to be, easily, almost 70 years ago.

The power of love…it never goes away, now does it?

I tried not to be legitimately home when the movers came, but was, as they took her last box of belongings.  It was a little like witnessing an execution since I knew, deep in her heart, she didn’t want to go.

I had already seen her the day before to get her new address sort of saying good-bye, not something I’m very good at.

As she stood stoically in the doorway in her favorite navy pants suit, blue crystal beads gracing her neck, I stood in my doorway, smiling, determined not to cry saying things like, wow Mimi, can you believe how fast these men are?

Frank, the super, suddenly appeared with an envelope I’d given him.

I had taken pictures of him and all the doormen placing them in a card they all signed.

My men, is what she always calls them treating them as if they were dutiful sons looking after their irascible mom.

I didn’t want her to know I was behind it, so I motioned for him to wait.

“Now I’ll write to you, okay?” I said, biting my lip.

“Well I hope so,” she said, hugging me tight.

“Thank you Susannah, for everything.”

“No thank you Mimi, I said, tears welling up,  ” you better go, you don’t want to miss your train.”

“No, I don’t,” she said, sadly.

“And listen, don’t you go flirtin with anybody now, cause then you might get off at the wrong stop.”

She laughed, as Frank escorted her down in the elevator for the very last time.

As for me, I opened up one of the bottles of Chardonnay she left me…

and quietly wept.





About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in alcohol, animals, Books, Faith, Family, friendship, Home, Love, New York City, parents, women, words and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to No More Mimi

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    What a lady! She has had such an interesting and fulfilling life, except for what mattered most, her one true love. I hope she finds a few good companions with whom to chat and reminisce. I have a feeling she has always left a hole in many hearts whenever she has moved on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susannah, I am truly sorry. I knew you and Mimi were becoming fast friends and that this will certainly leave a void, but as always you never disappoint. What you did to say goodbye to her was (as always) so very considerate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was a nice gesture. You all are her people. Let’s hope she settles in wherever she goes and makes wonderful friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope so. It’s a beautiful place with lovely grounds, so I’m hoping they let her work outside a bit. She was a volunteer at The Central Park Conservancy forever where she planted flowers, weeded. She loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    So sweet !


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rob says:

    Though it’s a sad end to an all too brief friendship, I am confident you will both find a new niche.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia says:

    Mimi won’t be replaced but hopefully another friend is around the corner or down the hall. I know what you mean about a place being polite but not warm. I have friends in my building but none that are drop-in kinda folks. We will think positive about a dog neighbor with a friendly human attached to the leash moving in. Teddy thinks I should send Jack to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Endings are always very sad even when they’re on a friendly note.
    As I read your story, it reminded me of the Friendship poem:
    “A Reason, A Season or A Lifetime”.
    Hopefully, a call from time to time will help to keep the friendship alive.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a beautiful piece of writing, Susannah. I was practically tearing up reading it. I’m so sorry that she is gone, although I’m glad you got to know her and I’m glad you shared her with all of us. She sounds very special.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Have You Ever Wondered About ‘Friendships’.…? | Inside the Mind of Isadora

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.