Mimi Mimi Me

Bad news.  Mimi, my former neighbor, cancelled her visit.

The powers that be convinced her traveling in the cold was a bad idea.  Let me just say, they were wrong.  She’s such a hardy soul, for starters, who could certainly still get on a bus for a few hours to be met by friends.

Frankly, I feel they were afraid, once she got here, she’d want to stay.

It’s her longtime home after all, who could blame her.

No one seems to be all that concerned about her mental state since she moved into her assisted living complex.

Posh as it is, Mimi is depressed, and after speaking with her twice a week for the past 6 months since she left, it was the first time I heard joy in her voice.  I totally get the concept of sheltering the elderly, but this is what I know.

Sometimes we shelter too much.

My grandfather, who I adored, was the male version of Mimi.  Sharp, spry, right up to the time his doctor said, Pop, you’re in your 80s, you need to slow down.

You never saw anyone decline so fast not being able to live his life fully, going downhill at the speed of light, dying shortly after.

Mimi is still very vital.  Clipping her wings this way is the worst thing for her spirit that still has the capacity to soar.

When she told me she was playing Bingo, I thought, that’s like taking Annie Oakley for pony rides.

From my own personal experience doctors aren’t always right.  They told me because of my hearing loss, I shouldn’t work anymore, should go on disability.  Oh yeah, ya think?  As I capably, almost 4 years later, continue to work.

In Mimi’s case, she handed over her freedom much to easily, much too quickly and much too early.

I so wish I had a say and could fight for her, but alas, I do not.



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 Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in friendship, Health, New York City, travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Mimi Mimi Me

  1. Ross de Marco says:

    Each situation is different , like yourself I have an elderly friend . She now lives in an assisted living facility in Los Angeles . Her mental state began to deteriorate a few years back and now at 91 she has full blown Alzheimer’s . I check in with her attendants. On the other hand my father in law in Ireland nearly 90 with a spring in his step is out in the fields checking the cows , still drives , can quote Shakespeare like I can quote the Beatles and states in his cheerful brogue ” sure I’m still a boy !” Glad you disregarded the doctors advice and had the sense to keep working . It keeps you going and more alive . I believe working is the greatest privilege , I go to work each day singing, always loved it . Not working is a nightmare . Is there any possibility of you visiting Mimi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loved what you wrote. Your father-in-law sounds like a pistol.

      Mimi loves outside of D.C. and yes, of course there’s big possibilities to visit since it would give me an excuse to haunt the Smithsonian, one of my favorite places.

      Yes, work is a privilege, couldn’t agree more.


  2. Perhaps they didn’t understand her support group in NYC who would indeed look after her. I am so sorry for the both of you. I get that decline that happens when you are told to slow down. My very spry 86 year old brother was here yesterday (you’d think he was 60). He had cleaned up his yard and dropped his yard waste off at the recycling center, hoisting tubs easily. He complained of not being able to play golf (he plays 3 times a week). His wife goes in for surgery tomorrow and although she’s spry in the head, she’s allowing her fears to overtake her activities which compromises her body. We’re all hoping that after the surgery and recovery she won’t be as fearful. Again, I’m so sorry. I know you were looking forward to it. You still have your beauty! Work until that’s gone making every minute count! Plenty of time later to lounge around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My beauty is singed but, advice well taken.

      Your brother…God bless him, and your sister-in-law will get through it. It’s just so scary being put under, worried you’ll never wake up, you know, like Joan Rivers. I know she loves to read so, don’t think that hasn’t tooled through her mind.

      When I had a nerve biopsy, I left a note on my desk for my pal Chris…just in case.



  3. Gail says:

    Your post reminds me of “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande. It echoes your sentiments. Here’s a quote from the book: “our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. WHAT!? That is so disappointing for you and all of us who were looking forward to your essay on Mimi Takes Manhattan. I’ll be honest though, my first thought when you wrote about her coming was “she’s not going back.” I imaged you buying bunkbeds and calling for her belongings.
    You should go visit her in DC hopefully before the White House has the gold Trump sign erected..let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The gold Trump sign. That’s right! He will emblazon his name across the front in gold leaf. I just heard Lincoln, GW and both Roosevelts shudder. As for Mimi takes Manhattan, besides being terribly funny, you’re spot on. I think that’s exactly what might have happened. One whiff of a passing garbage truck plus the sight of Frank the super with his drawers falling would have sealed the deal. She’d be back.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Patricia says:

    Bummer about Mimi. I know you are disappointed and she must be devastated. She probably needs to see her old haunts and accomplices. Maybe if you do go to see her you could kidnap her and take her home for a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. micklively says:

    Old folk don’t deal with change well. Mimi’s depression could be driven by change, sooner than what her situation changed to. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea for her to deal with the change now, whilst she’s still hardy, rather than later?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That what was recommended which was why she moved. But she repeatedly says, how she wishes she had tried another way. She had a second bedroom so someone could have stayed with her, plus I was right across the hall. She had many friends as well. It happened very fast and well, though moot at this point, it’s a shame things weren’t handled differently.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. skinnyuz2b says:

    That’s so disappointing, Susannah, for both of you. I know it’s a lot, but would the powers to be perhaps consent to Mimi’s excursion if you chaperoned her? Or would they fret that you were after a share of her inheritance? Can Mimi override their veto if she felt more comfortable traveling with you? So many questions on a Monday morning.
    My father is 89 and I can’t keep up with him. He never sits still. A few years ago he told me that if he stopped moving he would die.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe him. My grandfather said the same thing.

      Mimi was staying with a good friend who was meeting her at the station. Believe me, she would have been so looked after. It’s hard for her not to acquiesce to other’s demands. I’ve watched her fold like a deck of cards. I think it’s her Catholic upbringing, the obedience thing. I so want to run interference, but I can’t. sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Awwww … Mimi didn’t visit. Sssooo – disappointing. I was coming by to see how the visit turned out.
    Family has a hard time taking care of the elderly but the elderly were the ones who took care of them (well, if it’s the children of the person).
    I’ve planned out my senior years. I had to. My kids (49, 46 &39) have all said, “Don’t count on me to take care of you”. Nice – right? Ungrateful little bastard brats. I was an old fashioned stay-at-home do-nothing-for-myself mom, and this is the thanks I’ll be getting.
    Sooo … I’m with you on being independant and self-sufficient to the end. I have a spare bedroom so you’re ideas are similar to mine. Sadly in this day and age, we need to prepare and make decisions while we can. Never lose hope … maybe, she’ll break out of jail and you’ll see her when you open your door. Sending healing hugs …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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