Saturday, March 3, 2018
I absolutely love this picture of Mimi. She looks stunning. She's there with her fiance--they had just gotten engaged--celebrating his 23rd birthday at San Francisco's Playboy Club. The 1960s were swinging and they were young and in love.
Mimi is one of my mother's two long-term friends. She and my mom met working as telephone operators in San Francisco.
When I was little, I remember mom driving up to the city for regular afternoon visits with Mimi and Sweetpea, her pet cat. Sweetpea, named after Popeye and Olive Oyl's little one, was a very mellow kitty and let me pet her. I 'played' with Sweetpea while mom and Mimi caught up on things.
At some point in the 80s, Mimi and her hubby relocated to the wine country. Although I no longer saw much of Mimi, she would regularly send me a birthday card & book. I looked forward to the birthday books every year. Mimi steadily sent me books until I reached high school age. After that, she continued to send me cards. I treasured her contact & always made a point to respond with a thank-you note.
When Mimi's husband died five years ago, my mom called to share the sad news. I sent Mimi a condolence card. After moving back from Switzerland in 2015, I was living in a suburb where, incidentally, Mimi's sister-in-law lives. Mimi often came down to stay with her in-law, and during one of those visits we were able to meet up for a coffee. I hadn't seen Mimi in about thirty years. It was wonderful to see her, but strange as well. As a child, I had literally always looked up to her. This time, I was looking down at her. -such a strange shift in perspective. I felt I could scoop her up in my arms if need be. The things you don't forget about someone were still there: same voice, same stunning blue eyes, same humor. We chatted for over three hours. I guess that's just about one hour for every decade gone by. It was a tremendous visit.
When we moved to our current place two years ago, I invited Mimi to our housewarming. Long-term friends and family had been invited as well as a cast of newer acquaintances. Unfortunately, Mimi had fallen ill at the last minute and couldn't make it. I sent her a get-well card and filled her in on who all had been here and what folk were up to these days. Last year, I had another soiree at the house and again invited Mimi. She again fell ill and couldn't make it. I sent her another get-well card.
I had lunch with my mom a couple of weeks ago. She told me that Mimi had just gotten over a bout of pnenumonia. I sent Mimi a greeting card letting her know that I was thinking of her and glad she was on the mend.
My mother rang me today to let me know that Mimi had died in her sleep last night. I certainly wish I could have seen her one last time, but I am glad that she did not suffer. And I will very much miss our correspondence.