The Apartment in Chicago
It was a quick trip, and worth going. Being with Mummy P. works in 20 minute spurts these days. She doesn't sleep much at night, so the day becomes her night, when she has to pick up all those missing hours. Saturday she slept in the car coming home from Burbank airport, slept most of the day away, had dinner, fell asleep on the sofa and then went to bed. Today was better, she was alert in the morning. Nefnik and Lilli came over and were there with her when Ducknik and Plot took a cab to the airport.
So you don't get a lot but you do treasure those little spurts. In one, this morning, she remembered how things were when she was newly married into a large family in Chicago. Those days are mysterious to Plotnik, he loves to hear about them, since he was only three months old when the family uprooted themselves and moved to L.A. It was nice to talk about Aunt Ann, a gracious woman who Plot never saw much but always cared for. All those Chicago relatives, and all the New York relatives, and Plottie and Schmeckl never really knew any of them. L.A. was a long way to come in the '40s and '50s.
So that was a nice little memory segment. The rest of the time was asking us over and over whether or not we'd eaten breakfast.
The thing is, nobody ever said getting old is gracious. But you can be gracious about it, and that's what Mummy P. does. Plot sits out on the patio and holds her arm and she says she knows she's not much fun anymore, but smiles and asks "what can I do about it?" She can't remember names or words, but she can remember driving around Chicago in 1936 with Aunt Ann. She can remember where her apartment was. She remembers her mother-in-law's mother, also named Rose. She can remember old Abe who carried a long horn that you had to shout into. She remembers the nice things people did and the nasty things they said, and her mother in law who helped her own two daughters but never her daughter in law, and her father selling candy on Maxwell Street, and then her face goes blank and she is silent and when Plotnik thinks she has fallen asleep she says "I was just thinking about that apartment."