Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I have resisted writing a new entry because it would mean that the entry about my Aunt Mimi's death would disappear from the page. Somehow that would make her feel all the more gone, and I'm not ready for that. So I wanted to write something else about her to keep her memory alive in this space.

Every time we went to Mimi's apartment in Park Forest South when I was a girl, my sister and I would play Tiddly Winks (using the same brand of set found in this picture.) I have such vivid memories of sitting on the floor in Mimi and Bob's olive green guest bedroom and playing the game--I remember the dusty smell of the little felt squares, the click of the plastic disks against one another, the satisfying thunk I felt in my hand and chest when the large disk made the small disk fly towards the target, and the higher, brighter clink I felt inside when the disk landed in one of the plastic scoring bins. I rarely hit the bullseye, but when I did, I was flooded with happiness. Mimi would come into the room to check on us, bringing a snack or a drink. She was always so proud of us, no matter what we did--even if we missed the entire Tiddly Winks target, she was proud of us. We would often perform in her living room, do little songs and dances for Mimi and the other gathered relatives, and Mimi always cheered the loudest. My dad said recently that Mimi had a child's pleasure in the world, and that's true; she was truly joyful. And generous.

I remember her sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. I remember the Cream of Wheat she made for me when I wasn't feeling well. I remember her console television set, the collage of family photos on the walls, the powdery floral scent of her bathroom. She and my uncle Bob, who died a few years ago, always sounded like cartoon characters to me--his voice reminded me of Winnie the Pooh; her voice reminded me of some sweet character that hadn't been invented yet--she would be a bird, probably. I like to think of her as a bird now--a Mimi bird with platinum feathers and the loveliest song.

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