my first memory of mimim was the night of her stroke
a night filled with despair and heartache for her family
a night of emotions that you never want to go through again
that's when i knew how much she was loved
and cared about, and how important she was to our family

fast-forward::::

on kelly street, we called it the little room
she heard me crying, there
(in her west indian accent)
she said: child come here, and
why you' cryin'?
(i was in 1st or 2nd grade at the time)
i explained to her that i did my homework wrong
and that there were no pages left
it was that standard b&w composition book
she said: give me the book and give me the pencil
and with her eyes covered with cataracts
and limited movement from the stroke
after feeling with her hands, bit by bit
without looking, she began to erase, bit by bit

It was a miriam lesson that i have carried
and saved me, all of my life

overcoming, a sense of powerlessness


fast-forward:::

a couple of years later
i was babysitter her, for when nana
made a run to john's bargain store
so i'm taking her to the bathroom
so holding hands
(we'd done this dozens of times)
she walks forward, i walk backwards
this time,
we're going down the long hallway
almost at the bathroom door
as i try to step back
she steps on my foot
and down we go

needless to say
in a few minutes
we were back on our feet
but here's the funny:

when nana hits the door
mimim firesoff
vi, vi, the boy tripped me
the boy tripped me
i started laughing
nana started, then mimim


she loved lawrence welk
on weekends, even if
she couldn't see it
but that was her weekend thing
and visits from her children
holiday on kelly street for us
was something of love

i learned a couple of my most valued lessons
from mimim

hope i was successful in conveying any


peace & love
every day

also

at least once a week
when mimim would inch down
the long hallway to get to the kitchen
where nana and I were
nana would start singing
the beauty pageant theme:

here she comes, miss America

if you could see mimim's face
by the time she reached the kitchen

a combination of glow, and humility,
love, and appreciation


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