Names I Remember and Names That I Don’t by Margaret Bartimole

I have come to talk about Mitsy and all that she means.

Mitsy is old. Mitsy is 92. Mitsy lives in a retirement home.

This is not an blog about a spunky old woman who taught me how to live fully, or how a wise woman showed me what it means to be happy through pain. This is about Mitsy. A woman who is quiet and kind and and wears dresses with pockets and she’s changed me only because she’s awakened my quietness and ability to be comfortable in my own silences. She prefers her walker to the wheelchair because she plans to leave soon, and she wants to practice progress. We don’t have a very deep connection, Mitsy and I. She remembers my name and I remember hers though, and that is more than I can say for most people in the world, most people that I’ve met.

I think that’s really all it is.
I get filled when I hear that someone has remembered my name.

All the people I have met have given me a reason to think even softer than usual. Nora was asked if she would behave for an aid today, and she responded, ‘I guess today I will’. How silly it is to think that being 80 equates to being out of control, out of patience, out of things to say.

Walter, in the section locked, so that the *patronizing whisper* “confused” folk don’t wander, always falls asleep during his haircuts, and wakes up and says “Howdy Doody” to himself, or to me, or to the world, because he is there.

There is another woman, who strikes me as beyond beautiful, who said she only came here because she wanted her children to quit their worrying, but she had to leave her beautiful balcony, her pots of peonies, but she keeps her pink and yellow dresses and big paper earrings.

I wish I remembered her name too.

I wonder if she remembers mine.

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