Mom called when I got home. Mimi died a couple of days ago. Mimi is my one hundred year old great grandmother. She was probably the closest to my soul of all my relatives. Her spirit was overwhelming. She lived nextdoor to my grandparents in SantaBarbara, in a single floor house made in a Frank Lloyd Wright style. Though for the past few years she inhabited a bed in my grandparents home, her spirit was in her house. The back yard was a jungle, filled with all the stray animals that she left food out for. Inside her house was even more a jungle. She and my great grandfather had lived all over the world, and collect endless junk in their travels. It seems to run in our genes. I remember going through her stuff with her a couple of years ago, she wanted to make sure I had what I wanted before she died. The smell was so potent: dust, dirty dog and old woman. She gave me the handkerchif(?) that the nuns had made for her when she was little. There were hat pins, roosters and dolls of all sorts. The wonderful part of that day together was the stories she would tell about all her treasures and her life.
She was born in Norway, but her family came to America when she was young. They lived in SanFrancisco with many other Norweigen families, watch "I Remember Mama" to get a feel for it. She was up in the mountains during the fire of 1906, and watched the city of SanFrancisco burn from her bedroom window. She descriubed to me waking up in the middle of an earthquake, looking out her window and seeing city hall fall to the ground and flames rise up in its place.
She was always a trouble maker, the town bad-girl. "I was always different; not because I wanted to be but because I felt that way.", this was one of the last things she said to me. She left home when she was very young, married to a marine at sixteen. They traveled all around the world together.
Her amazing life character did not fail her in her old age. She played the organ, took up brail, started to sculpt though nearly blind and learned to play chess.
I have endless stories to tell about Mimi, no doubt she will get her own page, but I wanted to have a chance to be with her for a while. She was a role model for me all my life, I will feel lost without her. All I can say is that I hope the reason that the last couple of days have been so amazing for me,that I have been feeling so forfilled, is because some of her spirit has entered me and will live on inside me forever.
Mimi, I love you.