"Az me redt zich arop fun hartsen, vert gringer." --- When one pours out his heart, he feels lighter.
"You know what I did for myself for my birthday? I called Molly Blank." Nanny has talked about Molly Blank, an old friend from New York. They were a group of 5 wives of pharmacists, who became friends sharing recipes, books, life transitions of children growing up, and their own life transitions of moves, divorces and retirement. Nanny moved to Florida in the 80s with Meyer Berklehammer, her great love and second husband. In 2006, Nanny and Meyer moved to Northern California, near their children. Along the way, Nanny had lost touch with Molly.
"We haven't talked in 40 years, I guess. But I just wanted to see if she's still alive. You know, here there are people, but there isn't anyone to talk to about the past. You know, there isn't anyone who knows you, who knows your people, who knows... so for my birthday, I just decided to try and see, see if she would remember me.... and remember with me."
About a year ago, I tried to track down an old friend, Sylvia, to no avail. At 98, I imagined that this call might lead to news of another person who had passed away or perhaps at a stage of dementia that would make conversation impossible.
"And?" I asked biting my lip with anticipation worried that this day of celebration- her first alone in over 30 years as Meyer, her husband who would have been 99 in March just passed away in November- might have begun with more loss... Nanny, an artful storyteller reveled in the dramatic tension...
"Someone, maybe a caregiver, answered the phone." Phew, Molly's alive, relief! "I introduced myself and explained that I had known her a long time ago. The caregiver left to relay the message to her. And then she came on the phone, I could recognize from her voice that it was her. She said, 'Hello, it's Molly.' I said, "Molly, it's Faye!" and she said, "Yes, yes, Faye. This isn't a good time, can you call me at 11am tomorrow?" So, I will call her tomorrow at 11, but she remembered me, I think. Well, we'll see. Anyway, honey, this is "Az me redt zich arop fun hartsen, vert gringer." It's talk that's good for the heart.