Remember when I mentioned that phenomenal kid of mine? We were talking about this Blog on Thanksgiving evening and she reminded me of when she was 11.
By 1973, as fate would have it, we lived 3 blocks above the Bethany Home instead of across the street. She came home one day and asked if she could invite her new friend Nancy to Tea. I said she could. She set the day about 3 days out. On the appointed day, she helped me set out the tea tray and left to go get Nancy. I was picturing an afternoon of giggling girls enjoying the 'grown up' tea.
I was on the porch when I saw Terri come up the hill and turn down our street. I didn't see Nancy at first. She was behind Terri and moving much, much slower because she was at least, a hundred years old!!! She had on a fantastic, red Chanel suit. It even had the gold chain belt. Every silver hair was in place. She was walking slowly because of her advanced age and the high heels she was wearing. Naturally, Terri got to the house first so, I had time to ask her who Nancy was. "She's a lady I visit every day when I go down to Bethany Home."
I asked if she had told anyone Nancy was leaving. She said she hadn't. Panic set in but I helped Nancy up the stairs to the house and welcomed her to tea at our home. Nancy was so sweet. One could tell she was a little fuzzy but so cute. She knew her last name when I asked. She was so pleased to be having tea with her little friend. I sat them down with tea and scones. I excused myself to make a phone call. I called The Bethany Home and told them if they were looking for Nancy she was at my house and explained the situation.
As soon as I said my daughter Terri had invited her, the woman on the other end told me they all loved her down at the Bethany Home. (I didn't even know she went to the home!!) They said they'd come up and get Nancy right away.
I looked in the living room and saw the two of them having such a charming time. I asked if it was okay for them to postpone picking Nancy up for about an hour. They were so nice about it. They came an hour later and acted as if they knew all along where Nancy had been.
Terri rode home with her and walked back. When she got back, she told me she walked down to the home almost every day and visited certain people. There was the bedridden lady with no family, a tall man that stood in his doorway paying passersby dollar bills to listen to him sing ("I don't take the dollar bills Mom.") and Nancy among others. She said she didn't think Nancy got any visitors either.
The Bethany Home people called in the next few days to thank me for calling them and alerting them to how easy it was for someone to leave without notice. They encouraged me not to blame Terri and said she was always welcome.
She's going to be 47 next week and she is still a sucker for us old people.