Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mimi Van Winkle


"I love to sleep."  If I've heard her say it once, I've heard it a thousand times.  My mother can almost fall asleep on command.  There is Van Winkle blood flowing through her veins.

My sister, Kathy, and I used to tease mother about her ability to fall asleep while getting her teeth cleaned or waiting for her tires to be rotated.  We truly believed that general anesthesia during surgery would be a waste of money because The Meems would fall into a deep, wild-dreamed sleep before the surgeon had time to gown up for the procedure.

Now that Mom is a Lady of Leisure - because living at Raider Ranch is like living in a "resort hotel" - she has taken sleep to a whole new level.  She takes her shower right after dinner and heads to bed around 8:00.  She tells us that she lies there awake until about 11:00.  That is utter nonsense.  We've seen how she falls asleep when the lights go down in a movie theatre.  

At Raider Ranch, the residents are supposed to push a button in their apartments every morning by a certain time to let the receptionist-on-duty know that they are still members of the Land of the Living.  Mimi's bladder wakes her up just before the...uh...deadline (couldn't resist).  She pads into the bathroom and pushes the button which is conveniently located just above the toilet paper holder.  

Yesterday, I went by to see her.  I go over weekly to check on how many of her daily pills she dropped on the floor or left in the Sunday-Friday box entirely.  I also needed to see how her new pair of jeans was fitting after some alterations.

I called ahead from my car.

"Mom, sorry to wake you!  I know that it's only 11:00, but I need to come over now because it's next on my map of errands."

"ok"  (tiny voice)

"I'll be there in 20 minutes, so go ahead and leap out of bed and jump into those new jeans before I get there!"


"Be ready when I get there!  So commence to leaping and jumping!"


She was still in her robe and gown when I got there.  "What jeans?"  "I have new jeans?"

While she was tediously putting on said jeans she looked up at me and grinned.  "Guess what time I woke up on Monday?!"

She usually sleeps until 11:00ish.  "Hmmm.  Let me think...  Noon?!"

"Nope!  I slept until 4:30!"  We're talking PM people.  She was actually bragging.

My jaw dropped.  "Did you have fever?"  "Were you feeling poorly?"  "Were you restless during the night?"  I started studying her face for a slack jaw or half-closed eye.  She seemed just fine.

"No!  I just slept because I love to sleep."

That line in the song Silent Night is actually referring to Mimi Van Winkle.

Sleep in heavenly peace.  
Sleep in heavenly peace.  

The rest of us will stand watch over you while you Dance with the Stars and chase babies down the street in your new dress.

And so, she sleeps.

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