It wasn't that I had forgotten. It's just that I hadn't had to remember. But there she was, a little girl jumping and giggling and running and shouting in Wednesday's downpour.
When I was young and it poured humongous cats and dogs, Florence would send me out in maybe rain boots, maybe sneakers to play in the storm. I'd race around the empty courtchyard and jump and dance and skip and stick my face up into thunder and wind.
As of her decline deepened, the months and months and months turned into years and years, and to pass the time we would watch Singing In The Rain over and over and over again. The blessing of dementia allowed it to be an exciting revisit, one she didn't realize had just happened the week before.
Today, quickly snapping a picture as I futilely raced against getting soaked and miserably wet, I wondered if her quirky idea of playtime came from that passionate dance Gene Kelly did when he realized he was in love.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.