No, Not THAT Mrs. Robinson
When I woke up this morning, I was thinking about my friend, Mrs. Robinson. She was my friend’s mother, but we became close friends.
Mrs. Robinson was both a very cool lady with a great sense of humor and kind of a curmudgeon. She was probably a contemporary of my mother, so when I was about 28 or 29, she was in her 60s. That was a very new experience for me.
Girl, Call Me Wilma
We were always talking on the phone. About everything and nothing, you know? And laughing about something silly. She had an opinion about a lot of different things. Mrs. Robinson was the first friend in her age group I had ever had.
One day – out of nowhere – she said, “Call me Wilma.” WHAAAT?? “Aren’t we friends?” “Well, yeah, we’re friends, but I certainly can’t call you Wilma! If my mother EVER heard that I was calling someone your age – no offense – by her first name, there is no telling WHAT she will do to me!” “Well, we won’t tell her.”
When we talked, I called her Mrs. Robinson. When I thought of her, I called her Wilma.
Remembering . . .
Wilma had a really serious case of Type 2 Diabetes. Overnight, she seemed to go from hale and hearty to sometimes deathly ill, and as time passed her life began to change because of it. One day Bert told me Wilma was going into the hospital to have one of her toes amputated. No one else knew. I’d never heard of anything like that before! Jeez, what Wilma must have been going through! I was kinda devastated.
Over the next few years, a couple more toes were amputated. Then one day Wilma called me and said the doctors wanted to amputate her leg! It was such a scary statement, I didn’t know what to say. Say? I didn’t know what to think.
Will You Still Love Me?
You know, the whole thing was just chilling to me. Kinda like a horror movie come to life, with all these quick-moving bright colors and slow-moving, heavy dark colors, with blasting and reverberating sounds. Except this wasn’t a horror movie, it was true.
As our conversation went on about other subjects, she suddenly asked me, “After they take my leg, will you still love me?”
WOW! Where’d THAT come from?!
“Of course, I’ll still love you, Mrs. R.” Neither of us said anything for what seemed like a loooooooong time.
Then I Heard Myself Talking
“You aren’t your leg, you know. And I don’t love you because you have legs. I love you because you’re you. You just happen to come with legs. Whatever it is that makes you you isn’t contained in your legs. I know THAT much. When they took your toes, you didn’t stop being you, and you didn’t become any less you. You didn’t become LESS yourself as each toe was removed. So, I won’t stop loving you if you won’t stop being my good friend Wilma (and don’t ever let Ma know I called you that!) just because they cut off your leg!”
Happy Birthday, Wilma
We didn’t stop being friends, and I didn’t stop loving her.
Today would have been her birthday.
Happy Birthday, Wilma! I still love you. God bless you!