Visiting with Mrs. Naomi
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006
She looks rather small and frail in her bed at the Luverne Health and Rehab, but her spirit is anything but.
As I tiptoed into her room last week, she was half asleep, so I really hated to awaken her. But, as she opened her eyes and saw me, that familiar gleam in her eye came to light.
“Well, where have you been?”
I felt like a scolded child.
“I'm sorry, Mrs. Naomi. I've been so busy lately, but I know that's no excuse for not coming to see you.”
Mrs. Naomi Killough is one of my most favorite people. Ever since I met her at the Luverne Health and Rehab last January, she and I became fast buddies.
She is 89 years young, and will celebrate her 90th birthday on Feb. 5.
She married in 1933 at the age of 16.
“Do you think that was too young?” she asked me one time, as if I had any fountain of wisdom that I could possibly bestow on her.
Of course not, I told herŠmost people married at that age back then.
We talked about Halloween and what she did as a child.
“We didn't go trick-or-treatingŠ.we didn't have it then that I rememberŠ.Halloween is a kid's thingŠI don't think it's too much for the adults.”
She quickly changes the subject to a long-ago Christmas Eve when she was a child.
“We would go sing carols, and one time the people didn't want us there, so we got shot at.”
After being totally caught off guard by that remark, I started laughing thinking about that image in my mind.
Somehow, the conversation changed to our favorite movies.
“You know, I went to the movie theatre to see ‘Gone With the Wind' when it first came out,” she told me excitedly. “I saw the first showing of it here in Luverne.”
And, what was her favorite part about “Gone With the Wind”?
“Oh, Clark Gable was my sweetheart,” she said, with a mischievous grin and a twinkle in her eye. “But nobody knew itŠ. He was a good-looking thing.”
I couldn't disagree with her on that.
“I had two sons at that time, and someone babysat them while I went to see it.”
I sat on the edge of the bed and read her my latest column and told her how Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, was doing. Then I related the entire snake-in-the-house incident with great dramatic flair.
“Oh, my goodness!” she said with eyes wide, laughing. “That snake was probably looking for a warm place to get.”
Yea, but not in my house.
Another change of subject.
“You stay too busy,” she said. “You always have some place to go.”
I know, but that's okay, I assured her.
We talk some more, some really serious stuff.
But that's just between Mrs. Naomi and me.
Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.