Ethel peered into the mirror then pinched herself. It was like looking back in time. Her hair which had been white and wispy was again a thick chestnut brown. Her face smoothed out, and the wrinkles were gone. For the first time, she realized that she had walked down the hall without taking the walker, and the aches and pains she had become accustomed too were not there. Slowly she lifted the hem of her gown to look at her legs. Her ankles were shapely, no longer filled with fluid. The skin, smooth and there wasn’t a vein to be seen. Ethel twirled in a circle and squealed with delight!
“I don’t know what happened Maddy, but what a gift! I look exactly as I did at your age! Oooh! What are we going to do today!”
Maddy was perplexed, “Don’t you think we should figure out why this happened?”
“No.” Ethel said firmly. “Maddy, I am 90 years old. I don’t know why this happened and I truly don’t care. I don’t know how long I’m going to be like this. I just want to enjoy every moment I get. Come now, lets go pain the town.”
Ethel sprinted off down the hall and before she could blink, Maddy heard the shower running. She shook her head, uncertain as to what to do. Should she call her mother? Bring her grandmother to the hospital? Who would believe her anyways? SHE would probably end up with Mimi in a room at the Hospital for the Living.
Mimi bounced back in her room, wearing just a towel. “What are you just standing there for! Let’s go!!!!” No matter what was happening, Mimi was determined to go out today. Maddy realized that Mimi was likely to be eaten alive, she hadn’t even driven in nearly ten years and she was pretty sure that the 1940’s were a little different than 2017. With that thought, Maddy high tailed it into gear.
After she had gotten ready, she walked back down to Ethel’s room. Ethel was face down across the bed still wearing just her towels.
“Mimi?” Maddy asked tentatively, fearing the worst.
“I have nothing to wear” Ethel moaned. Maddy started to giggle. “It’s not funny. I’m an old lady Maddy. Not only are all my clothes old lady clothes, none of them fit this body.”
“Come down to my room Mimi, I bet I have something that you can wear. We look to be about the same size.” Ethel scrunched her nose. “Come on” Maddy coaxed, “At least we can get you in something long enough to go shopping, okay?”
Ethel’s face lit up! She jumped off the bed and scurried to her closet. Crouching way down, she pulled out a cigar box that was crumbling around the corners. “I’ve been saving this for a rainy day” she exclaimed proudly! Opening the box, Maddy gasped. It was completely stuffed with cash.
“If I remember correctly, there should be about $5000 in here.”
“Mimi! You keep $5000 in a cigar box in your closet” Maddy cried out!
“Well of course dear” Ethel said, “Everyone knows that the banks aren’t trustworthy. You have to remember dear, the stock market crashed in 1929. Most folks we knew lost everything, but my daddy didn’t trust the banks and always kept our money stashed in secret places. It was his forward thinking that kept us from the poor house.”
Maddy’s eyes widened and her mouth curved into a smile. “Well then, I guess we are going shopping!”