Mimi and Bobby McGee

bowling off a rampMy husband was playing tunes off his iPad last night while I was helping Mimi finish her dinner. Mimi usually watches Vanna “turn” letters on “Wheel of Fortune” while she chows down … but not tonight.

“Do you remember years ago we’d crank up the record player and dance around the room with the kids,” Rick said.

I nodded. All our kids are grown now. Mimi, our special needs daughter, is the only one home.

I remember way back then we’d get Mimi in the act when a particular song called for twirling and dipping. Rick would gather Mimi up into his arms and twirl away. Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and “Rhythm of the Saints” albums were her favorites. I can still hear Mimi cackle as Rick, sweat dripping down his face, would finally deposit her back into her wheelchair. Then another song she loved would start up. Mimi would reach for her dad and say, “again.” Some of the great old music brings back those growing-up days.

The song Rick played next on his iPad got Mimi’s attention. It was “Me and Bobby McGee” written by Kris Kristofferson and over the years sung by lots of artists. The version we were currently swaying to was by Janis Joplin recorded way back in 1970. I think the only word Mimi heard in the song was “Bobby.”

There is a Mr. Bobby at the day center Mimi attends during the week. Every Tuesday he drives the bus to bowling for Mimi’s class. It’s her absolute favorite day of the week … as with probably every special needs adult at the day center. Each Tuesday afternoon when Mimi returns home are met with lots of high fives.

“Did you beat the boys at bowling?” I ask.

She raises one hand to deposit a very high five. Life should be so simple that a game like bowling can cause so much joy … and a song about Bobby McGee reminds us of how we got there.

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