Wednesday, March 26, 2014

BSC 26: Claudia and the Sad Good-bye

By Ann M. Martin. Published August 1989.

Awww. Y’all.

Claudia and Mimi have their special tea together one last time, and it’s sweet. Then Mimi gets all confused about making dinner, and it’s sad. It’s also sad when she yells at Mallory for some crazy reason, and then gives her a gift.

At the meeting, they get a call from Mrs. Addison, whom they’ve only sat for a couple of times. She wants Claudia to give her daughter, Corrie, art lessons. Dawn says the kids are way overschedules. But Claudia loves the idea. However, since in BSC-land nothing can be done on a small scale, she decides to hold a class for a lot of kids. Classes will be on Saturdays, and Mary Anne will assist.

That night at dinner, Mimi faints, and they call for an ambulance. At the hospital, they’re not exactly sure what’s wrong, but they think it has something to do with her blood. It takes them a couple of days to try giving her a blood transfusion, and it seems to do the trick. Mimi gets to go home.

Mimi has to stay in bed, though, and Claudia gets the job of taking care of her. She gets a little put out about it, and is rude to Mimi. She’s really sorry about it, but she’s tired of being Mimi’s maid.

The next day is the first art class, and there are a total of seven kids. Corrie gets dropped off early, and she feels badly about it. Claudia just lets the kids paint whatever they want for the first class. She thinks Corrie is really talented, and tells her so. Corrie confides that she really likes art, but not all the other classes she has to do. Corrie’s mom is half an hour late picking her up.

At their second class, Claudia announces they’ll be making puppets. Corrie says she’s going to make Nancy Drew, and she and Claud totes bond over that. Then Mimi wanders down to the basement, and faints again. Mary Anne takes charge of the kids, and Claudia and her family get Mimi to the hospital yet again.

Things go pretty much the same, they do another transfusion. But then she has horrible spasms of pain, and it takes a long time for anybody to give her some painkillers. Over the next few days, Mimi is all over the place emotionally, and gives away things to the girls. But the last time Claudia sees her, they tell each other they love one another. And then Mimi calls Claudia on her phone, and Claudia tells her about her art, and they say goodbye.

Claudia is woken up very early the next day by the sounds of her parents moving around. She goes into their room, and her mother tells her Mimi died not long ago.

Once it’s late enough, Claudia starts calling her friends to tell them. Mary Anne is very upset, of course. Stacey says of course she’ll be there for the funeral. Kristy says they can cancel that day’s meeting, but Claudia says she still wants to have it. Claudia puts her portrait of Mimi of up in the attic, because it feels like she’s watching her.

They have a very weird meeting. Janine sits in, and no one calls because word got around about Mimi. Nobody calls at Friday’s meeting either. After the meeting they go over to Mary Anne’s and have pizza and tell Mimi stories. It sounds like a good night.

The next day is the funeral, and Claudia says she basically feels like a stone. But she’s glad to see Stacey. Afterwards, everybody congregates at Claudia’s house, and the girls go into the den. They don’t know if it’s ok to laugh or not. It sounds like how it is after a lot of funerals.

When Claudia goes back to school the next week, everyone aside from the BSC is weird and won’t talk to Claudia. The girls figure it’s because they don’t know what to say, or that they maybe realize they could lose someone themselves.

Claudia is glad when Saturday and the art class comes around. She’s happy to see Corrie, who of course is early, and gets picked up late. But she says she’s going to give her puppet to her mom to please her.

We get a chapter at a meeting where we kind of get an update on a couple of things. Kristy’s grandmother, Nannie, has moved into the mansion to help take care of Emily Michelle. I had almost forgotten they had even adopted her. Mary Anne’s dad and Dawn’s mom are still dating, quite a bit, and Sharon’s seeing the Trip-Man less. They wonder why they don’t just get married. Jessi talks about the upcoming auditions for Swan Lake (don’t get me started on that). Claudia talks about how she and Corrie have clicked.   Kristy warns Claudia that she might be filling a hole with Corrie, and tells her not to just drop her.

Claudia’s grades are even worse than usual, but nobody seems to notice.

The kids finish their puppets, and Corrie is excited to give hers to her mom. But she calls and says she’ll be an hour and a half late. Corrie gives the puppet to Claudia instead.

Janine starts going through Mimi’s things, and Claudia gets all sorts of bent out of shape. She even yells that she hates Mimi. Her parents talk with her, and all her feelings come out. She feels like Mimi just gave up and left them, and she feels guilty for not being so nice to her, so maybe that’s why she wanted to die. Her parents calm all her feelings though. It’s a pretty good chapter.

At the next art class, they start working on collages. Mrs. Addison actually show up early, so she can send Corrie and her brother off to the ice show with a baby-sitter, while she and her husband enjoy some alone time. Claudia totally like, what the fuck? Claudia lays it down for her, and tells her how Corrie feels bad being left there all the time, and that she feels unimportant. It seems to knock a bit of sense into her, and she says she’ll go the ice show with the kids herself. How gracious of you.

Claudia has been working on a collage about Mimi in secret for a while, and she’s finally done with it. She gets up the courage to show it to her friends and family, and of course, everyone loves it. They hang it up in Mimi’s old room.

Mary Anne and the kids kick Claudia out of the next class, saying they have a surprise for her. At the end they let her in, and they’ve made a mural collage for Mimi. Claudia says they’ll hang it up in Mimi’s room, too. And Corrie has a special present for Claudia. She made a sketch of Claudia.

In the end, Claudia gets the portrait of Mimi out of the attic and puts it back in her room.

o   They have Mimi’s burial before the service. I haven’t been to a ton of funerals, but I’ve never heard of this before.

o   I don’t know where we are in the timeline. Following the publishing chronologically, this is directly after Summer Vacation. But there’s no talk about starting a new school year or anything. But they are definitely in school during this book. Maybe they were just trying to smoothly skip over the fact that they were starting eighth grade again.

o   I like that Claudia wonders who sat for all the kids during the funeral. She realizes they’re not the only sitters in Stoneybrook.

o   For all Kristy’s talk about not dropping Corrie, she kind of does. We don’t really hear from the Addisons much after this, do we?

1 comment:

  1. I've been to several funerals. The last three both had a viewing and burial before the funeral. One was suicide; he shot himself in the head. I think that would have been a closed casket anyway.

    Having been to both, I prefer the burial before. I know that funeral directors can do impressive things to get a body ready and the care that must go into that is amazing, but the body is still dead and just doesn't look right. When I go, I want the burial before the funeral.