“Jane, Jane! get over here right now, it’s time for your insulin,” a woman in a blue jumpsuit yelled impatiently. The woman was in fact a nurse from a neighboring facility helping out for the day, and had no idea she was in the presence of greatness. The woman continued to yell across the room until another nurse came over to clear up the problem.
“Try saying Zsa-Zsa, instead of Jane,” she recommended helpfully. And with that the nurse threw her hands up in the air, and wondered why she had agreed to work in the Alzheimer’s unit for the day.
“Zsa-Zsa, it’s time for your insulin!” and with that the woman in dark glasses turned and looked at the woman for the first time.
“Are you addressing me madam,” she sarcastically replied, appalled that someone would simply yell her name out and expect her to snap to attention like a dog. The woman was an American however, and she took this into account as she wheeled over to see what all the commotion was about.
“What could be so urgent,” she asked, as the woman grabbed her by the arm and began preparing her for an insulin shot. But she let it go this time, and thought about the exotic life she must have led that she was paying for now. She couldn’t at the time exactly remember the exotic details, but she knew who she was and that was enough. Jane had in fact been born in
, and was by anyone’s account a great beauty in her own right. But Jane didn’t interest her anymore and now she had decided that she was in fact the great Zsa Zsa Gabor. Hungary
Following her insulin shot she began wheeling her way back to the television set, hoping to catch a glimpse of herself on TV so she could admire the woman she once had been. Before she had become Zsa Zsa, Jane had been a wife and a mother and had taken care of her family all of her life without ever worrying about herself. Now, at the age of 83 her mind had appeared to right this horrible injustice and she believed, with every fiber of her being, that she was in fact Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Her children, who came to visit often, were at first amused by their mother’s antics and then began to grow more concerned. She demanded they provide her with scarfs and wraps and jewelry and they had nearly cleaned out the costume jewelry shops trying to placate their mother’s demand that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”
You she Zsa Zsa had given up everything for her children, and they felt that they owed her at this late stage of her life. They knew they had often been selfish children, and even when their mother was working two jobs to support the family, they always demanded more from her and now it seemed they were getting their comeuppance.
Her daughter Karen was especially appreciative of her mother, and when the annual “King and Queen” contest in the nursing home began, she thought of a way she might pay her mother back. You see the nursing home had started a tradition a couple of years back where they announced a King and Queen every year from among the residents that was voted on by the staff, residents, as well as the family members of the people in the facility. The award was usually given to friendly and cooperative residents of the facility, and Karen new her mother had very little chance of being elected by those qualifications.
So slowly she began to hatch her plan, at first slipping an entire booklet of ballots into her purse which she then brought home and filled out with her mother’s name on it. Over the next few weeks she continued to stuff the ballot box until she was sure she had at least given her mother a good chance to win.
A couple of weeks later at the annual coronation, Karen had dressed her mother up in all of her favorites. She had on her oversized dark glasses, her scarf, a boa, and Karen had even bought her some flowers in the event that she won the contest. When the time came to announce the winner Karen was extremely nervous, and then, finally the announcement came,
“And our Queen this year is, Jane Krackow,” the MC announced over the loudspeaker. But Jane made no attempt to move and she looked around with the other residents wondering who this person was. Karen laughed to herself and went and whispered something to the MC who then chuckled to himself and began again.
“It seems there was a small error, the winner this year is Zsa, Zsa Gabor,” the announcer boomed over the microphone.
And with that Zsa Zsa took the stage. As the MC wheeled her around the room for a victory lap, she threw flowers at the audience, and blew kisses, and even stopped a couple of times and offered her hand for the men in the audience to kiss. When it came time for her to make her speech she took the microphone from the MC and told everyone how she really just had “so many people she wanted to thank.”
Karen looked up and her mother with a sense of great amusement and pride, happy her mother had found some joy in her life after so many years of sacrifice.