A vase of lilies sits amidst medical paraphernalia used to keep Elaine Stritch’s diabetes in check. Her caretaker has just arranged the flowers and set them in the middle of the kitchen table – flowers I brought her as a token of gratitude for inviting me into her Birmingham, Mich., home, and because it’s almost Valentine’s Day – and Stritch can see them just fine even without her oversized specs.
“Oh, they’re beautiful, Chris. I happen to love them,” she gushes. “They’re just the kind of flowers I dig. Small bouquet. White. Everything.” She stares longer, pondering and admiring, and then turns her eyes playfully toward me.
“I’ll bet you got a little help.”