This is Bert with Walt’s mother Pauline who is a nurse. Decades before, when Walt was only five, Pauline sought a rare divorce from her husband following a bout with a patient-related infection and influenza. Ridden with grief and guilt, Pauline propelled away from her son and her support system and made amends in an overflowing city orphanage.
But many a Friday afternoon Pauline boards the train in Trenton New Jersey and travels the two hours in order to spend the weekend with her son’s sweet family, especially since the birth of the girl baby. Pauline pulls the baby up on her lap, facing her. “B-U-T-T-O-N-S,” says Pauline, pointing one by one to the row of fabric-covered buttons on her brocade dress. “B-U-T-T-O-N-S,” she repeats, while the baby fingers the buttons and coos in delight. In a few months the girl baby will nickname her beloved grandmother T.T.s.