31 years ago, I met Aunt Pat.
She was Jim’s Aunt.
She was a very opinionated, self assured woman.
Unbelievably devoted to her.
I wondered if Aunt Pat really liked Jimmy, her nephew.
I mean, he was the anti Christ, the bad ass boy, the crazy nephew, who connected so easily with Uncle John.
Jim introduced us on a warm summer’s night, at Pat and John’s home.
“Yeah. Sure. Ok. Tea!”
Well, even that crazy Jim drank tea at Aunt Pat’s.
She was the family watch dog.
She reveled in her religion, her family history in the Railroad, and her job in NYC.
Jim warned me: If Aunt Pat doesn’t like you, you will know it immediately.
I am nothing special.
I am a displaced Mid Westerner, who happened to run into Jimmy, Aunt Pat’s nephew.
I never felt at ease with Pat.
However, John was the exception.
If only I could get him to meet me at the nearby watering hole, we could have a blast.
Well, that never happened.
I married Jimmy.
We moved away.
And many years later, returned to the PA/NJ area.
Pat had not changed.
She was full of piss and vinegar and opinions.
Pat died today.
She suffered from alzheimers for the past 5 years.
I don’t think she knew that her nephew, Jimmy, preceded her in death.
And now: John?
I have a feeling he will follow her, in death, very shortly.
When 2 people have a special bond, and have lived together for decades, the will to live is no longer there.
They want to die together, as they had lived together.
I don’t know if Pat will have a memorial service, a funeral or what.
That is not important right now.
It’s John, alone, without Pat after all these years.
Life is fleeting.
50 years ago?
Seems like yesterday.
And then, suddenly, one day, it is over.
Are you living every minute, every hour, every day to its fullest?
If not, remember Pat and John.
They enjoyed a long life together.
And when sickness kicked in, in the last stage of their lives, they never gave up.
Life is worth living, if you have that special person with you, to love.
Tonight, everything has changed.
That is the way life evolves.
Good bye Pat.
Hang in there, John.
You had a special relationship:
and in health….