Happy Hour with My Auntie Pat

3 Nov

So some of you know and some of you may not know what’s going on in my life right now.  It tears my heart out to think about but I want to blog about it so I remember some of the funny things about this experience.

First let me tell you about my Great Auntie Pat. She’s 83 and one of the sharpest people I know.  She can remember anything and everything about everyone.  One of my favorite things is that she loves my school stories and remembers them ALL better than me!  She is a florist and an amazing one at that.  She does flowers for the Rose Festival Association which she has been a part of for years since my Great Uncle was a Rosarian.  Those are her “people”.  She did the flowers for my wedding this past July and her grandson’s just two weeks later.

My mom has done her same “curls on top of her head” hair style for over 4o years.  When my mom took time off to raise us kids, Auntie Pat would come over to the house to get her hair set, dried, and styled.  I loved to sit with her at the table while she was getting it done and hold her bobby pins while telling her lots of stories.  She is like a 3rd grandmother to me and a great one at that!

I once told her that when I was older I was just going to stock my cupboards with paperplates because I didn’t want to do the dishes.  She still gets a kick out of that story.  She made sure to tell me the other day that when I get her China (she was not happy that wasn’t an item on my registry) to hand wash it and she was sorry I had to do that.  I said I didn’t care about that.  She said, “Well you could just stick a paperplate right on top of it!”  Love that sassy lady!  She was a huge help to my mom when my father passed away and mom had to go back to work.  She would pick us up from school or home to take us to appointments, dance lessons, baton lessons, or anything else that my mom couldn’t make.

Last May she invited me to go to the wholesale flower market with her to pick out some flowers for my wedding.  I needed to be at her house by 5:30am on the button!  Actually on time to her is about 20 minutes early so I made sure it was a little BEFORE 5:30.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  We walked into this HUGE warehouse and it was like walking into “Cheers!”  EVERY single person that worked there said, “Hi Pat! This must be your niece that’s getting married!”  They LOVED her!  She went there at least every other day if not every.  She loved them too.

My mom called me last Tuesday to break some bad news to me.  Auntie Pat has cancer.  I freaked, I panicked, and it brought back HORRIBLE memories of when my Nannie passed away from cancer too.  She had no other information for me except that she was going to visit her at the hospital and comb her hair for her as she hadn’t had it done in at least a week! (she had gone in because she was super weak and feeling ill).  For the next 24 hours I begin to form a list of about 1,000 questions to ask my mom when she called to give me an update.  Unfortunately when the call came in Wednesday night, those questions didn’t need to be answered.  “It will only be a few days,” she said.  I freaked again.  This time UGLY cry came out as my friend Jessica calls it.  And that is the perfect name.  I was devastated beyond belief.  Why does this keep happening?!?!

So Thursday came and I knew I needed to make a trip to see her if nothing else than to say good-bye.  I had another ugly cry right before I went in out of fear of what she would look and act like.  I  was reassured she would look fine.  And that is exactly right.  You couldn’t tell a thing was wrong.  She was cracking jokes left and right.  We stayed for a few hours that night.  When we went to leave you could tell she was grinding on a few things she wanted to make sure were taken care of.  We asked how we could help her to relax and not worry about things.  What could we do for her?  Her response, “I do need to figure out how to transfer all my airline miles…lord knows where I am going I won’t be needing them!”  Then she cracks up laughing!  It was hard to believe that she was that sick.  That Friday she was moved to a Hospice House.  We visited Sunday, Tuesday and again last night.  She is still witty and makes me laugh with every word out of her mouth.  Sunday she even got out of bed and into a chair to have her hair combed again because the transferring had “messed up her hair.”   The nurse came in and scolded her for not telling them she wanted in the chair so they could do it and not Auntie Pat’s son.  Her response to the nurse, “Well I mean there wasn’t any room in here for you so sorry!”  We all just laughed including the nurse.

We got a good laugh because last night I was in the room alone with her while others were in the family room eating dinner.  The Boy texted me clearly forgetting where I had told him I was going earlier (or maybe I forgot to tell him?).  The text read, “Are you at Happy Hour?” (sad that he just assumes that!) I read Auntie Pat the text knowing she’d have something to say about that.  She responded with a big laugh, “Is that what this is called?”  So I responded to him, “yes, with Auntie Pat!”  She loved that.  Thought it was hysterical and I am sure she has told each and everyone of her visitors today.  She’s slowly decreasing in her strength but other than that she’s still a sassy old lady and I love her so much!

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One Response to “Happy Hour with My Auntie Pat”

  1. Sandy November 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    She makes me smile – you too – How blessed you both are.
    Hugs
    Sandy

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