I apologize for the harsh title of this blog, but it is just the cold, hard truth. I’m thankful for this blog as I try to put my thoughts into any semblance of order.
Her name was Patty Sue. She was six years younger than I. She was the baby of five girls.
I don’t remember much about her when I was growing up. Everyone loved her, especially our dad, and although I don’t remember this, I was probably jealous; she got all the attention.
When I married, she was thirteen and insignificant in my daily life. She was just my little sister. She was always adorable, and everyone called her sweet. I’m sure she mush have been annoying, but I have no memory of being upset with her.
Our adult relationship began when she married her high school sweetheart. I had a four-year-old son and a baby girl, lived thirty miles in the country, and although I didn’t see her often, I stopped at her new little home when I was in town. She always had fresh cookies and was glad to see me.
Her first marriage didn’t work. At the age of twenty-three she remarried, and from that point we were very close.
We took classes in calligraphy, learned to weave wheat, loved to go to Vegas, and we helped each other raise children. We were friends, and my memories are endless; holidays, camping at Lake McConauhay, going to garage sales, Easter sunrise services, hanging wallpaper, crafts, sewing, etc., etc. We were there for each other.
When her second marriage ended, our relationship shifted. I wasn’t the support she needed. I thought she was making a mistake, and I sat on the fence. It was a dark time.
When she established a life with her true love, we slowly began to build a new relationship. She moved and I saw her less. Holidays, special events, and time with our parents kept us connected.
I always knew she was nicer, kinder, and sweeter than me or my older sisters. When I spent the night at her Longmont home, she had a Jennifer Room and would always put a little vase of flowers on the nightstand. She had coffee ready for me in the morning and made sure there were baked goodies to devour. Her house smelled of, “Come in and sit down – you are always welcome. I love you!” I spent many days and nights being pampered by Patty in her warm and cozy homes.
She supported my educational endeavors and was the test pilot for various assessments I was learning to administer and interpret. Mainly, she was in her kitchen cleaning, cooking something healthy and tasty, or making concoctions of potions, lotions, soaps, air freshening crystals, or snacks. She was artistic and always busy.
She died on February 1, 2017 at the ago of sixty-four. After three months, I feel a little more like myself, but after she fought so hard and followed every directive, her death remains surreal. It is a battle to admit she’s dead. Her quiet knowing, her kind green eyes, and her calm approach to life is a big, big loss. Honoring her request, she was cremated on February 6th, and her ashes will be sprinkled on a beach.
I know guilt is naturally attached to most deaths, but I didn’t feel it when my parents died in 2007 because I saw them nearly every day, and I emotionally prepared to outlive my parents. It is normal. With Patty, even though I loved her and did so many things with her, I feel guilty (the difference between what I did and what I think I should have done) for not doing and being more. I judge myself as not being enough – I did’t live up to my standards, realistic or imagined.
Today, I see her rosy cheeks, sweet smile, and sparkling eyes flitting around in the body of a little yellow bee. She is buzzing from flowers, to the beach, and to parties. She transformed from her earthly power animal, a turtle, to a heavenly little angel bee.
My sister Zella, who was too frail to travel to the funeral, said, “Patty was with me, she was here all day. She came and helped me clean my house, just like always.”
What I know for sure: I think God could have a better plan for death. I believe Patty is in heaven, but still, I am angry she is not here. She loved living.
God Bless Her!
Until the next time: Live while you live!