Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The world was better for having you

This here lil blog o mine is meant to rely my thoughts on a number of things, mostly politics but really anything I feel like writing. I was told by a fellow blogger that she considered her's to be a 'JOURNAL OF THE MIND". I kinda liked that, so here is what's on my noggin.

This past Saturday January 10, 2009 we lost a member of our family. Our Aunt Pat died at the age of 71. She had been in a nursing home for a number of years due to the onset of dementia and the past month she had encountered a number of difficulties which required constant medical attention.

The easy and I guess humane thing to say is that she is at peace now, and she is no longer suffering.

When it's a member of your family though, and someone who made a positive impact on your life, it's never easy.

She was preceded in passing by our Uncle Marvin over 14 yrs ago and has left behind our cousin Matt and his 3 children , which she absolutely adored.

It's exceptionally hard, at least for me, as I get older to watch these people who I have been blessed to have in my life, grow old and frail. I still consider myself a " KID" around them because of the way I looked at them when I actually was young.

My Mom and Dad and my Aunts and Uncles were all larger than life to me with not only with them being taller than me, but with all the infusion of their personalities.

Personality was something my Aunt Pat had in spades!!!!!

Some of my earliest memories of childhood were going over to Marv and Pat's house over on Buckingham in Warren for holiday's and birthday parties. The one thing you could not escape from in that house was laughter, people were always laughing. Mostly from stories told at some other family members chagrin , and of course from the zingers tossed at everyone by everyone. If my Uncle Marv and his three brothers ever embellished a story, my Aunt was right there to correct them, sometimes using inappropriate language in Polish to do so. She had grown up in the same neighborhood as the fellas, so she knew what the score was.

She would sometimes say the things that were on your mind that you wish you could say and say it with zest. Mostly I think just to see the look on your face, and than she would break out into her laugh. I loved that laugh, it absolutely filled a room and you could not resist joining in when she was on one of her rolls. When she told me a dozen years ago that she could not believe how I had turned out, I thought maybe she meant I was destined for a life of crime. However, what she meant was, I had turned out to be a " decent looking guy after being such a nerdy looking kid." After seeing the look on my face which must have been SHOCK and AWE, she started laughing, gave me a hug and told me she loved me. For me than, everything was fine, It was just Aunt Pat being "Crazy Aunt Pat" a name which someone dubbed her in later years and one I think she relished.

The last couple of times I went to see her were this past Christmas eve and day in the nursing home. She was sitting in a chair outside her room both times and recognized me immediately but would sometimes slip back into some past time. I would sit next to her and just hold her hand and try to get her mind on a subject she knew and would talk about. She would tell a funny story from the old days, and she finally taught me a dirty word in Polish. She constantly kept telling me how much she loved me. She also kept repeating this to my Mom when she was there and when my Uncle Jack and Aunt Jan were there to visit her on Christmas Eve. I have been reflecting on this for some reason since Sat and I think I now know why. Even though her health was fading and her mind somewhat clouded she still wanted it known she still loved us no matter what condition she, or us, would ever be in. I wish I would have told her that everyone knew that and felt the same way.

And even though she was not in the best shape, she was still worried about how my cousin Matt and the his kids were doing? At numerous points on my second visit she looked at me and asked where Matt was? I would tell her that he was at work and would be stopping by later in the day , and that always calmed her at least for a moment. Through the fog of dementia, the light of love for her family could never be dimmed.

It's always at times like these that the right words are struggled to be found, but of course, there never are. I'm only able to pray for the Lord to give strength to myself but for my extended family who grew up knowing the same " Crazy Aunt Pat."

For my Aunts & Uncles who have a lost a sister, that they have known for over a half a century and who made that 50 plus years a little brighter.

And I pray that the Lord somehow guides my cousin Matt and his kids through this. I have no earthly idea how one navigates a loss like this and deals with it, and explains it to children. I do have faith though, if it is asked for Him to provide, a path will appear.

And if you have read this I ask a personal request.If you could please also say a prayer for my Aunt but also for Matt and his kids, that the Lord may comfort them at this most difficult time. I thank you in advance.

Patricia LaDuke.......

The world is a better place for having had you here, and we are all better people for having known you!!

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