August 12, 2012 - "Aunt Pat"
I loved my Aunt Pat. It has been over 16 years since she passed away suddenly... just shy of her 47th birthday. That means she was only eleven years older than I am now.
I was closer to her than I was to any other family member. She knew things about me that no one else knew... and she confided in me things that she'd never tell anyone else... secrets I will take to my own grave. We'd sit at her kitchen table for hours playing cards and talking... until the sun came up.
She was an avid collector... everything from music boxes to Depression Aluminum to Ron Lee clowns to McCoy Pottery to old kitchen gadgets. It - collecting, that is - is an obsession she instilled in me as well.
Unfortunately I have no photographs of my Aunt Pat... only mementos. Some she gave me while she was still with us: This deck of playing cards... and McCoy pottery Wishing Well which belonged to her grandmother, and which she played with as a child. Others came to me after her passing - including this vintage black and white polka dot glass bowl which she'd serve food from all of the time... this latch-hook rug which she made to help pass the time during an illness... and one of her beloved Ron Lee clowns, which she loved so much.
She was, herself, a clown. Always making jokes... making other people smile - all the while hiding a sadness within. Two of her biggest dreams were to go to the top of the Statue of Liberty and to own an Airstream Travel Trailer and join the Airstream club. She never got to do either. Some day I hope to do both, in her honor.
Aunt Pat, as I write this I'm fighting back tears. I could really use your guidance these days. Still, I know you're up there looking down on us all... wishing you could tell a joke that would make everything better.
I love you... and I miss you... and I think of you every single day!
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