Thursday, November 18, 2004


My aunt Kathleen, or Katie as she was better known to many, was one of the best cooks I ever knew next to my mom. My mom's sister, she was several years older than my mom, but the two were often mistaken for each other in younger years because they looked so much alike. She was always my favorite aunt. She and my uncle owned a large recreational trailer and many weekends were spent at the lake skiing, eating barbeque, and enjoying pies...could my aunt ever make pies! She was the only person I know who could make pies that were as fabulous as my mother's.

After forty-five years of marriage with only a single day spent apart, my aunt lost her beloved husband, and was crushed. It seemed as though she would never recover from my uncle's death. But eventually, an old high school friend showed up in town and they began dating. They later married and my aunt was happy once again, but happiness would prove to be short-lived. Less than ten years together, both were diagnosed with Alzheimer's and were put into nursing homes. Unfortunately, they had to be put in separate homes because her husband was one of those nursing home escape artists you hear stories about. He required more oversight than the home my aunt was in could provide.

The separation was to be the undoing of my aunt. Her Alzheimer's progressed at an exponential rate once she was separated from her husband. Many days she refused to eat, and her weight went from a healthy 130 to a frail 92 pounds in a matter of months.

She had long had heart problems, as was so prevalent in my mother's family, and this morning at 3:00 a.m., the nursing home called my cousin to ask her to come in at once. My aunt's heart appeared to be failing. At 5:00 a.m. my cousin called her brother and sister and asked them to come in. And at 8:00 a.m., surrounded by her children, she left this earth to make the trip home.

I love you, Aunt Katie. I hope you're enjoying spending time with your brothers, sisters, and Grandma and Grandpa D. You and Uncle Dave can go back and revisit your childhood, when you nearly burned down the barn because you wanted to know what "roasted radishes" tasted like. You can once again enjoy your Pepsi-drinking contests with Aunt Maxine played around the card table on Saturday nights. And I'm sure you'll be beating Aunt Nadine at Spades. I'll miss you.


At 2:35 PM, November 18, 2004, Blogger Harlis Dinwiddie said...

While the nature of a post like this causes sadness, it does give us a time to reflect on really wonderful memories. You have captured some of them beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

At 10:45 AM, November 19, 2004, Blogger PatCH said...





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