My Aunt Pat

  • August 19, 2015

One of the last times I saw Aunt Pat before she got sick. (Front, Left)

I don’t usually write about my personal life, but I needed to share these words…

Someone very special to me died today. You know how people say, “She got her smarts from her uncle.” or “She got her artistic ability from her grandmother.” or “She got her beautiful singing voice from her second cousin.” Well, I got my passion for history from my Aunt Pat. Sure, I have plenty of relatives who love history–but Aunt Pat preferred to hold history and touch history. Her love for the past went beyond reading books–though she did love reading books. You see, Aunt Pat accumulated history–in the same way that I accumulate history.

I have an orange Schwinn, because some twelve-year-old rode that bike to and from school in the 1960’s. I have a vintage Wonder Horse, because some four-year-old pleaded with his parents to get one for Christmas. I have a claw foot piano stool, because some child sat on that stool and played Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star twenty-eight times in a row. I’m sentimental about all my treasures, because they each have a story. Not many people understand my collecting–my family calls me a hoarder–but my Aunt Pat understood. Through some hereditary channel and a little encouragement, she gave me the gift to see past an object and into the history.

She gave me a passion for tangible history–whether I dig it up or find it hidden in the dusty corner of barn.

Lat year, I gave my aunt a hug and told her I loved her. That was the last time I saw her. People try to justify death by saying, “It was expected.” Aunt Pat had been sick for some time… but those words can’t really numb the hurt. I will miss her. I will miss her creativity, her respect for history, her love of reading, and her smile.