15 August 2007

Pat Olsen

For months now, I have been wanting to go visit the old grandma of the neighborhood who had to move in with her sister. I even had an alarm set to go off on a Sunday, reminding me to go, but I kept moving it to the next Sunday, and the next . . .

Pat used to have drawings on her fridge from kids all over the neighborhood. She had a little dog named Goochie who would bark at everything. She loved to give away the roses she grew (or at least she gave them to me because I oohed and aahed so much) or bring them to church for a nice table decoration. Sometimes she would do quirky things, like forget to pull her shirt down, or compliment Hilary Clinton, but you know, she was always so generous and loving to everyone.

Anyway, I finally approached my neighbor about it (she has kept in touch with Pat) and today we went to visit, the day before Pat's 93rd birthday. Having not seen Pat for at least five years, I was sure I'd be shocked by how much she aged or something. No, it was the good ol' Pat. I wish my camera was back from getting repaired so we could have taken a picture together. She had the same laugh, the same huge mole on her cheek, and the same kind heart that shines out of her eyes. She is one of those people you can't help loving. She asked about each member of my family and reminisced about things we had done together. I smiled the whole time so that my cheeks hurt. When we got up to leave, she thanked me for being her friend, and I thought, "I should be thanking her!" It was obvious she didn't want us to go because of how many times she said, "I don't want you to leave." I kept waving as she watched us back out of the driveway. I felt glad to know her and sad that I wouldn't be able to see her for a long, long time, possibly not until the next life.

93 years. Think of all the things that amazed her as she grew older. Airplanes. Microwaves. Cell phones. Happy birthday to Pat tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle, you have an amazing ability to love people. I don't always have the patience or the generosity in my heart to truly love everyone, at least not in the concrete way you do. Abstractly I love all the old widows I know, but when it comes right down to it, I'm creeped out and uncomfortable visiting their houses. There, I've confessed. Now you know my deep dark secret.