All her life, Patsy never had a lot of money, never owned her own home, always living in apartments. She married Johnny when she was about 19. She had Jeffrey who was born with hydrocephalus and spinal bifida and altho the nursing/medical staff all wanted her to leave the infant at the hospital to die. But this was her son and she cared for him for 40 years, til he died...about 30 years longer than anyone had expected.
Everyone knows how she and Johnny cared for me as my godparents so everyone knows how I feel about her. Her life was hard and she often was a bit harsh or snide. But time and circumstances alter all of us as it did her.
Patsy spent years being a cleaner for a variety of apartment houses. And she learned to save all the money she could (and I am happy to say that she is able to continue to live on her own financially and will be able to until death...or she will live with us) and she appreciated the fine things in life. She had a friend who collected Royal Doulton figurines and Patsy remarked to Johnny that she wished she had some. So Johnny began to help her purchase the ones she liked. From there she went on Limoges, Waterford Crystal, and any named fine china. For Christmas 1992 Johnny bought her this curio cabinet to store some of the most special.
And now it is ours! And once we reassembled it, it provided the nice spirit to this corner.
Now too long before Johnny died, he got up and handed me this musical box called Ebony and Ivory.
He had asked me if I was still 'tickling the ivories' and said he wanted me to have it. I thought I saw on Patsy face a bit of surprise and reluctance so I said I couldn't take it out of the china closet but I would get it in the future. He seemed OK with it but today Patsy said it was time I took her home.
Yesterday, we gently wrapped many of these special treasures in bubble wrap , tagged with the person's name and then boxed. I kept asking Patsy if she was sure she wanted to do this or if she had done enough and wanted to stop. Each time she said, No. But then sadly, she often added, "I won't last forever." I fear that perhaps unconsciously she feels something...something...well, something else.
And yes, I know we all have to die...and she's in so much pain and illness that passing onto the next life will be a blessing physically for her but it will also allow her to rejoin Johnny and Jeffrey. But to lose her...well, it's going to leave a huge hole. Different from losing my mom but a hole anyway.
We wrapped up all the figurines and some of the plates and various items that she had already planned to give away. She was very tired by the time we finished altho we still have more to do but all the most expensive and most dear are taken care of. This was to have been my responsibility after she died and I dreaded it since she has so many people who care for her and love her. I didn't want to leave anyone out. I mentioned to her once or twice that this is what I wanted my mom to do, give to the people she loved the things she loved but she refused. And in the end it made it difficult and I wished she could have experienced the joy of seeing the recipients embrace her treasures. I had told Patsy this story and maybe it's what prompted her to do this now....and I know she will be thrilled to see the joy in her friends and family members when she does.