Thursday, April 26, 2012

Aunt Pat

PATRICIA MADDEN HUGHES
2002
Last night a cherished family member passed from this life to the next following a courageous battle with cancer.  Aunt Pat was like a comet passing through my Hughes family's lives scattering love, light and energy to everyone she met. 
1985 Aunt Pat with Uncle Ed and Edna Hughes
She was my Uncle John's second wife and I first had the pleasure of meeting her when she accompanied him to Cousin Karen's wedding in Pittsburgh in 1985.  Have you ever met someone for the first time and instinctively knew you would want to get to know them better--spend more time with them???  That was my first reaction to Aunt Pat.  She was full of energy and charisma.  A pinch on the cheek for Garrett, a big kiss for Aric and for Ted....well, she exclaimed, "Who is that FUNNY MAN!!!"  "Funny Man" became Ted's nickname for the next twenty seven years.  That first meeting she captivated us with her wit and sincerity. 
Uncle John and Aunt Pat
Fran and Lee's wedding 1986
Through the years, I was always anxious to know if Aunt Pat would be attending whatever family gathering was on the docket.  She had a joie de vivre.  Now, don't get me wrong.  Aunt Pat had her ups and downs and fought a few demons during her lifetime, but always seemed to do it with grace and style. 

Aunt Pat and Uncle John at Grams'
90th birthday--1988
She was a multifaceted woman.....not just fun and games, but also a good counselor.  Aunt Pat was able to put her thumb right on a problem and gave thoughtful, expert advice.

Aunt Pat enjoying a piece of cake at Megan's
high school graduation party 2002
I had two occasions to really spend some quality time with my aunt.  The first was following Megan's high school graduation party.  We all gathered at Cousin Phyllis' home and Aunt Pat and I sat for hours looking through my Hughes picture book.  I marveled at the stories she shared.....thoughts of my Uncle John regarding his parents and great grandmother.....items that he had, up to that point, only shared with Pat. 

Aunt Pat teaching me a few tricks
of her selling skills--2002
Second, when the family gathered to plan and have the Fun With Judy event.  Aunt Pat arrived with her usual excitement; her arms full of bags of food.  She proceeded to literally throw together a delicious chili out of canned products.  Was it called Seven Can Chili????  Next she sat down with me and we gathered up and priced all the items that we were selling in a garage sale during the Fun With Judy day.  I felt like I was sitting at the feet of a master.  I was so into auctions and garage sales that year and Aunt Pat was a seller for house sales--she REALLY knew her stuff.  To say that I was in awe would be an understatement.

Hughes Family gathers for Katie's high school grad party
2006
The last time I saw my aunt was at Katie's graduation party in 2006.  It was so wonderful to feel her kiss on my cheek and warm embrace. 

Rest in Peace my dear Aunt Pat.  I know you have been warmly welcomed up in heaven and are spreading your effervescent personality to all you meet.

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