One day after one of our many afternoon chats, Cecelia said to me that she outlived her century. She could not understand why she outlived her family and friends. I immediately thought that she was a person both for and of our times. She was a down-to-earth soul with a very pragmatic outlook. Even though she could not hear you with her ears or see you with her eyes, she could see and hear with her heart. Tough as nails at first but soon her layers were peeled showing her soft side and tenderness, especially when it came to children.
Cecelia was a very hard worker both in the printing profession as well as being a mother and homemaker, sister, wife, grandmother, aunt, and friend. Up until a few weeks prior to her death she was taking care of herself with her banking, meals and other chores. In spite of her hearing and sight impairments, she readily adapted to new ways of doing things on her own. She welcomed new technology such as speed dial. She lost her eyes, ears, and patience but never lost her moving nature, wisdom, or good sense.
Cecelia had the unique trait of having had dual relationships with people. She was a grandmother and best friend, aunt and best friend, sister and best friend, sister and partial parent. She never forgot to send flowers to her beloved son Dickie's grave on holidays and anniversaries. She was funny at times, sad at others, crude at times, exceedingly polite at others. She was also demanding at times, yet grateful for the love and kindness that was shown to her. She loved to hold hands, tell her stories and drink tea.
Her last three years were spent with entire afternoons discussing her grandchildren, her old family (parents and siblings) and her great grandchildren. She could not wait for her great-grandchild to monitor her spaceflights via Space Services. Cecelia never once had the experience of flight on an airplane!
Cecelia was an avid "Trekkie" loving all things connected with her favorite show, Star Trek. A close second favorite was any show on the "Animal Planet" network. When she was young she had a pet pig that later became family meals. I don't think she ever forgave her father for that one!
Everywhere Cecelia went she made people smile. I took her to the bank drive-up window in July. She was wearing my sunglasses in my convertible. She wanted to make me leave the top down! Her head did not even reach the headrest. Everyone in the bank heard our conversation and I could hear people chuckling at the sight and sound of the two of us.
While we watched her die in the final days, we were amazed by the beating of that strong heart that refused to give up. The heart that almost failed her in childhood kept her alive for 93 years. Her heart was the last thing to go. She will always be remembered, loved and missed. MAY GOD BLESS YOU. Bon Voyage!
The Family of Cecelia Patnaude