(Grandma Joan is on the left, Aunt Pam is on the right)
The last few days have been a flurry of activity. We spent it saying our goodbyes to Aunt Pam, (Carol's Mum and hubby's Grandma Joan's best friend). Aunt Pam has been a part of the family longer than hubby has. And since Carol is a dear friend, we have been doing all we can to be there for her and Aunt Pam.
I had the incredible pleasure of meeting Aunt Pam for the first time at our wedding. We decided to give Aunt Pam my bridal bouquet since she was - in our hearts - the oldest living matriarch of our family; and because of her incredible friendship with hubby's grandmother. We thought Grandma Joan would have loved the gesture. So when the time came during the reception to present my bouquet to Aunt Pam, this petite, dainty British lady stepped forward. She was dressed and looked like the Queen of England to me, and I was afraid my huge and heavy bouquet would be too much for her to hold.
Aunt Pam was beginning to suffer the cruel effects of Alzheimer's back then. But Carol told me that Aunt Pam was so thrilled and would not stop talking about it, even many years later when her memory was failing. She took the bouquet apart and filled several vases with the beautiful long stem roses.
A couple days ago I sat next to Aunt Pam in her room. She still had beautiful skin, even in her 90s: hardly any wrinkles, and super soft hair. Although she could no longer eat, drink or talk, I know she was aware and listening to us. And I told Aunt Pam that her best friend Joan, and hubby's mom Donna, and Pam's husband were all waiting for her: probably in a large convertible with the top down. And that made Carol laugh. Because if you knew Joan and Pam, they had quite the adventures in that car on their trips to Florida. They were as different as night and day, but I guess that is what made their friendship even stronger.
One of my most treasured wedding gifts was from Aunt Pam. It is a framed picture of Joan, surrounded with Pam's written memories of their close friendship. These are the last two sentences: "Joan and I were opposites: Joan was evening and I was morning. Almost all of our differences were settled amicably, but we never did agree on which way to put a toilet roll in the holder."
Yesterday afternoon, in room 322, Pamela Sevigny took her last breath, holding her daughter Carol's hand until the very end. Rest in peace Aunt Pam. You will always be remembered with love. And I just know in my heart that somewhere, you are with Joan again: on another wonderful adventure.
Life with Kerri is in mourning.