During a recent visit with my 101-year-old mother, she received a call from her sister-in-law, my 98-year-old aunt. Imagine that conversation! It was fun, and eventually, Mama handed the phone to me. Aunt Pauline and I talked about her daughter and my sweet cousin, Pat, who was like a sister to me. Some years back, when I was doing a lot of public speaking, Pat was my travel companion.
Not an easy job. There were times when we got to a hotel and the room was not what I reserved. Pat would stand to the side and pray silently while I held my ground with a clerk. Suddenly, that “totally booked” hotel had an opening that was exactly what I had reserved in the first place.
Pat also tolerated my fear of flying—Dallas, Atlanta, and California, where I was a guest at Dr. Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral. Talk about nervous. At 2:00 am I was still studying my notes in the hotel room. Pat woke up and sleepily acknowledged, “You mean you’re still up?” Then right back to sleep. No advice or criticism.
We talked about everything imaginable and enjoyed each other’s company. We griped about buses with no AC on hot city streets then reveled in cool event centers. When I was nervous about making a presentation, meeting a publisher or doing a radio interview, Pat was my encourager.
We also shared our daily ups and downs. Always just a phone call away, I can’t say how much I miss this sister-cousin who died two years ago. So many times I’ve almost grabbed the phone to call her, forgetting for the moment that she is in heaven.
And funny? Always! As I was getting ready to leave town for her Celebration of Life service, my hair just wouldn’t do what I wanted. Suddenly, it was like I heard Pat speak to my late husband in heaven. “Carl, look at Louise. Just like always, messing with her hair. She’s going to be late for my service!” I smiled as I almost heard Carl answer, “Oh, no, Pat. She will make it.” And I did.