Our grandmothers were sisters — Mary and Anna Hanlon. They had a brother James. Our mothers, Margaret Halpin and Ann Dunne, were first cousins. Ann died six days after giving birth to her daughter Pat. Pat and I are second cousins.
We knew each other as kids, and my sisters and I and Pat all went to the College of St. Elizabeth. Pat married her childhood sweetheart, moved to Texas, was a nursing administrator and educator, is a wife, mother, and grandmother. We haven’t seen each other since college, and I’d never met her husband Ron.
I knew her right away at the airport. Fifty years on we don’t really “look just the same”, but we have that Irish thing going on, and it stands out like a sore thumb in Texas.
Pat and Ron had me to their home for dinner, along with three grandkids who were staying overnight, and it was a warm, wonderful family evening. Pat remembers my father, who died in 1959 — not many people alive do. She remembers how “everyone loved Uncle Wendell”. Yes. He was beloved by everyone who knew him.
We did, of course, talk about mothers and daughters. More on that to come. Early flight on Friday, and I need to get to bed.