I knew her as Mémé. Her name was Irene Antoinette Peloquin, and she married my grandfather in the 1930s. Grandpa, to put it mildly, was not a nice guy. She stayed married to him, though, until he died in 1980. She had two children. She was 101.
I regret that she never met my children. Ryan and I had fantasies about flying into Florida and driving up the east coast to visit her in Massachusetts. We’ll never have that opportunity now. I know she would have been just as patient, loving and kind to them as she was to my brother and I.
She was a beautiful woman. She attended church every day. I’m sure that her faith helped her get through the hard times. She had two young children when Pearl Harbor was attacked and no doubt had trouble making ends meet during the war.
After I got sick, I didn’t reach out to her as often as I should have. Part of me didn’t really want her to know what was happening. I wonder now if that was a mistake.
I loved her. I hope wherever she is, it’s warm and bright.