Written by my father, also named Thomas J. Holmes, on July 12, 2013
Transcribed on March 22, 2022, on the occasion of Patricia’s funeral
I can’t remember the date I started searching for Patricia. I was born December 31st, 1929, the last day of the year, the last day of the decade. Nurse Arndt agreed in advance to oversee my delivery. On the day of delivery, she became peeved when I resisted leaving my safe environment to come into this complicated world of people. Later in the evening, I let down my guard and she managed delivery. But my late evening delivery is what she was so annoyed about. She had made big plans with her friends to celebrate New Year's Eve, and I messed it all up for her.
A bit afterwards I wasn’t sorry that I had permitted myself to be born. As soon as I figured out how to operate that brain of mine, I developed a plan to search diligently for possible treasures the world might have to offer. I still can’t remember the date I started searching for Patricia, the greatest treasure imaginable.
I remember I was busy searching for Patricia in high school, but the real Patricia was not there to be found—just imitations. After high school, I shuffled through several jobs. I surveyed some of my co-workers closely. I was disappointed. None came close to being Patricia.
Suddenly I was 21 years old and about to be drafted into the army. I asked myself why, for God’s sake, I had not yet found Patricia. The only answer I got was, “Keep Looking.”
During my years in the service, I was transferred from place to place. I had a reasonable amount of off-duty time. During this free time, I carefully studied and interviewed prospects in three states. Nobody measured up to Patricia. There were a number of fakes and pretenders.
A while after my discharge from the army, my brother-in-law Jimmy Blinebury brought me into Strick Trailer Company, in Philadelphia. My good friend there was Carl Hurwitz. He was engaged to a girl who was about to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. Carl suggested that the next time we go out somewhere, we make it double dates. OK, Carl had a date in hand, but where would I find a date? Strick Trailer was a men’s environment. They had only a handful of women employees and these women were kept locked up in a small office at the far end of the building.
After a bit, I suddenly remembered seeing a big sign near the Boulevard, something about evening dancing. Maybe that’s where my date would be found? Maybe Patricia was there?
I found the place and did an evening there. As I was leaving, a girl came up to me. I remember dancing with her once or twice that evening. She told me there was a really nice dancing place in center city. She called it Chez Vous. She would be there next Saturday night. Then she gave me complicated, burdensome instructions for finding the place. I knew she wasn’t Patricia, but I wrote down the instructions.
The following Saturday night, I suffered my way through her instructions, to the very door of the dance hall. At this point, I wondered why anyone would suffer their way through such hardship getting to Chez Vous, unless they fully expected Patricia to fall into their arms as they entered the doorway.
One half minute after I got through this beautiful doorway, I and Patricia were standing face-to-face, one foot apart. She had been waiting for me patiently with a girlfriend who accompanied her to the dance.
I was in Utopia. I hoped Patricia was too. We had a wonderful evening together. After that wonderful evening together, there were details to attend to. We patiently explained our intentions to Patricia’s mother and father, and to my mother. After that, we did the legal rituals, then Patricia’s parish priest agreed to do the marriage ceremony. After that, the two of us became one person, and we stayed that way.
It’s age-old human knowledge that Mother Nature studies young people carefully, and she mates the right couples to get the highest quality offspring. After these mothers and fathers are through producing high quality offspring, Mother Nature likes to push these parents out of their environment. “Put them out to pasture,” as she phrases it, all to make more space for the next generation of young people who she will pair off for a new generation of high quality offspring.
I’m sure Mother Nature was overwhelmed with joy, each time she witnessed one of our high quality children coming into the world. Patricia and I were overwhelmed with joy as well. And we did a great job raising them to adulthood.
“Where’s Patricia now?” Why, she is right here with me! We are still one person, happy in our same environment, and successfully resisting Mother Nature’s attempt to put us out to pasture. We are determined to remain here doing whatever is pleasing to us, as we continue to enjoy our children and our grandchildren.
Anything Else? Well, we expect to keep Mother Nature at bay, as we wait expectantly for the day that we will be introduced to our first great-grandchild.
Thomas J. Holmes
July 12, 2013