Ladies and gentlemen, meet Susan Patriquin.
She has been a part of my life since I was a young boy, when she married my Uncle Tim and became part of the are-you-kidding-me?! huge Patriquin family. For more than thirty years, she has been a part of my life, and I am thankful every single day.
She is my Aunt, yes, but we're close in age and she feels much more like a peer. And although she lives halfway across the country in Austin, Texas, she is my go-to person when I need to vent about whatever day-to-day nonsense is bothering me.
More than that, though, she is the person who really taught me what it means to open your home and be a giving, welcoming host. Over the years, I have shown up on her doorstep alone, with Marine friends, with an entire relay race team of strangers... she never knew just who would be on the other side of the opening door. But it has never mattered. Each and every time, she has invited me and whomever was with me into her home, made us feel comfortable and at ease, and shown by example what hospitality looks like.
|"Texas Toast," our Capital to Coast Relay Team
invading Casa Patriquin in October 2012.
Susan, you are a truly fantastic person. Without exception, every single one of my friends that meet you think, "dude, she's awesome! I wish she was my Aunt!" And it's true. I am lucky. I'm glad that my Uncle had the sense to hang on to you all these years and not let you get away. You have made such a positive difference in my life and you are, truly, family.
I am a fan.