St. Patrick’s Day will always make me think of Connie. On St. Patrick’s Day in 1992, Connie was killed by her ex-husband. She had restraining orders, she did everything she could. Someone wrote a “true crime” book about it. I tried to read it, but I couldn’t, because I knew how it ended.
I met Connie at a time in my life when I wanted so desperately to be an adult. She was dating my uncle, and she wasn’t much older than me, but she didn’t treat me like a kid. She talked to me like a friend. She thought I was smart. She kept me company on vacation when everyone else ignored me. I was too old to be with the kids, but too young to be with the grown ups. We went shopping, swimming. She trusted me to watch her son. I remember my grandmother giving my uncle shit for dating such a young woman. She'd say, “Oh look, you brought home a play mate for Jesse.” But after a little while, even my grandmother loved Connie. Funny and warm, she fit right into our family of nuts. Everyone loved her.
Damn, I still miss her.