As we begin Level 2 we’re coming to you from a place of grief. Let me tell you the story because it’s really a tale of a life lesson and one of the stories of COVID-19.

I had an aunt called Pat. She was much more than an aunt, she was a friend who I loved to hang out with and talk books, travel, food and property because she loved them all. We loved Pat for her chutzpah and life. She was ever faithful to my Uncle who could be difficult but ‘he was her man’ – she had eyes for no one else. Pat was beautiful, talented, and like all of us imperfect.

Over time Pat amassed a large family and was very proud to have many direct descendants. She also became the doyenne of a large property empire. An avid reader she would pull apart the incorrect use of the English language in a heartbeat. And as her bank balance grew she loved to shop.

Uncle Keith died several years ago. It was difficult for her but with it came the freedom to do what she liked. Keith had sold the family bach years before and it didn’t sit well with Pat. Her dream was to have another place where the family could congregate and she could spend time with them.

Pat Baker

Pat and six of her grandchildren and great granchildren

A place was found in 2013 and we all came together. In 2016 the original bach was pulled down and replaced by a new build with lots of room for everyone. Dubbed ‘The Patch’ it’s a special place where magical sunsets are commonplace. If you were lucky enough to be introduced to Pat for any reason she’d invite you to use it free of charge. “I want it used,” she’d say.


Above: A sunset viewed from the deck at the Patch.

Last Christmas the family were going to have the day at my cousin’s in Auckland before going to the Patch on Boxing Day. Pat called me and asked if she could stay as there was no room at my cousins’. So it was arranged that she’d catch an Uber to Auckland from Hamilton on December 21st.

On the 15th of December Pat turned 83. She also had a ‘turn’. By December 21 she was a stroke patient in Waikato Hospital. We all took turns by her side over Christmas. She had lost the use of one side and her speech wasn’t good but she survived and rallied somewhat. The family arranged to have her transferred to a beautiful new care facility on the water in Auckland.

Pat was doing quite well and looking forward to going shopping again albeit from a wheelchair. Did I mention shopping was her favourite hobby? However, the world as we know it changed, coronavirus hit and we went into lockdown. From March 26th none of us could visit. Last Friday Pat was transferred to hospital with another suspected stroke which was subsequently ruled out. She did have a chest infection and they suspected COVID-19 at first but it was pneumonia. Pat struggled to breathe all week and became unresponsive. Last night, 13th May, 2020, she died and left a gaping hole in our lives. 💖

I’m sharing this story with you because we’ve all experienced a lot during 2020. Did Pat deteriorate so quickly because it was lockdown and she could have no visitors? That’s something we will never know. She wasn’t young of course but she had applied herself to her circumstances in a typical Positive Pat way.

It’s a reminder to us all to hug our loved ones now that we can and while we can.


Take care of you

Jenna & Team Youology 💖