Patsy Porco

Too Sad To Laugh

In Death on July 25, 2019 at 7:18 pm

When my husband, Frank, died, suddenly and unexpectedly in the hospital on May 15, he took my joy with him.

To distract myself, people told me to write a post for my blog. But, my blog is supposed to make readers laugh. What’s to laugh about anymore?

Of course I’ve laughed in the past two months. But nothing is as funny as it once was. Or as enjoyable. Or as hopeful.

I have nothing funny to say.

When I do, I’ll be back.

No Good Deed …

In Humor on September 9, 2019 at 3:45 am

This weekend, I tried something new. I got out of bed and left the house three days in a row. Ever since my husband died on May 15, I haven’t made an effort to get out. I work from home mostly, so I didn’t really have to leave except to go to church or buy food. It was hard on some days to just get out of bed and go to my office, which is next to my bedroom.

My friends and family have relentlessly pursued me, though. As a result, I have made the occasional trip to dinner at one of their houses or out to a movie. If it weren’t for them, I would have turned into a recluse.

This weekend, though, I decided to force myself to participate in life. I didn’t know how to emerge from the sadness I was feeling, but I did realize that it wasn’t improving by binge-watching hundreds of hours of mediocre shows on Netflix and Amazon.

On Friday night, I went to a documentary on Woodstock with a friend. It was showing at our library. It wasn’t like any movie on Woodstock I had ever seen. It was an apologist’s version of what had happened. In the movie, everything was wonderful. Yes, drugs were taken and overdoses were treated, but it all worked out for the best. People cleaned up after themselves. Food arrived to feed the starving kids. It was the exact opposite of any movie I had seen or article I had read.

On Saturday, I volunteered at our town’s Oyster Festival, which in any other town would be called a county fair, but I live in coastal New England. We pride ourselves on our maritime history. At the festival, I sold beer tickets for eight straight hours. Our tent was right by the main stage and the line for beer tickets never shortened. Instead, it grew. And as the night wore on, the need for beer increased. We must have sold ten thousand dollars of tickets in one day. Maybe more. The one bright spot was that Billy Joel’s drummer, Mike DelGuidice, who has a band called Big Shot, was the featured act. He sounded just like Billy Joel. He sang Joel’s songs, as well as some of Elton John’s. It was a solid show. I’m glad I volunteered, but it was the hardest work I’ve done since I’ve worn a younger (wo)man’s clothes. At least, I didn’t have time to think about anything except making change and checking IDs.

On Sunday, I went to church. A friend needed a ride to church and home, so I took her. Nothing untoward happened at Mass. Afterwards, though, things got strange.

After dropping my friend off at home, I drove on Ward Street in Norwalk, Connecticut, to the intersection of Union Avenue, and stopped at the stop sign. At the intersection, in a grassy triangle, stood an elderly woman in a dress. As I passed her, I asked if she needed help. She answered me in broken English. I had no idea what she was saying so I told her I’d pull over next to the cemetery so we could talk. I have to credit the drivers behind me. Not one of them honked as I spoke with the woman.

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 3.16.19 AM

I turned the corner and pulled up against the curb. The woman came over. From what I could make out, she wanted to go to a church in our town. I asked if she needed a ride, and she said yes, and opened the passenger-side door and got in. I still didn’t know where we were going. As I drove, I followed her directions to St. Mary’s Church. While she talked, I figured out most of what she was saying. She told me she was from Colombia and her name was Marta. She was meeting friends at the Spanish Mass at 1:15. I told her that since I picked her up at 1:15, she was going to be late. That didn’t seem to bother her. I asked her how she had planned on getting to the church if I hadn’t picked her up. She said she was going to walk. Wondering how far she had walked until I happened upon her, I asked where she lived. She said she lived on Ward Street, the street I picked her up on. Apparently, she had given up on the walking plan and had decided to hitchhike, minus the thumb. It was so strange. This is not even close to what happens in our neighborhood. One never finds an elderly woman standing in an intersection waiting for someone to ask what she’s doing and if she needs a ride. It just isn’t done.

Anyway, as I pulled up to the church after following her circuitous route, which she assured me was quicker than any route I would have taken, I asked her if she needed a ride home. I didn’t want her quasi-hitchhiking again. She assured me that her friends would take her home. I didn’t ask why they didn’t pick her up. Interpreting her English had worn me out. I was just glad she had a way home. As she got out of the car and thanked me, she said, “I bless you with the cross,” and made the sign of the cross. I told her I blessed her, too. It seemed like the right thing to say. As she walked up the steps to the church, I started laughing and I laughed all the way home.

And you know what? I felt so much better today than I’ve felt in a very long time. Being blessed and having a good laugh can do wonders.




Turn Left at Frank Porco

In Humor on April 28, 2019 at 2:31 pm

My husband, Frank, recently underwent a CT scan using contrasting dye.

After the test, he was given a card to carry with him, in case the police pulled him over.

“Why would I get pulled over by the police?” he asked.

“Because you’ll be radioactive for the next few days and will appear on GPS,” the PA told him.

“You mean that a person could be following GPS instructions and be told, ‘In 200 feet, turn left at Frank Porco’?”

“I don’t think so,” she said. “But you could be pulled over because the police suspect that you’re carrying radioactive materials in your car.”


“Yes,” the PA said. “Your car will show up on police GPS as being radioactive. But once you show them your card, they’ll let you go.”

Frank’s jaw dropped. “So all a person has to do, if he is carrying radioactive materials, is show a card explaining that he was injected with radioactive dye, and the investigation would end there?” he asked.

“Well, I suppose that could happen,” the PA said. “Let’s just hope it never does.”

“And let’s just hope nobody takes a left-hand turn into the front of my car,” he said.

“Yes, let’s hope that, too.”

Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 2.27.34 PM
Picture from The Town Scryer









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