Losing someone is never easy and you’re never ready.  I guess I’ve been extremely lucky and I’ve not really lost anyone in the past who was extremely close to me, but so far, I’ve lost two incredibly important people this year.  First my grandfather and now Patty (my second mom).  I met Patty’s daughter Janine when I was two years old.  Janine was five years older and we lived a house apart on good old Morton Street.  She came by and asked my mother if she could play with me.  That was the start of a life long friendship and for me.. an older sister.

Our parent’s became best friends and we did everything together.  We vacationed together, celebrated holiday’s together, attended each other’s milestones, and our families became family.. we laughed together, cried together, picked on each other ? and laughed some more.  Janine and I fought like sisters do and Patty and my mother acted as referees.

Aside from wanting everything Janine had because she was the oldest, I wanted to play with all of her toys, color in all her books, and walk around with her belts and pocket books on.  One night Janine (being the type A personality that she is) asked Patty to make sure I did not mess with “simon.” Remember that game?? Well, Patty could never say no to me.. The second Janine was out the door, I was pulling simon out from underneath her bed.  When Janine came home, true to form.. she asked Patty if I messed with simon, and of course, Patty said no (she always had my back).. then at the wee hours of the night, having left simon on, it began to go off when the battery began to die out.  Janine busted into Patty’s room and said, “I knew it, Tina Marie touched my simon!!!” We laughed about that story and so many others for years to come..

Patty, like grandpa, was one of my biggest fans.  I just couldn’t do any wrong in her eyes and I loved that about her.. she just loved me unconditionally.  I would make her laugh hysterically and she would do the same for me..

She never missed an important moment in my life, never missed a birthday or an opportunity to sing to me, she checked on me when my parents went away, and she was my shoulder to cry on when my boxer was dying and my parents were in Florida.. she was there for every heart break, every break up, every disappointment, and she always found a way to make me feel better and to make me feel good for being me.  Most recently, I cried to Patty when my grandfather passed.. I told her how sad I was that he would never meet my sister’s baby, and Patty made me feel better.. I had no idea in that moment, that Patty wouldn’t either..

She took the time to highlight my hair and never charged me a dime.. Every time it came out wrong at someone’s else’s hands.. I’d run over to Patty’s and she would spend hours fixing it for me, she made a fuss over everything I did, and she baked endless trays of cookies for my bridal shower.. Patty treated me like a daughter and would always address me as, “my second daughter” in her texts messages to me.. She meant so much to me and my life will never be as full without Patty being a part of it..

When I moved around the corner from Patty and her husband (3 years ago) , she checked in with me more so than ever.. calling me to see if I needed anything, texting me.. and we began “girls night in,” where we all gathered at my place for cocktails, appetizers, and a ton of laughs.

Ever have so many memories with a person, you just don’t even know where to start?? I will miss Patty forever and ever.. I’m truly heart broken, but I’m grateful for every minute I had with her and for giving me the most amazing older sister, and extended family.

Patty gave me so many beautiful things that sit around my house as reminders of just how special I was to her.. from a gorgeous Armani statue to honor my wedding to a rooster honoring my new home.. we dubbed her Ginger because she had a red top, and that was Patty’s nickname in the salon world because she always had such vibrant red hair.  I would later dub her “red” when I would walk her dog and take funny videos for her while she was in the hospital.  I’d make up silly beagle songs and sing them to Remy and Patty would say that one day, “They’re going to take me away in a straight jacket!” Every time Patty and I got on the phone, she’d say.. “how’s Ginger (the rooster) ??” and I’d say, “tired of listening to me!” ? And we’d both crack up..

Patty was an amazing baker.  Her banana cream pie will always be my favorite dessert and I made many of her recipes through the years from her pasta salad, to her famous hot onions, to her strawberry shortcake, so it seemed fitting that I post this banana-raisin bread for this would have been right up her alley..

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BANANA-RAISIN BREAD

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8

Banana-Raisin Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking loaf pan. Combine all of the ingredients accept the raisins in a mixing bowl. Mix using a hand mixer until all ingredients are smooth and well combined. Fold in the raisins and pour into the pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes.

 

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