Petie would appreciate the humor, I’m sure of it. After her funeral in Anderson the extended family drove to The Church at the Crossing on the north side of Indianapolis to gather together for a meal before we went our separate ways. That’s where I lost my pants.
It’s a big extended family. Along with her husband Tom, Nancy Courtney Persing — “Petie” to all who knew her — presided over 15 children and stepchildren and all the grand- and great-grandchildren they produced. Someone at the funeral home the evening before the funeral was heard to say they had never been to a louder visitation. I can believe it. It’s hard to keep that many people quiet.
My mother-in-law had lived with and struggled against Parkinson’s disease since before I met her in 2003. My wife and I would meet the two of them every Sunday after church for lunch until she became unable to easily travel at which time we met them weekly at their house. She had taught high school English and literature in Anderson. I would search during the week to find a couple of interesting poems, and we two English teachers would spend part of Sunday afternoon enjoying and discussing them. I will sorely miss our weekly poetry seminars.