Aside from the vague feeling of being ill at ease that somehow becoming a parental figure had left her with, Georgia felt as if the move back to Montréal had expanded her and Phil’s life. There were no crusty old neighbors to deal with, no old flames to haunt the town and above all, no Pattersons to emerge with one insane demand or another to screw things up. While they might have both been far busier in their new lives, they both had plenty of time for an active social life and much more of a feeling of accomplishment. It took her a while to figure out why it was that despite having far greater responsibilities as the head of the Audiology department that she felt more carefree; it came into focus when she and Phil celebrated their twentieth anniversary. When he commented on how it had only been in the last few years that he felt as if were a member of a normal family, she realized that someone had improved their lives by becoming a non-factor: Elly Patterson.
How odd that it had taken his parents selling their home to for Phil to finally see her for what she was. It was like how Connie Poirier’s blindness to how big a control freak she’d married for him to see the light and realize the narrow escape he had made from serfdom. When Elly came in talking about how she needed to have that old pump organ to prove that he was wrong to win their childhood, he finally realized what a damaged, hostile jerk she was. It scared him so much, he’d sought out a therapist to try to wrap his head around how abnormal his vengeful, entitled sister had actually made his life and the lives of those around her. Well, that and the fact that very few people wanted to see Elly for what she was.
This stood him in good stead when they had to visit Milborough. That way, he didn’t get into a great big argument with her when she embarked upon her various follies. Heck, he had even managed to steer her children to safety after she and her husband passed on. Strange thing about that, though. She felt slightly more empty then than when her parents had passed on a year earlier. Here and she thought that only love lasted forever.
Aside from the vague, wistful feeling of wishing that somehow, Elly could have been made right, Georgia and Phil lived a long, happy life together. While she did every so often wish that she had had children of her own, it seemed to her that all the children whose lives she and Phil had touched over the years more than made up for it. It probably would comforted her in a way to know that decades after her passing, people were still using her and Philip as good examples of lives well lived. It would also have comforted her in a sad way to know that Elly Patterson was simply a name on a grave marker.