Hello, again; as I write this letter, it's letting up after a late summer rain that's cleared the air. How appropriate for the month Deanna and Mike have had to deal with; as you know, John and Elly have landed themselves in a load of trouble with the law and are pretty much in a holding pattern at other people's houses waiting for the authorities responsible for deciding what happens to them to finally inject responsibility into their lives. I hate that had to be there in the background watching it all fall apart. Looking back, I never expected to deal with that much folly and vice because it was such a nice, warm day that day; I know that it's the idealist in me talking but I associate sin and uproar with stormier, gloomier weather, not the sort of day that you'd like to spend having a nice stroll along the beach. Watching what looked to be two solid citizens get hauled away in handcuffs for assault, animal cruelty, uttering threats against all and sundry just to lead off makes you really understand the old phrase "There but for the grace of God go I"; I'm glad to know that I wasn't the only one muttering "that could have been me" that day. Phil Richards, Connie Poirier, Annie Nichols, Ted MacAulay, Gordon Mayes; you name an associate of John and Elly and you'll get the same realization that if they aren't careful, if they aren't honest with thmeselves, if they don't appreciate the people in their lives, that's where they're headed. It's like young Anthony said; in a funny way, they've done people a public service by going to the bad so blatantly. It's sort of hard to say but he seems to be making something good out of all this mess; that's because he's the only one that still wants to make life better for John and Elly. The reason is that he wants to do the right thing, not the easy thing; that includes making sure that John obeys the restraining order and doesn't try to jimmy loose the ankle bracelet the cops are making him wear while they're waiting to process him. Good thing that Ted is taking an extended sabbatical to provide moral support and be his friend's minder; that really makes Michael's life easier.
That's because he's worried that, since he has no choice but to spend the next few months at the Pattermanse while he winds things up here, his mother and step-father will show up and make him take a good long whiff of their bullshit. You'll notice that I gave John his correct title just now; that's because the big stupid clod just blurted it out that he was Elly's second husband when they were hauling him away. It'll take a loooong while for Michael to process this so you'll excuse him if you don't hear his take on this for a few months. I won't go into detail about it because not only would that be telling tales out of school, it doesn't pay dividends to blurt out people's secrets before they're comfortable with them. Suffice to say, it messed Mike up some good. It's sort of too bad that he doesn't have Deanna and the kids to lean on in his hour of need; me, Wilf and the Mayes family are a poor-at-best substitute for his family but we'll do our best.
Speaking of Deanna, I'm following Elizabeth's lead and saving the best for last; Deanna and the kids are settling in fairly well in their new place. Not only that but Robin is in one of the best programs in the States (with official AMA reccomendation yet) so he's being taken care of; their insurer even took care of the surgery for his ears. Meredith is also doing fairly well since she's being included in the process; Mike tells me that he doesn't want her to feel as left out of things as he was. That, as Anthony would say, is another dividend that the collapse of the Patterson holdings brought to light.
It seems strange to end the letter by discussing a memorial service but it was actually one of the highlights of the months; you already know that Mike was the only one of the Colorado Pattersons (will he keep the name now that he knows who he really is and now that he's totally disgusted with John?) in attendance as they, as is their habit, had their own private send-off for Mr Richards. Having Doctor Patterson's parents serve as stand-ins for the son and daughter-in-law that were discouraged from attending lent it a serenity and dignity that their presence would have disrupted; heck, they even dug that the old boy had April play a song from Green Day instead of the stodgy businessman's bounce (as Phil would put it) that Elly would have preferred.
I hope that when my time comes, they can provide me with a final curtain-call that stylish; I don't want the sort of sodden mess that Elly would probably want. Fortunately, that's years away for all of us so we'll have to see what happens when it does. I'll let you know how Mike gets on repelling boarders this months in my next letter; after all, I've got to get back to my day-to-day life and so do you.