Pattie Marie Carter was my paternal grandmother's (Donna's) first cousin, i.e., their mother's were sisters. (Annie Carter Williams was the mother of Pattie, and Florence Carter Thompson was Donna's mother.) For all the time I knew them, Donna and Pattie lived together, and were more like sisters than cousins. Pattie died a few years before Donna.
Something fairly common among black families is long-term monogomous relationships that do not involve cohabitation. Pattie & Jimmy (James Hall) were a couple since before I was born, and one rarely spoke of one without including the other -- "Pattie&Jimmy" was spoken almost as a single word.
I often wondered why they never married, and when I was older, I learned that she had been married once, but he was an abusive man. My father and several of his male relatives had confronted him and proceded to carve him a new anal orifice, after which he left town and was never heard from again. Pattie chose never to marry again, although she and Jimmy enjoyed a discrete conjugal relationship for nearly 40 years. Jimmy died about a year before Pattie.
Here are pictures of Pattie with Jimmy, Donna, and other members of our family.
Pattie as a baby - circa 1905.
Pattie & Jimmy - Christmas, sometime in the 1960s
Pattie & Jimmy - Jimmy's birthday party - 17-Feb-79
Pattie & Donna - Thanksgiving at Uncle LeRoy's - 22-Nov-79