This morning at 4:54 I got the text I knew was coming. My friend Patty had been battling Cancer for 10 years and lost the fight at 3:33. Now I’ve known Patty since I came to work at FBinsure which is just over 3 years. If someone didn’t tell you that she was sick you would never know that Patty had Cancer. Always a smile on her face to see and she always greeted EVERYONE every day with “Hi my friend”. She wore wigs better than I wear my hair on the good days and she came to work every day. She was raising 3 girls by herself never asking for or relying on anyone else for help. In February her fight got super serious and she entered rehab in an effort to get the care she needed daily. I couldn’t think of an excuse not to visit and I had one day that allowed me to go spend some time with her so I did. It felt a little like Tuesdays with Maury but it was Thursdays with Patty and the girls. Each week was different. Sometimes she was having a good day and I could talk to her and we involved her in the conversation. Other days she was too tired to stay awake and we let her rest. Sometimes she was alone and asleep when I got there so I let her rest. I brought her friends to visit on as many days as I had requests so that she knew we didn’t forget her here at work. I can’t imagine what the hours were like between visits and honestly that is one reason I went to see her. To cut down on the time she was alone. But she never was except for one or two visits. I always checked the register at the front desk to see if anyone else came on that day. There always was another name above mine and that made me happy. Some days the girls and I would chat about other stuff like school or the new apartment or job stuff. One visit we were outside talking about the shenanigans that can happen with teenagers and sisters alike. THAT was a great visit with so many people coming to see her and laughs abound. It didn’t matter where she was, Patty was always positive to the very last moment here on Earth.
My takeaway in this sad situation is that Patty taught me a lot of things and she never knew it. She taught me to look at my life and to see all the good and positive things instead of bitching about things that I’ll bet she wishes she had to worry about. Patty taught me better about thinking before I speak and to really consider someone’s possible situation before cutting them down or judging them. Patty gave me a better appreciation for every moment with my family because they are so precious. One never knows what tomorrow will bring. Did I take a moment to hear that stupid joke that my son has told me a million times or the hug in the middle of my very busy morning? Do I stop enough to take the time to do more with my children instead of rushing through the chores of the day / week? Do I hug my kids enough? Do I appreciate my husband and all that he sacrifices for our family? Do I truly give every run my all? Think about those things because at the end of the day, you will NEVER get the opportunity to do them again TODAY. Do NOT give up the opportunity to make new friends or to make an effort to encourage someone when they need it. Do NOT forget to smile each and every day. Do NOT let life pass you by.
This is a picture of Patty and her daughter just over a year ago. It is a great picture of the two and how I choose to remember my friend. Peace my friend.