We moved to the “big city” at the young ages of 20, with a 3 month old baby in tow.
I didn’t want him to grow up where I did.
It was a limiting town, ghost like, at times.
So, we moved.
We rented a new townhouse on the southside of town.
I’d never lived anywhere other than my hometown, so this was BIG.
My husband worked a lot, so I could stay home with the baby, as that was very important to us.
Needless to say, my son and I spent a lot of time alone the first couple weeks.
Then, one day, a cheerful, bright eyed lady came knocking at my door. It was our next door neighbor, Pat.
She and her husband were over the road a lot, but this route, she happened to stay back.
She had a plate of cookies in one hand and a friendship in the other that would last almost 2 decades.
I didn’t know the memories she would leave behind or the impact she would make in my life, until it was too late.
My friend passed away last week.
Suddenly and tragically.
I never got to say “goodbye”.
Or “thank you”.
Or “Do you remember when?”
And… worse, will she ever know how much I appreciated her?
I can only believe so.
The day that I heard the news, I rushed back into my messages from her, to see when we last communicated.
It wasn’t so long ago.
She was my youngest son’s Godmother. She couldn’t make his Graduation party this past summer, due to her mother’s passing, but in the messages, we agreed we would meet for lunch….. this week.
My heart broke.
I was too late.
Why didn’t we find the time?
It’s life, I guess.
Just a moment…. too late 💔
I don’t know how to put into words what her strength and presence meant to me, so many years ago.
She was very involved with my children and I. She showed up when no one else could.
She babysat my babies.
Hugged me when I cried.
Showed up to all the birthday parties.
Cooked amazing meals for us.
Made me laugh.
Listened when I needed to talk.
And always, without a doubt, had my back.
But, time goes on and lives change.
She divorced, remarried and moved away.
I divorced and changed too.
Time marched on.
The kids got busier, life became more hectic and years passed us by.
I got to see her for my oldest son’s Graduation. She showed up….again.
He was her “monkey”.
They called her Aunt Pat.
We will never forget your smile, extraordinary light and amazing laugh.
We will never forget all you overcame and all you gave to those you loved.
We loved you, too.
Her name was Patti and she was my friend. 💜
Rest now, “dear one”.
Your life was well lived.
Thank you so much for being there.
I know I will see you Again…..and we will laugh until our stomachs hurt.
“I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just like getting out of one car and into another .”