In My Own Way

A Tribute To My Wife Pat

To describe Pat and who she was is as difficult as describing a sunrise or a sunset. You know they are beautiful, the colors just play in the sky and the quiet that greet both instills an inner calm not believed possible. But describing what you saw is almost impossible and that really is the problem with describing Pat. Hopefully, in the following paragraphs I am able to impart to you just how wonderful a person Pat was. I will not say she did not have those moments we all have, when anger overrides judgment but I can say that in the 22 years we were together those times were few and far in between. So recognizing the inability of language to adequately describe Pat I will make my attempt to help you see just what a wonderful woman she was.

The very first thought that comes to mind when thinking of Pat is that in my life I have never met such a genuinely caring person. Whether it was taking care of her mom and dad, raising her children or interacting with those she had met Pat always tried to do the best she could for them. Examples are easy to come by and probably the best one I can think of would be Pat at the store, any store. She would go there with a purpose but inevitably find something there that someone else might want or need. A fish magnet for Freddie because he had an aquarium, fabric for Jeannie to make doll clothes, some kind of cool tool for Paul because he loved to build things. It just went on and on. But the most important lesson I learned in all of this was that giving is so much better then receiving. While a quaint phrase Pat showed me that it is so very true. The joy she displayed when she knew she had scored was just incredible, and that feeling of happiness, contagious. Even when diagnosed she still thought of others. In particular I can still see her going door to door collecting funds for the American Cancer Society while wearing her pump that provided chemo to her body. This memory reminds me of another of Pat’s outstanding qualities, her sense of humor.

Pat could and would laugh. She was not a comedian but she had a very wry sense of humor and could come up with one liner’s that would make you laugh so hard tears would come to your eyes. She especially liked to give me the business when I would get a little to pompous or full of myself. Unfortunately these moments came quite often and putting me in my place was sometimes a daily occurrence, not that she minded. She also was very self deprecating and would joke about her cooking or sewing or looks depending on her mood.

Pat was also courageous, creative, smart and tenacious. She feared little except for spiders. Many died while she clubbed them into oblivion so hard and so often there wouldn’t even be the usual stain. Her creativity was displayed in her cooking and her sewing. She became a personal chef for families on MDI and learned her craft using the internet, a myriad of cookbooks and the tenacity that said she could and would do well. Her sewing was legendary in its quality and appearance. Many on MDI and in Western Massachusetts celebrate Christmas with one of Pat’s Tree Skirts or Christmas Stockings purchased at a craft fair. It always bothered Pat that she could not draw or paint but watching her assemble the dinner plate with the style of a five star restaurant even though it was just her and I eating was comparable to watching an artist paint a landscape.

But I guess what it all comes down to is this, I loved her and she loved me and while we will not live happily ever after we did live and love for the twenty plus years we were together. We accomplished more than we thought possible but less than we would have had there been more time. I miss her a lot and while life goes on it can never be the same.