"Oh, hi Mike, is everything ok?"
"No. We lost Pattie last night"
I had the feeling of the world standing stiill. The calm before the storm. The wave of grief was so powerful that I had to sit down. Suddenly the world was surreal, a person that has shared my highs and lows, a person who has always been part of my transitions, the hub of the web of the scattered high school friends...is gone.
Pattie has been battling MDS ( a form of anemia) for the past few weeks, a diagnosis that she discovered only 6 to 8 weeks ago. Her treatment included several months of chemotherapy, with eventual bone marrow transplant. She had one round of chemo, then developed a urinary tract infection. Her body had nothing to fight it with.
I called her on Tuesday from South Dakota, not sure who the voice was that answered the phone, then being worried that she sounded so weak. I was glad I would see her this week-end and reassure myself that she is ok. But she wasn't ok, not at all.
Pattie has been there, always been there. Throwing a surprise party for me to furnish my first apartment at age 18.... Holding my hand in the elevator on my way to have my first baby.....Being there for me over and over again when I needed a shoulder to cry on.... Celebrating my successes....Helping me clean out my parent's house after my Dad died..... Sharing the growth of our children together....So many memories. And now the memory of sitting at Pattie's house, with Mike, friends, her boys, neighbors; a parade of people dropping by to share food, memories and tears. I will miss her.
A moment of reflection of what is important. The love and connection we share. A reminder- let those in your life know how much they mean to you.