Saturday, September 26, 2015

thinking of patti

One of the first people I met when we moved to the Risley house in Milwaukie, Oregon was my neighbor, Stephanie.

Her family lived across the street from us.  Even though she was a year younger and one grade behind in school, we became fast friends.  No one can ever describe why these relationships begin.  They just do -- their growth dependent upon proper cultivation.

We turned into fellow confidants.  She advised me on girls; I returned the favor on boys.  Really only one boy.  My friend Jim who lived a block from us.  He was the sole love of her life.  A love that blossomed into a long-standing marriage.

Jim and Steph have continued to be two of my closest friends.  They certainly top the list of "old friends."

And that is why I was not surprised when I found a get well card from Steph this week in my postal box.  She mailed it from Portland on 2 September -- in the hopes that my optimistic view of the Mexican postal service was more accurate than the pessimists who write about late Christmas cards. 

It turns out her optimism was well-spent.  The card arrived here on 23 September.  Three weeks.  Just about standard.

No matter how long it took, its sentiments (and the personal effort invested) were appreciated on this end.  That is what friendship is about.

I am in a reflective mood this morning.  In four hours, the memorial service for my friend Patti will begin in Washington.

I should be there.  Just like Jim and Steph, Patti has long been one of my closest confidants.  To not be able to reminisce about the importance to my life in the company of people she knew is going to be tough.

But my doctor felt it was not wise to subject my left leg to the stress of being bent for a full-day car and airplane trip north.  Ken (Patti's husband) reminded me that Patti would have told me to stay in bed and rest my leg.  He, of course, is correct.

Instead of flying, then, I am going to spend the day resting.  But not peacefully.  I am going to reflect on Patti's life, and what she has added to my own.

There are many ways in which we receive wishes to get well.  Thanks to people like Steph and Patti.

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