Saturday, April 21, 2012
And Then There Was HOPE
Last year the Relay Walk barely saw Patti. She had literally gotten out of the hospital that day, and it took everything she had, but she meant she was going to make an appearance. So many people were there in her honor, and she would not let them down or disappoint them.
And survived it she did. In grand fashion to boot. This past Friday night at the Relay for Life Walk, she was able to strut her stuff with the best of them. So many of her friends, family and fellow church members once again reigned the tent which bared her name. They were all so proud to be a part of Team Patti!
Friday night meant so many things for me as well. I was able to meet new friends, only prior known through Patti and Face Book. To Mrs. Colleen Davis, her husband Rex, and her sons Larry and Barry, it was indeed my pleasure to put faces with the names. And I got to see girls I went to school with and was babysat by, that I have not seen in thirty years or better. My grand at the laughter. The catching up. And honestly for the most part, because of Face Book, it seemed like we could all just pick up where we left off. We all sat there and talked about things in present time, because we are able to follow each others lives in just that manner.
I was able to watch Jenny and Patti in action again. This time, it felt more familiar but just as warm and wonderful. I don't know what either one of them would do without the other, but I doubt they will ever have to worry about that.
We stood outside of porta-potties, in the pitch black dark, about to die to use the restroom, but scared to go in. Illuminating each others way with cell phone lighting, loud raucous laughter, and hilarious comments. And amazingly enough, it was a unanimous decision, that the mens' porta-potties would most likely be cleaner, as they all stand upright to do most of their 'business'. So as we all stood guard as one at the time went in, the looks on the mens' faces as they came around to 'their' side was priceless.
And when it was time to go, we rode circles amongst circles in the parking lot looking for long ago parked vehicles. Because by now it was late, very dark, and nothing looked familiar anymore. Sweet Debbie White and her just as sweet daughter Haley, deposited both Tina Back and myself right to the driver's door of both our vehicles, with her extra sweet husband Jerry White in tow. Because he was of course, making sure nothing happened to ANY of us. And let me just say this, sweet Jerry also hung tight all night long, right by his beautiful wife's side, while a bunch of silly hens cackled and talked and never once did he look impatient, bored or ready to escape. What a lucky girl that Debbie is...and as she said herself, her Jerry, is her everything. I saw it, and I believe it.
It's amazing to me what life can bring, the turns it will make, and the loose ties it will wrap and bind together. As I sat in the back of Debbie White's vehicle last night, it felt just as normal as it felt surreal. Before Face Book and before God's hand in Patti's life and ours, who knows if anything we all experienced would have ever happened in that sequence. It certainly gives a new and greater meaning to "everything happens for a reason".
I have no idea why Patti was chosen. Was she the strongest? Was she the one mostly likely to struggle through it? Or was she simply the most central focal point that would bring so many people from so many tangled and distant directions back together? I am so sorry for her struggles but so grateful for her survival and it's results.
God bless all the Survivors and God bless the Ones who were called Home, forced to surrender. Amen.