My Sister Patty
My sister Patty passed away at her home in Dover, NH, on January 3rd, 2007, at the young age of 46 years. She fought a long, heroic battle that began with a diagnosis of breast cancer several years ago. From the very beginning, Patty remained optimistic and determined live, and she never stopped trying to make others happy. Even in her final days, she smiled and made us smile. In a typical moment just a few days ago, as she lay in her bed, frail and weak, my brother playfully busted her about something, just to lighten things up. She responded in equally playful fashion, turning her palm up and flipping him the bird, so sending us all into laughter.
Patty was a fighter, and she was often much stronger than those who came to comfort her - myself included. Last Saturday, after I had kissed her goodbye for the day and was leaving her room, she called out to me in an unwavering voice: "I love you, Bill." I was barely able to reply to her, "I love you too, Patty," and afterward I hoped that my shaken, emotional voice didn't upset her.
Like all of us, it is probably true that Patty may well have had some faults. If she did, though, I was entirely unable to find any. She had no enemies. No one disliked her, nor spoke ill of her in her absence. Her famous laugh was easily recognizable and always contagious. Patty never played a joke on anybody unless she was sure her target would laugh along, too. There was no mean in her soul.
Patty was the bravest person I have ever known, and I will miss her for the rest of my life.
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
ADDED JANUARY 11th, 2007:
My mom created a great graphic tribute to Patty on her chat site. I've added it, below.