for Pat Adair, and the people who love her...

Our beloved Pat got some shocking news recently, and we're off and running on a mysterious medical adventure. Not an adventure we would have picked, but we're off just the same... (If you're new to the blog, start here.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Patricia Johnson Adair, March 31, 1932 - July 3, 2008

Our dear mother Patio passed away this evening, at 11:48 p.m. on Thursday, July 3. After lots of interaction these last eight days in hospice, she started to withdraw yesterday, but she did manage a clear smile for her granddaughter Courtney just hours before she died. Her breath became more and more shallow, until Mike and I could barely tell if she was breathing. We could see the pulse in her neck, and then that, too, faded and stopped. It made me wonder where she went. After a lifetime of identifying her as being in this body, now that the body remains but Mom is nowhere to be found, it just makes me wonder.

I have so many powerful "Mom" memories, of course, but one that always stuck with me goes back to when I was 13. I was sure that I was a young man, by that point, having stepped out from under Mom's wing, and I was going to face the world like a man should - resolute and strong. I was swimming at our neighbor's pool, and when I went down the slide I tried to grab my friend underneath the slide, which drove my head hard into the bottom of the pool. (Yes, that does explain a lot, thanks for noticing.) I stumbled out of the pool and mom was there, with a towel, clutching me to her breast. I was mortified and astounded by how unbelievably comforting that was. The warmth of that embrace washed over me, and for the young stud that I aspired to be (and never achieved) it revealed a powerful truth: there's something special about Mom, and your relationship doesn't just change because you decide it should.

My relationship with Mom has deepened so much over these last months of caring for her, and I'm so glad that I was able to. It made it easier that she was so appreciative. My love for her grew by the day, and I didn't need to turn her into some kind of faultless saint for that to happen. (She happens to be one, but that's a coincidence!)

I'd like to ask you for a favor - write a comment at the bottom of this blog entry, if you want, about Mom. Share some stories or thoughts or just wish her well. It would mean a lot to Mike and I, but also, I think, to others who cared about her.

Mom is going to be cremated, and we'll have a memorial service, but not immediately. Keep an eye on this blog for more information. Thank you to everyone who loved our mother. We learned a lot this last week about how many people were moved by her.

Much love,
Dave (and Mike)


At July 4, 2008 6:45 AM , Anonymous Mari Jo said...

I am so sad to learn of Pat's passing but happy to know she was surrouunded by so many people who loved and adored her.
My favorite memory of Pat, well there were many, but one that sticks with me is when I moved to Arnold and was talking to her on the phone one day. I told her how much I missed seeing her and our long conversations about family and life. She knew I was sick and Well, what did she do? She got in her car the next day and drove 2 1/2 hours each way to spend an afternoon with me. That touched me so. I also cherish our time working together. Whenever I needed a break I would go to Pat's office and she would say "Sit down and talk to me." I loved hearing stories about her traveling son, seeing all the photographs and hearing about her family. She was so proud of you all as I am now for how lovely you are. Please know that she is safe now in the loving arms of our creator. I leave you with a quote from Mark Twain that I pray will comfort you as it does me.
~Grief can take care of itself but to get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with. ~Mark Twain
You all have each other so please love on each other now and always. I am sending my love to her many family and friends during this difficult time. ~Mari Jo

At July 4, 2008 7:08 AM , Anonymous Donna Amberson said...

Please accept my sincere sympathy.

I met and worked with Pat at WMC Mortgage Co. in the 80's. (Courtney was just a little girl, I rememeber her picture on Pats desk)
After the company relocated Pat kept all us WMC girls in touch. She was the backbone or our friendship, and organized dinners twice a year....and I loved those times. One of my favorite memories of those dinners was hearing her share about David's journeys all over the world! She was a great story teller, and I loved sitting and listening. She was loving, suportive, and a great encourager! Pat loved her family, life and friends with all her heart! And I can see how her great love is reflected in her family and is her legacy. She will be deeply missed. She impacted so many lives. And those memories for me are a joy I will always cherrish.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God's peace that passes all understanding be with you all in the days to come.

GOd bless, Donna Amberson

At July 4, 2008 7:16 AM , Anonymous Whitney said...

Pat, your eyes are what I will always remember about you, for these reasons.

First, the color. Liquid blue, clear and bright to the very end of your life. Simply beautiful, they drew me to you and pulled me in.

And next, as I look through all the lovely photos that Dave captured in your journey since New Year's Eve, I see how your eyes connect you to your family. You know I could never stop looking at the portrait of your father in the frame on the bookshelf in your living room. I was captivated by that strong Johnson gaze, the wide brow, and...those eyes, upside down quarter moons that you and now Dave share. I admire that handsome strength.

Goodbye, Pat! You are a beautiful person and I am so glad to know you.

At July 4, 2008 8:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am overwhelmed with the strong family bond that we share and all of the love that we enjoy together. Being with all of you at Aunt Pat's bedside was such a privilage, sitting with a spiritual being, making the trasition from this life into another. Actually being able to communicate with her while she was between worlds was so priceless and special. To shower affection, physically and verbally on her was absolute heaven for me. I wished I could just wrap my arms around her fragile body and give her a big gental hug. I loved my Aunt Pat. She was the rock of the family. She loved all of us and it showed in all of her actions. I will miss her but will be happy to see her legacy live on in her beautiful children and grandchildren. I'm so happy that she is with the ones that she loves, paticularly her mother and I know that Grandma is happy to have her in her arms again as well!
Much Love,

At July 4, 2008 9:16 AM , Anonymous Whitney said...

Here's another thing that Pat left us: her apple pie! Here's the recipe.

Pat's Apple Pie

4 cups apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix everything, pour into the crust, dot with butter, and cover with the top crust. DON'T FORGET TO MAKE PAT'S SIGNATURE MARK IN THE CRUST! It was her special lovemark. (Does anyone have a picture of that?)

Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, then 350 for and additional 20-25 minutes.


At July 4, 2008 10:38 AM , Anonymous Lori Perlstadt said...

To all who loved her, we are so sorry to hear that she has passed.

It is perhaps appropo that today is independence day....on several fronts. We know that she taught her children to be independent, free thinkers....always questioning and seeking their own truths. She surely encouraged them to choose their own paths but know that she was always there for them. She herself was independent, living on her own in a world where doing so is not always easy.

And finally, she is now independent in a way that we can not yet imagine. She is independent of her earthly body, and yet her spirit soars with a new found independence.

Pat, we wish we would have known you better. But if one of your legacies is your children, you could have done no better. We love Dave like a brother, our children love him like an uncle...and having recently met so many of the rest of your family, we know that you were all you could be...a force, an inspiration, pure love and a model for independent spirit.

Thank you for your legacy.

Lori, Doug, Elijah and Ruby Perlstadt

At July 4, 2008 11:21 AM , Blogger debra said...

Dear Dave and Family,

I too am one who knew Pat through the eyes of her family; and through these past months. I do know that she was one special lady to have been loved as she was, and to have nurtured such wonderful sons. She was rich in life in the many important ways.

Bill and I send loving thoughts and prayers, wishing you all peace and love and wonderful memories. And thank you Dave, for sharing all of your love and thoughts, which have allowed me to grow and appreciate life.

Some thoughts that have been written far better than I can:

- Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- Where there is love there is life.
- Mahatma Gandhi

I found something that many of you may have seen in Dave’s travelogues, but would like to repeat it here. For me, it talks about a way to live and appreciate life, while accepting death.

• Vipassana (insight) meditation is the moment-to-moent examination of the body and mind with calm and focused attention. This practice brings us in touch with our experience directly. It helps us live more fully in the present instead of being lost in thoughts, images, regrets, and fears about the past and future.
• As our minds become less distracted, we begin to see
things more clearly. We begin to see that the bare experience of sights, sounds, sensations, and thoughts is one thing, and what we make out of that bare experience is another. We begin to see that our happiness and suffering do not lie "out there" in the experience but are found instead within our own minds, in how we relate to experience.
• We begin to see the truth that "all things are changing" in a much deeper way, so that we stop trying to hold onto things. We see we are not who we thought we were. Our sense of separateness begins to dissolve. The practice of loving kindness that goes
together with vipassana develops this new sense of connection into a powerful force for healing and
• As it becomes easier to let go, to let life "live itself," we gain abiding happiness and peace. Our wisdom leads to spontaneous compassion for the relief of all suffering beings, including ourselves.

Love to all,

At July 4, 2008 11:39 AM , Blogger Joey said...

Pat was always full of life and humor and that keen intelligence that made being with her so much fun. I am glad I got to know Pat during the time that Dave and I were roommates and sad that in the intervening years we saw so little of one another. Seeing her again last week I strained to connect again as I sat by her bedside. I'm not sure she remembered me but it was beautiful watching her family go through this passage with her, never turning away, not afraid to live the heartache and always feeling the beauty that was always so much a part of Pat's essence. I got one little flicker of recognition, when I called her Patio Furniture - the silly and endearing name David often called her. She smiled big and looked very pleased - it warmed my heart. Later I saw she still had her wits about her when I asked if she was more comfortable sitting up or laying down and she looked at me sideways and said "that's a very broad question" - the old Pat, intelligent and always an interesting take on things. I am glad I knew her and glad I had a chance to see the love around her in the days just past - a very moving experience.

At July 4, 2008 11:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been 16 years since my grandma passed away. I was very close to her. Although I never met Pat, but from what I heard or read about her, reminded me of my grandma. With her baby blue eyes Pat looked like an angel as if she is a new born baby in a creed ready to begin her new journey once more. It's a gift that many of you shared and experienced her gracefulness, sense of humor and love before that. We can't prove nor deny her new journey maybe that's why I still feel as if my grandma is still with me from somewhere. My grandma probably reincarnated but she is only at a distance as far as my thought. Not just your family but spare nobody from love, the Pat's way. I wish all lots of love and peace

At July 4, 2008 3:49 PM , Anonymous suzy (dave's friend) said...

Be free and well Patio! Dave and Mikey and the rest of the family will make sure that your life here remains and continues--especially through this website.
And thank you Patio for Dave--I think I now know where he gets his striking blue eyes, sense of humor, story-telling abilities, carefulness and kindness, (and his habits of being unorganized with his papers).
(Dave I think you're a great son to have taken care of your mom!)

At July 4, 2008 5:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Dave Adair
c/o Jack Harper

Dave, I was Pat's Home Teacher for a couple of years and always enjoyed her happy smile when she talked about her son - "the world traveler". She would often tell me about the remote areas in which you traveled and the many pictures you had taken along with your fascinating stories. She always looked forward to your running out of money. Whenever you ran low on money you would head for home and work for a while - just long enough to build up a "little cash in the bank". The time she spent with you meant so much to her

Now it is her time to do some traveling, so when you meet again, she will have some wonderful stories to share with you (Dave and Mike) and all of her loved ones.
Peace be with you.

Brother Lew Allen, CV1.

At July 4, 2008 6:26 PM , Anonymous Regina said...

Dear Dave ,Mike and family,

I have got to know Patio through your eyes as I have never had the pleasure to do so personally.
I have loved her though and the news I have been reading almost daily have filled me with love.I wish her much peace wherever she may be.

May you all be in peace and full of the love she always gave you.

Bless you all,

At July 4, 2008 6:27 PM , Anonymous Patti said...

David, Mike and Family,

I was saddened to hear of your mother’s passing last night. I am so glad you were able to be right by her side. You are a great example of a loving, caring, devoted family. I have much love and admiration for your mom, my Aunt Pat. She was a loving, caring sister to my mother Geri. I loved and admired her sense of humor and no-nonsense style. She will be greatly missed by us all. The time spent together as a family with Pat earlier this week was a precious gift. We felt the family love so strongly. I agree with Mike, that it was a minor miracle that Geri made the trip. But we were all richly blessed by that choice experience. My deepest condolences to you on the loss of your beloved mother.

Much love, Patti

At July 4, 2008 7:09 PM , Anonymous Tracey Panek said...

Pat was in my ward at church. She had an engaging personality and I appreciated her direct and honest way of communicating. I especially enjoyed her telling experiences about how she raised her boys.

I have admired Pat's courage the past few months. On many visits, I have come away feeling uplifted just being around her.

Dave, Mike and family, I have enjoyed your insightful postings. Thank you for teaching me about unconditional love.

Ka Kite Ano Pat (until we meet again),


At July 4, 2008 8:23 PM , Anonymous Brookie said...

First of all, my most vivid memory ever with Grandma was that when she used to read me books from Daddy's and Uncle Dave's childhood, particulary the one story about all the chinese brothers who each had these amazing capabilities. Besides that, I just wanted to speak even more on the fact that I am so incredibly grateful for the past week. I've never felt so openminded, so matured, and I've never been so happy. In the weirdest way. I know that not everyone takes expeiriences like this in this way, but it's how you react to situations that shows your character and how strong of a person you are, which is something I learned from Viktor E. Frankl, a holocaust survivor.

"Everything can be taken from a man but ...the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

At July 5, 2008 12:32 AM , Anonymous Jen Roth said...

Although I have not had the privilege of meeting Pat in person, I have been profoundly impacted by her presence through my connection with Dave. Dave and I traveled together in India. His peaceful persona, wisdom, wit, and curiosity for life around him prompted our friendship. My favorite memories are of walking without a destination, exploring the local culture with him. I continue to laugh, contemplate, and appreciate deeply when I speak with him. Dave teaches by example. This blog is a perfect illustration of this. Dave’s love for Pat is profusely clear, reminding us to not sweat the small stuff with the people that we care about and to make sure that we appreciate them as often as possible. He demonstrates that letting go of clinging desire does not come without intense pain and tears, but the process of surrendering does bring about a bountiful amount of joy and peace. In the light that Dave has depicted his mom, I see him. Pat has clearly passed on her gifts to her family and friends which has then extended out. There is a Buddhist quote that says… “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” I am forever grateful to Pat for sharing her gifts and happiness with her family, because of this, I have been blessed to be touched by them through my connection with Dave, and others I know will now be touched and so forth…. Much heartfelt peace and love to your entire family. Jen

At July 5, 2008 9:03 AM , Anonymous said...

I will always have such warm memories of Pat and all the things she taught me in a loving way. No one could ask for a better mother-inlaw. I remember the first time I met Pat at her place for dinner. I was such a nervous wreck and, of course, she immediately put me at ease. I remember running a 5K with her. I remember how she taught me how to plant flowers for our wedding (I have always loved gardening since). I remember going to an apple fair with Pat and her trying to teach me how to make her apple pie. I will remember her huge smile as she held our girls for the first time. I'll always remember Christmas with Pat. She was like a kid. Always the first one up in the morning waiting for us to come downstairs. The best part were always the Christmas stockings. She would shop for weeks at boutiques finding just the right things for each of us. Then wrapping them up carefully in different colored tissues for each of us.

Most of all I will miss our family and friends dinners...Pat would say the blessing and it would always bring home the true meaning of life. I love you and miss you Pat.
Love, Mary

At July 5, 2008 9:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some cousins I get to see more than others and I know how lucky we are to live in the same part of the country so that we can see each other. What a blessing that has been.
Then there are cousins and other family members that are extremely closely related to Christmas memories. Of course these memories are the best - because they involve Christmas. That is where my Aunt Pat's family fits in. Since I was a little girl I have had a special place in my heart for Mike and Dave, the cool cousins, and for my Aunt, who would bring them to us and take part in our chaotic Christmas on Lowell Ave.
Somehow- through some miracle- we were able to move that blessed event to Midway Ut in these past few years. In fact, my last memory of my Aunt Pat, outside the hospice, takes place when she and the fam were still in town after Christmas. We all went to lunch at the Homestead. We had a really nice time, enjoyed each others company and ate a yummy lunch. Then Aunt Pat unceremoniously picked up the tab. I protested because she had just paid for dinner a night or two ago at another restaurant. Enough is enough, right? She looked at me and said something to the effect of "this is what I want to do- this is my way of saying 'I love you." And she hugged me. That really affected me and I remember thinking that when I grow up, I want to be like that.
Some people say I look like Aunt Pat and I take that as a compliment. I hope someday I can be like her too; generous and loving. The last days with her in the hospice were a mix between awesome hang-out time with my Christmas cousins, memories of my own dad dying of Cancer just less than 2 years ago, and time to learn more of my Aunt-to love her more, before saying goodbye.
Goodbye Aunt Pat, until we meet again.
And to my cousins I say, Please don't make me wait 'til Christmas. I love you guys!

At July 5, 2008 5:48 PM , Anonymous Frank Leahy said...

Dear Dave,

We're so sorry to hear about your mom's death. Rachel the boys and I send you love and hugs in this difficult time.

I never had the opportunity to meet your mom, so I can't talk about her directly. But I know she must have been an amazing woman: because she raised such an amazing son, and because you loved her so much.

-- Frank

At July 5, 2008 7:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Adair Family,
Where to begin..To have known Pat is to have known laughter; empathy; joy & humor.

Over our 28 years of friendship, our lives ran parallel in some ways & totally opposite in others. We met in a word processing class at DVC and went for coffee. At least 1000 cups later we were never at a loss for topics: children, books, grandchildren ( I finally got some). I still have Courtney's announcement Pat sent me.

Pat wasn't a shopper, but sometimes Pat put up with me. Lunch at Nordies was always a way to get Pat to Walnut Creek.

I admired her sense of loyalty and her love of family. She loved talking about Courtney and Brooke. Her trips to Utah and her brother's B & B; her visits to her sis Geri.

We both were Cancer survivors and her courage & determination were awsome. We would laugh over our radiologist and loved our GYN. Its not possible to be brief when thinking about Pat. There is no one more caring or gentle. Pat would not know how to have an unkind thought about anyone or anything.

She worried about David - that he would not have any retirement. Dave, I hope you assured her you would be ok. She worried about Mike and his family, especially after Mike's surgery. She loved to talk about Courtney's dancing - keep it up. I could go on forver, but I won't. I love Pat like a sister and will miss her dearly.

At July 6, 2008 12:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dave, Mike and Family,

What a beautiful gift you and your family have given your Mom. I'm not sure if you truly know how the way you loved and cared for your Mother has touched and comforted me, and all who love Pat. I know it touched her deeply. She always spoke with such love for her family over the years, especially her children and grandchildren. She was so proud of all of you. I'm so glad you were all with her through this and that she was surrounded and showered with such pure love.

Thank you for the gift you gave me. Words can't express how much I will treasure being able to say goodbye to Pat.

Whenever I think of her, I see her beautiful smile, bright blue eyes and hear her wonderful laugh. She had a way about her that made me feel like everything would always be okay. She was such a blessing and encouragement to me over the years. Someone I could always count on for love and support.

During the years we worked together, if I was feeling stressed out I could always plop down in her office and talk to her. Just a few minutes with her and I was able to go tackle the rest of the day.

Even though for the last 8 years there were many, many miles between us, just knowing she was there and I could pick up the phone and call her anytime meant so much to me. I find myself remembering her little sayings, "Well, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye!" I cracked up the first time I heard her say that some 20+ years ago! And, "It's good enough for the girls I go with!" She always tried to see the positive side of things. I loved that about her. I know I am only one of many who were touched in a special way by knowing Pat.

Pat, what started out as a friendship grew into something so special and wonderful. You became like family to me. Even though I won't be able to call you anymore, you will be with me in my heart always. I can look into my heart and feel your love and strength there and I will cherish our friendship forever.

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you ..." Philippians 1:3

I know that Pat's loving, caring spirit will live on through her family. I've seen the tender love you have for your Mom and the generosity of sharing that with others as you've cared for her.

I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I will be praying for comfort, peace and healing for you.

Much Love,

At July 6, 2008 8:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Family and Friends of Pat,

As I awoke this morning my first thoughts were that of Pat and the wonderful experience we have had being with Dave, Mike, Mary, Courtney and Brooke for several days before Pat left us. It was a very special time being with the Adair family, just Mike, Dave and Pat were with us for the few last days when my husband Bob, Pat's brother, passed away twenty months ago. Pat had told Bob when he was diagnosed with cancer, "I just can't imagine my life without Bob." And that was how I felt about Pat. I will miss so much, her dry and sometimes really sarcastic sense of humor. I loved it. She and Bob certainly had that in common. What a gift, to be able to keep the people around you light-hearted and laughing.

This morning I was reading one of my favorite poems, Wordswoth's "Ode to Immortality" and was particularly struck by this small part.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.
The soul that rises with us, our life's Star.
Had had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
Bur trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy.

I would like to share an experience I had with my little grandson just a few months after my husband Bob passed away. I had awakened early and was the only one up, when Baylon, Bart's little son who was three and a half at the time, awakened. I asked him to tell me about his visit with Grandpa a few weeks earlier, which I had heard about from Robyn's mother Elain. I asked him to sit on my lap in the rocking chair and tell me about it.

He climbed up on my lap and said, "Oh, Grandma, I went to visit Grandpa in Heaven. He is really busy and really happy. He really likes it there and he is not coming back!"

There was no sensationalizing, no doubt nor confusion with a dream offered. Just as matter of fact and honest as can be.

Not long ago I read about Robert Blatchford, whom, in his book, "God and My Neighbor" attacked with vigor accepted Christian beliefs such as...immortality. He boldly asserted, "I claim to have proved everything I set out to prove so fully and decisively that no Christian, however great or able he may be, can answer my arguments or shake my case." He surrounded himself with a wall of skepticism. Then a surprising thing happened. His wall suddenly crumbled to dust. He was left exposed and undefended. Slowly he began to feel his way back to the faith he had scorned and ridiculed. His wife had died.

With a broken heart, he went into the room where lay all that was mortal of her. he looked again at the face he loved so well. Coming out, he said to a friend; "It is she, and yet it is not she. Everything is changed. something that was there before is taken away. she is not he same. What can be gone if it be not the soul?

Later he wrote, "Death is not what some people imagine. It is only like going into another room. In that other room we shall find...the dear women and men and the sweet children we have loved and lost."

I believe this with all my heart. I look forward to the time when I will be reunited with my wonderful husband, Bob, my dear sister-in-law Pat, and the many other dear friends and family members I know I will see again. This brings great comfort to me, and I hope it will to all of you as well.

I love you dear, Mike, Mary, Dave, Courtney and Brooke. You will always be very special and dear to me because of the very meaningful time we have shared together. You had a saintly mother and grandmother; how very blessed you have been.

See you at Christmas!


Aunt Char

At July 6, 2008 10:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dave, Mike, and Family,

Although I only have a few memories of time spent with Pat, those few are filled with warmth, love, and laughter. Whenever Dave would return home from his journeys and we would get together, I would always want to try and include Pat in the plans. After our first meeting, I felt such a connection to her and knew this woman was someone special. I can remember sitting in the extra bedroom at her house going through all of Dave's "stuff" he was keeping there while traveling and the good-hearted ribbing she was giving him about his organizational style. The banter between them was priceless, but what was even more apparent was the deep, unconditional love. We had one outing to The Hungry Hunter in Lafayette with Pat, Dave, and Grams, and I don't remember laughing as much as I did that afternoon.

I think what I will remember the most about Pat was how she made me feel welcome and accepted in her home. If I was a friend of Dave's, I was a friend of hers. I see so many of her traits and qualities in Dave and I know it is because of her that he is such an amazing friend to have.

Peace be with you, Pat, and know that you have touched the lives of so many with your kindness and love.

Kristin Jones

At July 6, 2008 10:33 AM , Anonymous Jeanette said...

I am so happy that I was able to make it to Concord to see Aunt Pat just a few days ago. Whenever I see Mike, Dave and Aunt Pat I am reminded of the stinging memory of my dad passing away, but also of the comfort they brought me and the rest of my family for being there in our time of need. When I heard Aunt Pat was moved to hospice care all I wanted was to be able to be there for them as they were there for us. But I felt so much more than that. Our family bond and friendships grew and love for each other overflowed into the lovely courtyard. I felt a knowledge that I was loved and not alone came over me and I knew that I would see my dad and Aunt Pat again.

I love you Mike, Mary, Dave, Courtney and Brookie. I can't wait to see you again.


At July 6, 2008 1:26 PM , Anonymous Rachel Gaunt said...

Dear Dave and family
So sorry for your loss.
I never actually met your dear mum, but feel as if I knew her through your eyes. What a wonderful human being she was. And how much you all loved each other.

I guess her spirit will never be far away. It dances in all the shades of blue ocean and sky that matched her beautiful eyes.
with much love to you all.

At July 7, 2008 6:55 AM , Blogger RJ said...

I only met Pat a handful of times, but they were all during the 9.5 year overseas I spent traveling, working and growing up. I remember her supportive attitude towards the whole journey (and I'm not referring to the travel itself). It was a stark contrast to my own mother's worry, anxiety and skepticism. I remember her taking us to Mel's Diner, and I was amazed that she didn't think I was crazy, and in fact, asked engaging questions that if anything inspired me forward. As Dave and I were on a similar path, my mother even called Pat to try and figure me/us out, and maybe even get some indirect support to convince me to come home. I'm not sure what the result of the conversations were, but over time, my mother became more accepting of what I was doing.

At July 7, 2008 11:37 AM , Anonymous Michele Bovet said...

Dearest Davemo & family
Your words and pictures of your beautiful mother have moved me deeply, and while I haven't met Pat, it feels like your relationship with her is the best possible of children with their Mothers everywhere. I loved seeing pictures of her as a young, vibrant, joyful woman - and how those sparkling eyes continued to the last to speak from her soul.

Your willingness to engage with what is uncomfortable has been an inspiration to me. Until I met you in India in 2000, my travels though that crazy country had really been tainted by my response to the beggars. Like you, my initial reaction was to pretend they were invisible. Like you, I found this really unsatisfactory, as it cut me off from the people I wanted to engage with. Seeing you with the beggards in Sarnath was an epiphany for me, and transformed my trip to India. You engaged with them lightheartedly, giving them playful attention and kindness instead of money, and completely winning them over so that they completely forgot that they even meant to beg. This example of your willingnss to open your heart in difficult circumstances gave me the key to really engaging with the people of India - and I try to use the same way of being with the South African beggars (of which there are many though not as many, thankfully, as India).

The death of my own mother is something I dread. Your entries here are an inspiration to approach this - like everything - with an open heart and a willingness to engage, no matter what - and to surrender to what is before us. Thank you for the inspiration and love you radiate, from all of us who know and love you.

May you all be peaceful, may you be free of suffering, may you be happy. With huge love

At July 7, 2008 11:17 PM , Anonymous Rick Marcus said...

I'm very sorry that I never met Pat, but I'm glad that I was able to share in the beautiful love Pat shared with her family and friends through Dave's blog. Dave the way you took care of your mom and spent loving time with her brings both tears of sadness and joy to my eyes. I'm planning to visit my 91 year old mother soon and having known Pat through this blog will help me bring more love to our relationship. My mother used to bake wonderful pies but hasn't baked for many years. I plan to bake Pat's apple pie for my mother when I visit and tell her about my friend Dave and his mother Pat.

At July 8, 2008 2:22 PM , Anonymous Amanda Kennett said...

Dear DaveMo, Mike and family

I didn't meet Pat, but I'm blessed to know Dave! And therefore knowing Dave.... Pat must have been a mighty special lady and Mom.

Thanks Dave for sharing your families recent journey by blog. I've been touched, by your family's heart full ness.
Found this wee Hafiz poem to share in Pat's memory...

The Sun Never says
all this time
the sun never says to the earth,

"You owe me."

what happens
with a love like that-

it lights the whole

.... and I can imagine that's what your Mom did.

With love and light

At July 8, 2008 5:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, Love to you in these special, special moments and hours when the line between life and death is so perforated. Indeed, where did she go? It is so awesome, isn't it, to be present in those final hours, minutes, and then seconds of breathing and pulse. Reading your description of the last hours connected me again to my beautiful last day with my mother. Your experience of these past months has no doubt remodeled the house of your own soul, beautifying it, increasing its space or arrangement for all that matters most. I love the Spirit that inhabits you, hovers nearby, and whose impulses you observe and follow. I cherish the divine in you, brother.

At July 8, 2008 5:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous (e-mail to Mike and Dave) said...

Dear Mike and David:

Thank Heaven for the memories. I sometimes find it difficult to remember my father – exactly what he looked like and most of all what he sounded like – he died 46 years ago. One night I was thinking about him as I went to sleep. I found myself in a barber’s chair – normally I like to just sit there and enjoy the haircut without speaking too much – but on this occasion I was talking with the barber about everything – church, my family, what I was doing, etc – I was very surprised by the continuous talking back and forth. He asked me, “How do you like the cut” as he turned me around to look into the mirror. There in the mirror, right behind me, was my father smiling. I jolted awake. How nice to see him again.

I am sure there will be many times when you will be thinking of one thing and have a quick flashback to your sweet mother. These memories fill and lift our lives. I am so very glad that we came up to see you and Patricia. You and your family meant everything to your mother. I cannot remember a time that the majority of her conversation was not about her family. I know that she loved you both so very much and that it was the focus of her life. There is great comfort in knowing that she is back in the arms of her parents and surrounded by love.

I have the greatest respect and love for you guys, Mary and the kids.

At July 8, 2008 6:19 PM , Anonymous Michelle Billing-Swearingen said...

Pat was a wonderful blessing to us and she was so blessed with love and attention in her last days. Family and friends came from near and far not just to say “good by, I love you”, they stayed and shared quality time together as well as with Pat. That makes me think of all the people who are not so blessed. They may not have close friends and family or their “loved ones” are afraid, to busy or uncomfortable sharing this intimate time.

I wonder who will be there for me but more importantly I think of my loved ones that I will definitely be there for when the time comes especially after sharing this enlightening and beautiful time with Pat and you her friends and her wonderful family.

Thank you ALL, Michelle Billing- Swearingen

At July 9, 2008 8:09 AM , Anonymous Maggie Sergio said...

Dave, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your sharing, thank you for your beautiful words and thank you for being who you are. This journal moved me deeply.

I hope Rumi's words can provide a bit of comfort. Peace, Maggie

When I die...

When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world

don't shed any tears
don't lament or
feel sorry
i'm not falling
into a monster's abyss

when you see
my corpse is being carried
don't cry for my leaving
i'm not leaving
i'm arriving at eternal love

when you leave me
in the grave
don't say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind

you'll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down

it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed

have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human

have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well

when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time

~RUMI, ghazal number 911,
translated May 18, 1992,
by Nader Khalili.

At July 9, 2008 10:44 AM , Blogger mia nyc said...

oh, dave, this makes me so sad. i only met your mother twice but i have such fond memories of those times. and all the time before i met her that she and i were in touch during your travels when she would keep us all up to date on your wanderings and adventures.

pat, you were so clearly a wonderful, wonderful person and i know your family will miss you so much, but that they feel so lucky to have had you in their lives for as long as they did! i am wishing you all the best things on your journey...

much love,

At July 9, 2008 6:56 PM , Anonymous Mary Phillips said...

Dear Dave and Mike,
You are so lucky to have had such a dear, sweet Mom.
I feel I know your Mom from your many e-mails.
Thank you for allowing me to follow her on her journey and to be able to be envolved in Pat's last "special days" with family members.
I am a good friend of Eula Adair Marian (Aunt Fay) of Phoenix, AZ.
I know this was an uncontrollable situation. It had to be overwhelming, no matter how educated and prepared you thought you were.
As for Pat, getting through her illness was not a walk in the park. Both, you sons, were so helpful to put together a "living legacy" - a website that reflects who Pat was and to share that legacy with your family and other loved ones.
Love to Pat's family,
Mary Phillips,
Phoenix, AZ

At July 9, 2008 7:01 PM , Anonymous Eula Adair Marion said...

Hi Dave, Mike and family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
As the years go by we understand that there really are more important things in life than things. We develop a tendency to hang onto the people who make our lives better. The kind of people who inspire us by the way they freely give of their talents, the positive way they look at life and the generous way they share their hearts.
That's the kind of person your Mom was and she passed this on to all of you.
I loved your Mom so much. She was like a sister to me. I dropped the "in-law" the first time I met her.
I love you all so much and I'm so proud of the way you have taken care of your Mom.
You have always been so special to me. Wish I could see you.
Hugs and Kisses,
Aunt Fay

At July 10, 2008 9:39 AM , Anonymous Carol H. said...


Thank you for sharing your mom with me. Love, Carol

At July 14, 2008 3:36 PM , Blogger Carol said...

Dear David, Mike, and Family,

We are so sad to hear of Pat's passing. She was a very special person in our lives. For over 10 years she was an incredibly caring, nurturing caretaker for our children, Jack and Natalie. We all loved her very much. At least once a week the kids mention some sort of "Pat" story. Just last week Jack told us a story that Pat had shared about David sharing a popsicle with their dog. We then all recalled many of the amusing situations and events that occurred with Pat and our beagle. Nikki, the beagle, was a big fan of Pat's.

Pat was a great listener and as our kids grew to be teenagers they depended on her, knowing that she would listen to anything they had to say without judgment. Many times they competed for her "ear". Natalie called her her PAT - Personal Attendant to Me because she could tell Pat anything. They spent hours talking. Pat and I enjoyed talking about books. When I got home from work, we would inevitably spend time talking about books we had read. Pat brought so much joy into our home.

Pat's stories will live on through our children. She helped raise them and we feel she greatly attributed to their success as young adults. Our family will miss Pat terribly, but her stories will always be alive in our home. We think of her often.

Don, Carol, Natalie, and Jack Loflin

At July 17, 2008 7:32 PM , Anonymous Laurel said...

Dear, Dear Dave,
How saddened I was to hear of your loss. I never met your mom, but it has been fun over the years knowing the happy coincidence that we shared the same birthday, exactly a decade apart. And I know she was a wonderful woman, because i have experienced first hand what her love created in you. That love is far too strong to succumb to death, so keep a space for it in your heart, and it will never leave you.
I send my virtual hug till I can give you a real one, Laurel

At September 25, 2008 8:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pat, It is finally time to say goodbye to you, even though you have been gone for some time. I just wasn't ready to say goodbye. I have been living through some hard times with Karri and her cancer and I think of you often as we work this out.I think of you when there is a new film out that I know you would like to go to and I wish you were here to go with me. I think of you daily as I drive past your street. I think of all the good talks we had about family and the walks in the park. Sometimes I relive our childhood days when Geri and I were just pests and in your way. Then I remember our college days at BYU when Geri and I "pledged" Val Norn, and that fun first year at BYU.
And then the last chapter when your lives connected here in Concord. One of my happier memories is when your mom, Elgin, was visiting and mom and i met you two for lunch. That was a great reunion of two great old gals.
Now it is time to let go, the memories are still there but they are starting to recede. It seems as if you are fading away from me. Goodbye old friend. We shall meet again. Love, Myrth


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