Today I remember and honor a dear girlfriend, Patricia. She and I share more than the same first name. We met when we were eleven, and over the years and the many adventures of growing up formed the kind of friendship that comes once in a lifetime as you grow together.
Today, October 25th is Pat's birthday.
The summer after we finished college, as we were about to turn 21 we lost her to a tragic scuba accident. She would have turned 40 this year. I think about her often, and when I do I get chills down my spine. It is unfathomable that someone so young could die like that. We will never understand how or why. We are forever changed by her life and her death.
Not a lot of people will appreciate how profoundly this is affecting my thoughts today, this big milestone that will never happen...but Pat would want me to see the upside to her story. She would want me to focus on how precious people are, how important girlfriends are. On the anniversary of her death, as she did in life, Pat is reminding me.
I am reminded to be grateful. I am reminded to tell you that I love you. I am reminded to say sorry. I am reminded at how much joy friendship can bring. I am reminded to sing, as the Golden Girls suggested, thank you for being a friend.
In honor of Pat, I am wearing a mini skirt despite the fall weather - it was one of her signatures. That and her contagious laughter.