I learned that my friend Patti had entered hospice care – and this morning I learned of her early death.
This dreaded news fills me with a sadness so profound that tears are streaming from my eyes as I compose my thoughts at the death of this courageous woman. I scarcely knew Patti, but it did not take long to learn of her generosity and the loving kindness she brought to life.
I met Patti about a year ago when she e-mailed me in response to my post on dying with dignity. At that time she shared with me the struggle that had entered her life after cancer had invaded her spine. She was determined to love life for the duration and to fight the spreading menace to her last breath. So she braved the treatments and endured increasing pain. It was difficult to witness her suffering as it became increasingly clear that Patti was loosing her battle with cancer.
This picture was taken in June when Patti and her husband Greg met us to witness the arrival of our new BARC berner Sammy. Sadly, this is the only time we were able to meet. Had things gone differently we would be planning our road trip to the 2011 Berner Specialty in California in early Spring. We were going to take an RV and one Berner each and travel through the land, visiting as many of the BARC families along the way as would have us.
But alas, dear Patti, it was not to be!
Your courageous battle is over and amidst the sadness I am thankful that your suffering has ended. So let me salute you one more time with a poem that you surely would have liked.
Burning Bush by Alison Apotheker
I would like to belive that in the darkness
beneath the skin, the secret dark holds
the same volatile oil as these flowers
and will ignite the stricken
silence of this summer night.
And I would like to believe the soul’s
language resides there, and the unfinished phrases
of the dead ones, the ellipsis completed
in a crush of those dark green toothed
leaves and their scent of sliced lemon.
I would hope as well that the lightning
in its body finds rest beneath the soil
and knows, as sure as the capillaries
whisper of blood’s persistent passage,
that all will be remembered and spoken for.
Rest in Peace my dear Patti and may Eternity cradle you.