Happy birthday Patty. Patty was born on December 31, 1940. Her family moved into a house at 1220 Amador Street in Vallejo, Ca. Six months later I was born and a few months after that my family moved in across the street at 1203 Amador street. Neither of us remember when exactly we first were introduced, we just remember a childhood of playing together at each other's homes and in the streets and surrounding neighborhoods from when we were quite young. Things like jacks, and doll house, dress up, and 'getting married' in front of the church down the street to one or another of the neighborhood boys. We rode bikes, roller skated, played hide and seek; and kick the can with our older brother and sister, staying outside till dusk and our parents whistles sent us home. We took drama class and dancing classes.
We were in different classes at school, but met up after school to watch TV in the early 1950's at one of our other girlfriends houses, the only one with a TV. American Bandstand, the Micky Mouse Club and The Last of the Mohicans.
We graduated high school a year apart. Patty got married and had babies. I tried college, stopped, worked, and traveled. After my five years in Israel and her third child I came home with husband and infant son.
I opened a nursery school in my home and later in a duplex. Patty came to work there with me.
Our adult lives continued, sometimes with spaces in time from each other, but always reconnecting.
Patty worked hard at her job for GE for many years until she finally retired. Even though I continued working in my current career as a counselor we once again had more time for each other.
But even during those spaces we were never further apart than a phone call.
We took a beading class together. We met for lunch. We went to art gallery shows. We ate hot fudge sundaes.
We always got together for a just us Chanukah/Christmas lunch and gift exchange. It was always a plethera of gifts we'd buy and save for each other all year long. (This year her husband found and gave me a glass Blue Jewish star and a little note pad with my initial "L" and one rhinestone on it.
She'd obviously been saving them to give me this year. There's a tiny Christian cross in a sack in my closet I was saving for her.)
Our phone calls were precious times as we commiserated and kvelled (Yiddish for sharing great joys) together. Patty and I supported each other through many life trials over the years. And we were there for each other when we were happy and wanted to share.
Patty got sick this year. She faced her forth cancer battle. But it got ahold of her and wouldn't let go.
She had told me last January that she was getting old. I balked at that since being only six months younger I was not feeling that at all. But neither of us knew at that time she had lung cancer.
By the time it was diagnosed it was inoperable. This woman who worked as a power house of energy, walked five miles a day , danced Zumba , made huge family dinners for husband, three grown kids, their spouses, grand and great grand children, was finally brought down to her knees. Like a giant Redwood tree felled in the forest.
Patty had a strong religious faith. She believed "God has a plan for me". Although I was not at all aligned with her God, it won. She died on July 31, 2013. I did not get to say goodbye to her. She refused me being there. I had no choice but to abide by her wishes. So I'm left with continuously having to say goodbye. It reminds me in our childhood phone calls saying "You hang up first, No YOU hang up first" over and over again.
I will honor and miss my very best friend, Patty, until the day I die.
Happy Birthday, Patricia Ann. Happy Birthday, Patty.