Wednesday, December 7, 2016

324. Dear Patti

Dear Patti,
I’ve been looking through a lot of Conserve stuff recently. I shouldn’t be surprised at how fast life creeps on you, but I’m not immune to it. My hair is wilder in pictures, my writing is far less disciplined in old papers, but I’ve still got that weird, goofy smile. I’ve tried to hold on to that. It’s not all because of you, but you sure helped by encouraging me to take up skiing and being active at Conserve.

I ran four miles tonight in the freezing cold weather. I thought about you as I ran. I thought about ski practices in the dark and coming back into the LRC to warm up. Seeing your smile and energy always helped me get through those frosty evenings and draining practices.

I’ve thought about you every year around this time ever since I saw that shocking post on Facebook seven years ago. That was before Facebook was an “expected” way to deliver news. I remember making calls to various high school friends and teachers, wondering what was going on. I took the rest of the day off and just laid in bed. I’m still trying to answer the question, how could someone like Patti get ripped away from us so soon?

I think the thing that eats at me the most is that we couldn’t help you as much as you helped us. Whether it was with biology homework, or skiing tips, or just coming over to bake cookies, you always were willing to lend a hand. Had we known about your illness, I know there would have been dozens of people more than willing to help you out.

I remember the time you brought Mouse Wing a package of double-stuff Oreos just before in-wing time. That was a terrible idea. But I appreciated that you did that. Sometimes it’s about more than just doing your homework and getting things done. You have to enjoy

I miss you, Patti. I thought by this time in my life that I’d be telling you about skiing adventures and whatever I was doing to help save the world, but I haven’t been able to do that directly. Right now, it’s just a lot of running and trying to help keep tidy my little corner of the universe in my job and in my personal life. I hope I’m doing OK.

I’ve learned a lot more about addiction through my job. It’s not easy. It breaks apart families and destroys lives. Luckily, I’ve been able to help break the stigma of it in my current professional world of the legal industry. I’ve been trying to shed a light on it, so lawyers don’t have the same end to the story as you did. I can’t get you any numbers, but I’m hoping lawyers in Hennepin County are talking about it a little bit more through my efforts. That’s all I can do for right now.

Joy is never wasted. I learned that from you. I hope I can continue to live that out, everyday.

Love you, and miss you.


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