I’ve known my friend Pat since the first day our younger son, Ben, walked into his Kindergarten class. Pat was there to drop off her oldest son, Andy, while wheeling her daughter in a stroller. She was young and trim in her white tennis outfit.
Though Ben probably had the oldest mother of all his classmates, it didn't matter. Pat and I became close dear friends as did Ben and Andy. We lived around the corner, we had dinner at each other’s houses, we celebrated birthdays and special occasions together, and we spent weekends up at her family’s house and/or condo in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes.
Though I played tennis too in those days, I never played at Pat’s level. But our boys took tennis lessons and played in tournaments together – with Pat and me on the sidelines.
Ben and Andy - tournament winners
Pat and Madeline at the tournament
Unfortunately, things weren’t always happy in the house around the corner, and after Pat’s third child married, she decided to end her marriage. And much to my chagrin she moved to Reno to live near her now married daughter. In the intervening years we mostly kept in touch by email.
Just last December Pat told me she was remarrying and then sent out a photo of her and her husband at Christmas time. I had never seen a happier looking Pat in all the years I’d known her. That is until this past Saturday. Bob and I took a less than twenty-four hour trip to Reno to attend a casual party celebrating her marriage at their home. After so many years of unhappiness, this woman now exudes joy. Besides having a wonderful new husband she has six granddaughters.
And she recently took a trip of a lifetime – a thirteen thousand foot jump from an airplane over Lodi, California.
Kudos to you Pat. There are second chances for those of us who aren’t willing to give up.