Pat was not afraid to try anything new. During his healthy days he would snow and water ski, scuba dive, sky dive, rock climb and pretty much anything else you dared him to do. He wanted to experience it all. And damn it he did. That was lesson #1 I learned from him. Life is too short not to go out and try new things.
Lesson #2 was to laugh and make people laugh. Growing up I can remember he always had a ton of friends. He was like a magnet! People just wanted to be around him. I looked up to him so much and he was always proud of me. That I remember. He didn't push me aside as an annoying little sister (which in fact I was), but would let me hang out with him and his friends.
Lesson #3 was when there are things you can't change you deal with it and always be grateful. Although he was practically immobile and couldn't really speak except for a few words he still loved to have a good time. He would give people hugs (as much as he could), he would laugh and he would tease. When the nurses, doctors, or aides helped him he would always say thank you. Pat even said thank you to his hospice nurse. He was grateful. There are things that just suck in our lives, but there is so much more to be grateful.
So this week I am going to celebrate Pat's life, not dwell on his death and reflect on the lesson's he taught me.