Today the life of a woman, who has touched many lives, has left to be part of the energy of the universe again, and begin what we call the state of ku, the inbetween. She had been living there already for a little while, not conscious of what was going on around her, but instead living inside the magical place of her mind where there is always hope and never any pain. I wish I could have shared that space with her for awhile, seeing what she was seeing, knowing what she now knows.
Patty knew, without doubt, this wasn’t the end of the essence who she was. She will someday pick up the pieces of her life again and put them back together, but without the pain, and without the effect of the causes that caused her pain in this life. She never let anyone see that pain. On her face you only saw happiness. Always a big smile. If she had not gone through this life and understood the law of cause and effect, Nam myoho renge kyo, would she have changed her life so she never need repeat the effects of this cause again?
Now she has a better place to go, and it is not what other people think if they think of it as heaven. I imagine she is smiling. She understood. She had faith and she had no doubt. She knew she was leaving, although she really did everything she could to stay. But her life was determined to go, even if it did give her extra time. Her life didn’t begin here. It doesn’t end here.
Patty was more concerned about her husband, Bill. She was concerned about his loneliness. She was worried about how he would take her leaving and his own reason for going on. We promised we would take care of him. He always has a place among us. He is part of us. She had time to prepare herself for leaving, probably wondering what that moment would be like, but I think she didn’t even know she left this life behind. She just continued to be where she was and kept on going. I can only hope, when it is my time, that I can have her strength, her courage, and have the smile on my face she always had.
She had seventeen extra years of life. When you come so close to dying and yet still find yourself in this existence, you feel things more. You see things differently. Many things make sense even when you never even thought of them before. You understand there are things you need to do, and you were given another chance to do them. You understood you weren’t to waste the time. Although we all know we will die at some point in time, we often think it is going to be some time in the distant future. Always later. You think you always have time to change the things you want to change and become the person you would like to be.
Patty had appreciation for her life. I think many of us miss doing that until it is too late. We get too wrapped up in the tiny details of our life to stop and think about where we are. Every time we saw her we knew it might be the last time. Finally, it became the last time. There is no more time for us to be encouraged by her smile. We often spend too much time complaining. We get discouraged about the things we don’t have, and forget to remember the things we do have. She understood, through a life of many ups and downs, it is the things we think, say and do that determine the life we have. Today, we live through the effects of the causes of yesterday, and tomorrow we will live through the effects of causes we make today.
Some people judge others by what is on the outside, but there is no more beautiful person then the one whosebeauty is on the inside. You couldn’t be around Patty and not feel the beauty inside. Her caring and compassion made you feel special. Always, to the end of her life, she took the time to encourage you when you needed it.
She was fortunate to have a man in her life who loved and took care of her until the last moment. You know you have love in your life when someone stays by your side to make sure every possible thing has been done for your comfort. Bill, the causes you have made in your own life will sprout, like the lotus flower seeds when it blooms. The law of cause and effect in your own life will show you this. You have friends. You have friends.
Recently Bill wrote, “Patty was my partner in life since Oct 9, 2011 when we committed out lives to each other in a ceremony in Maugansville, Maryland. She was the life partner I needed and she has said the same about me. When the time we spent together makes each of us feel fulfilled with love, care and respect for the other, there is no better way of being one.“
The only legacy anyone can really leave behind, is the effect they have on another person’s life. Patty has left a great legacy.
“There are many reasons why people bid farewell to one another. It may be difficult indeed not to look back. Yet you have to advance, even a step. As long as you advance, new hope will be born. The sun will rise. A new life will unfold for you.”Daisaku Ikeda
(Sonni’s note: I am an improvisational piano player. The piano music file is one that I recorded for Jamie from my other website http://mynameisjamie.net. I wanted to record a new one for Patty but I am having momentary technical difficulties. Patty knew who Jamie was and always asked how he was doing, and in his letters from prison he often asked me,” Tell Miss Patty I said hi,” and “Tell Miss Patty I’m chanting for her.” i wrote to him and told him about the times Patty and Carol would come to my home to encourage me through my own transplant surgery. I know this will affect him deeply. He will never get a chance to meet her in this lifetime. This music is on a page on his website called “My Name is Jamie”. He would, I know, be honored to have it played for her. I will never forget Patty. She will always have a warm spot in my heart. If more people had the heart the had this world would be a better place to live. Good-bye, my friend. )