Pat Cavender
September 17, 1955 January 26, 2009

Pat Cavender and JB Brightcliffe
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Here is a picture of my dear friend Pat Cavender and me that was taken during a visit to her home on December 21, 1999.  My mother and I were visiting family down on Marco Island in Florida and thought we'd take a day trip up to see Pat and her mother, Mary, in Orlando.  Renting a car, we got out our trusty Map Quest route and took off.  Little did we know that it would be over an eight hour round trip drive LOL But, it was worth every second we got to spend together. 

Pat and I first met through an AOL chat room called Sanctuary, dedicated to fans of the author Nora Roberts.  I was drawn to her screen name at that time -- SciFiPat.  Since I had a serious addiction to Star Trek: The Next Generation, I took the chance and privately emailed this SciFiPat.  It's been over 15 years now and until this morning she remained one of my dearest friends although we only met in person twice over that period of time.  Pat and I would spend endless hours on the computer or phone chatting away like magpies about everything and anything.  Laugh?  Lord, sometimes I thought the neighbors would come arrest me for being a crazy woman as I sat in front of my computer at 2AM laughing like a loon as the two of us chatted. 

Because of her deep southern accent, I began calling her Sweet Pea and it stuck.  My mother always called her Tennessee Georgia Peach.  Both of us called her "Friend" and I'm going to deeply miss the times we shared together. They weren't always good times.  Pat suffered terribly from a variety of illnesses brought on by her Type 1 diabetes.  She fought daily to keep her spirits up even when it seemed like nothing was going right in her life.  She was a constant reminder to me of how a person should meet life's challenges - head on and with humor.  I take great comfort in the thought that today, for the first time in too many years to count, Pat is feeling wonderful and probably keeping all the angels in heaven smiling.  I know that she could always put a smile on my face even when I know she didn't feel like smiling herself.  The times we spent together over the years will always be special to me and I feel privileged to have had such a good person be a part of my life.  I will miss Pat deeply and I will try and honor her life every day of mine. 

Good night, Sweet Pea and please make sure you keep a spot up there for me when my time comes.  We still have a lot of talking and talking left to do.

JB Brightcliffe