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.