Life Lessons through Flip Flops

It was a wonderful weekend filled with special girl time, sandy beach play, requests to go back into the ocean AGAIN with Papa, and sharing special news with friends (it isn’t MY news to share). A thousand thank yous are not enough to the Aunties, Kiki and Papa who chased after, minded, and kept my busy daughter safe and happy. It allowed me the ability to breathe deeply and appreciate the best beach weekend of the summer. Save for Sunday morning when I returned from a walk turned full on sprint with an unhappy toddler and announced that I needed her to be away from me and now. Of course all was forgiven, what could she ever apologize for – she’s 18 months old – but I am sure we woke more than one neighbor up as I, the non-runner, raced behind her thinking more than once that I wasn’t going to make it back. Ahh, my spirited Caroline. She also adamantly refused a nap later that afternoon after 3 consecutive 5:30 AM wake ups, which tested both our stubborn wills. I won, eventually. Nothing was keeping me from the beach and as I said, “it was personal.” For the sake of our ride home later that night and my day with her on Monday, I fully admit to being rigid. All I will say of our ride home is that we were entertained by an extremely happy passenger until about 10:30pm. I can’t say for sure when she fell asleep because we had to make a pit stop at Steve’s office to pick up my car. Her reaction when her mother sprinted from the car was to raise her hands and say “uh oh.” So Caroline.

We were so fortunate to get to spend it with you guys. THANKS!!!!

Sadly, life marches on and brings heartbreaking news even on the sunniest of summer days. Yesterday marks the passing of a very special woman, close to this McFamily’s soul. Patti had a presence about her that made you instantly at ease, as if she had known you forever and you were already great friends. She and Kiki’s was a lifetime friendship, a special sisterhood. She gifted special earrings to Caroline not long after her arrival here on Earth, before her ears were even pierced, long before a “sensible parent” would allow them to be worn by a toddler. We took out Caroline’s piercing studs a few weeks ago and in their place from that day since these special earrings have been with us. Strangers stop me to comment on them. I tell them that they were a special gift from an amazing woman. I hope that my own daughter will someday echo Patti’s own spirit of living and that she might help carry on Patti's important message and vision to her own generation.

These lovely earrings were meant to be enjoyed, adored & loved, not to be kept safely in a box. Flip flops make for an awful good metaphor for life; at least Patti's way of living. I realize and accept that they truly might be lost someday, but until then just like Patti would have wanted, they will be enjoyed. We could all learn a lesson from this most remarkable, kind, thoughtful woman – live, love, laugh – create special moments – make people feel special - spread your personal message far and wide - and take pleasure in every moment.

Please, go now and educate yourself on ovarian cancer. It would mean so much to Patti if you did.


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