She walked the fifty yard line with flowers in her left hand and with her right hand loosely through her son’s left arm. It was Senior Night at our local high school. Her son Alex is place kicker for his high school football team. And he’s quite good. A special moment for any mom and dad…particularly special to Patty as she thought of this particular walk across the football field when she got her Pancreatic Cancer diagnosis at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida over four years ago…”I want to be at my daughters’ weddings, and I want to walk the field with my son on his senior night,” she said to her doctor at that time. Alex was then fourteen.
Patty did attend her daughter Angela’s wedding over a year ago. And a few weeks ago in November she walked her son across the football field on his senior night…
She says, “I just sat there at Moffitt Cancer Center (four years ago) and cried and said, “when do you want to see pictures of my kids?…
“And then I told the surgeon that we have to do something.
“This senior year exceeded my expectations, and not only did I walk him out on the field, but the team also later won its first Sunshine State Athletic Conference State Championship. I sat there as he held up the trophy and just thought to myself that this is one of those moments you want to freeze. These are the things to FIGHT to see. The things you think of when you’re vomiting through chemo and sick for a few days. And when you see these moments, it just makes you fight for more! That’s what I’m doing now: Fighting for more moments and memories.”
And it’s those memories that we continue to make!
Janey, Julie and Jean attended Senior Night along with Patty and basically the entire Callaghan Fam, and it seemed like precisely the right time to learn the fine art of changing instagram filters and laughing like ten year olds in a public place: (our teenagers rarely want to sit with us these days…)
we miss each other and try to make time to catch up on our lives…a football game here, a sunday brunch there…
and yes, we are planning another trip. It took us SO long to master the selfie stick that we figure we owe it to ourselves to get more use out of the darn thing.
And there is talk that THE Marty Merritt is coming to Bradenton to see US! Remember Dancing Ted? Okay, maybe he’s coming to see Patty, but we’re a package deal, so..
And what of Ellen? What of Melissa McCarthy? Well…don’t give up on that. We haven’t! Patty’s the kind of girl you bet on…she came back from Route 66 and has had awesome test results in the NORMAL range! No chemo for the past four months! Her hair is BACK, baby!
Last night we met for dinner and some serious PLANNING. Jean left the herd for her daughter’s college graduation so, of course, we forgot to eat our veggies. We celebrated Jane’s birthday…and thought of Jean’s as it draws near…
We’re gearing up for the Moffitt Cancer Center #becourageous campaign…hoping that we didn’t end up on the cutting room floor…remember when we went up with Patty for her interview? That comes out soon…we’ll keep you posted!
Patty was at a fundraiser for Pancreatic Cancer Research recently and bid on a dress donated by Mindy Kaling of The Mindy Project. The Sixtahs have been reaching out to Mindy along the way as Mindy lost her mother to Pancreatic Cancer and is a strong voice for those affected by the disease. Patty won the dress, and Mindy Kaling sent her this personal note…
That’s our Patty making memories…reminding us to get out there and make our own…
She Walks In Beauty
by Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Bradenton Herald, Nov 20, 2016:
And Alex below with mom and dad…
These are the things you fight to see.