View Master

Most people would say ‘there’s no comparison;’ yet while remembering Pearl Harbor, I’m also remembering how the enemy struck the harbor of our hearts. It was September of 2012 when news came that our son Patrick was battling cancer. Never would our family forget that day nor the months that lie ahead.

I could never diminish the impact that Pearl Harbor had on 1,177 lives, their families, nor the blight on our nation’s history. American’s military sons and daughters suffered death as destruction came in full force. Even more devastation was to follow on another soil.

In the hearts of our family members, the impact was equally violent when our beloved son, brother, husband, and father would face cancer over the next two years and three months fighting valiantly for his life. He endured countless chemo and radiation treatments, along with other horrific invasions to his young body … just to stay alive for his family he loved so much!

‘Remembering’ brings to mind re-membering. ‘Re’ means to repeat or to rejoin. ‘Member’ comes from the root concept of bringing a person to memory. So to remember is to gather all the pieces together ~ something like rejoining them and putting them in mental slides.

Our son left precious memories upon our hearts. We peek through the mind’s view master, clicking through, one memory at a time. We will always be so thankful Father God sent him our way…this one we painfully miss. Clicking through, we remember his funny ways, his love for people, how many he served [at least those we know of], and, yes, even some of his foolishness. All came in the “Patrick package.”

Our youngest granddaughter recently asked me who she was most like in the family. I said, without hesitation, “your Uncle Patrick.” She smiled big; she loved him very much. She clicked through her own view master and asked, “Am I as funny as he was?” I replied, “Yes, you are.” Then she asked me why I said she was so like him. My playful, but honest, answer was: “For one thing, you are the 3rd child; and you make certain that you get your share of everything coming to you!”

Yep, that was Patrick, our 3rd child. He lived life to its fullest. He packed as much as he could in a day, getting his share. At the same time, he served and loved others unselfishly. Only someone loving life like Patrick could fulfill a ‘bucket list’ with three game hunts, just days or weeks before he went Home.

“I’m clicking my view master. These memories are so precious, but I wish I had him here.

“When my heart is faint, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”   [Psalm 61:2]

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