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Friends forever

 

Beverly Wittler Columnist

  Know you’ve heard my story about how I got one of my favorite friends. Her daughter and my son dated; Pat Davis and I connected immediately and when our children broke up, we both bragged that we got custody of each other.  Loved hanging out in her pool, sharing a neat lunch at Ingles or Denny’s, talking about our ‘grands’ and telling the latest about the Methodist church, hers and mine. I loved her Rhode Island accent, also that she drove a cah, and the neat way she pronounced my name. (You think they teach students ’do not pronounce the letter r’ in Rhode Island schools?)

  We would swim together, float awhile, and then we’d towel off and share an icy drink while we kept an eye on the younger generation diving, splashing and playing Marco Polo. Sometimes the kids would get tired of swimming too; and they’d dry off and then go shoot a little pool before coming back out to hit the water again. We had lots in common, Pat and I … the love of children, grandchildren and God, not to mention swimming and good food.

  Notice I’m telling this in the past tense. Because … Pat took off to heaven just a few days ago. I know the angels all high-fived each other, glad to have her sweet, sweet spirit actually among them for good. And she’s out of pain and any health problems too.  We’re sad, but, we’re glad. Glad we knew her, glad we heard her neat stories, saw her gentle handling of the little ones that surrounded her for as long as I’ve been her friend.

  She had a generous heart, spent lots of time helping others and I particularly remember one good deed operation; when their church was collecting various items to take to Tennessee on a mission trip. Also remember being welcomed to dine with the hard working Methodists when they took a break from sorting the donated items. It was a lot like a Mt. Bethel covered dish meal but each item shrunk down to appetizer size … even the Jell-O and fruit cocktail salad I usually make in a big bowl was in tiny muffin cups. I was introduced to her Methodist sisters, and they made a space for us to dine with them as they welcomed me. We ate, visited, laughed, and then it was back to the big boxes and bags full of clothes, toys, and gifts of joy.

  And now, she’s up there with Saint Peter, directing meal preparation, calling attention to those down here that need some food brought in, or someone to drive them to their next doctor appointment. I can almost hear her crisp accent, see her sweet smile. I was SO lucky to have had Pat in my life. I still remember what my Mom and Grandmother used to say when they would feel a sudden pang of anger; instead of blurting out a four letter word or two ... I’d hear “bless Pat.” She certainly blessed me, and so many others, church, family and the wide range of friends she’d made over the years. She always made it a point to give their current pastor all the support he needed. We had a lot in common….love of family, being dyed-in-the-wool Methodists, and also not letting anyone say an unkind word about our parsonage family and other church leaders.

  Plus, we were the same age, and loved swimming in the cool blue. 

It’s been a wonderful ride, Pat, and I’ll always remember you. Thanks for making sure I had at least one Yankee best friend and for sharing part of your time down here on earth with me.

 

  Beverly Wittler has four children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She lives in McDonough with her husband.

 

 

 

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