Sunday, August 10, 2008

Catch a Falling Star

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket

Never let it fade away

The palliative care unit at the Foothills Hospital is not what you might expect. It is as much about living as it is about dying.

Few of us consider how best to live the rest of our lives. But this question is part of the fabric of Unit 47. It intensely, personally, and completely about the wishes of the patient.

It was Alison, one of the palliative docs, who brought this question sharply into focus for Pat. We were discussing what was most important to her for the remainder of her life. Pat's response was quality of life. “And what is quality of life to you, Pat?” “Well, I have a lot of writing I want to finish. I have this article I'm working on for Harvard Review, and I have some other pieces I'm working on.”

If you have ever worn glasses, you will remember that moment, as a child, you carefully put on your first pair of spectacles and the blurry world became focused. So this is what the world looks like! So too with Pat's answer. We understood the yardstick against which decisions could be measured. Will this make writing easier, or harder? Will this take energy, or conserve energy?

It has become the focus for all of us now. Four hours in the morning have been set aside for writing. And with the ferocious intensity that is both Pat and part of all good writers, it has become her space, her time, when there is nothing but life. The Harvard article has been submitted. And tales yet to be told are taking shape.

To catch a falling star is to capture a dream. And Unit 47 was the first to spread the net across the galaxy of Pat's dreams. A star is now safely tucked into Pat's pocket and with each written word, will never fade away.


LNG said...

I send good wishes. And thanks. The few days' hiatus in your postings made me hold my breath.
Love to you both. Walked out in the St. Peter's grounds last night and the moon was stunning, the stars were everywhere, and as we headed back the northern lights appeared....stars are exactly what writers need.


Mary Cameron said...

Blessings from St. John's.

Pat's desire to work on her writing gives me a renewed focus to finish my own pieces. And of course I am aching to read what she has been working on. I cannot wait to see, to hear, to feel her words. Wish I were there....

Much love,

East Coast Otter

Anonymous said...

Great that you got your article done and submitted Pat!
Pam thanks for keeping us posted!
Great insight with the falling star! We live way out in the country and the sky and stars are always very clear and abundant! This article motivated us to spend more time looking at the stars and universe. God Bless you are all in our prayers.
Will be in Victoria later in the week Pat, escaping the heat for a day or so (bidders conference for Address BC)! Alas not possible to get to Calgary on this trip so email will have to do!
Love, Ken & Judy

Anonymous said...

Just returned to Calgary late last night. Again, I rejoice at Pat's ability to focus on what she loves - her writing - which will be such a legacy. Congratulations on the Harvard article and I know her more personal pieces will give such a gift to all of you in her family as well as her friends.

How thankful I am for this blog to keep me in touch with such a dear friend.

Prayers of love and peace.


angela bewick said...

Pam, much love to you from a stranger who is not, really. Thank you, thank you for keeping the blog alive and letting all of us in other places know what is happening in Pat's world. Yes, writing is her legacy and what a legacy to leave.

love, ang

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

It's great to see your blog. I think of you often and wonder how you are. Usually, the image of your reading The Egyptian Cinderella comes to mind for some reason. Dorie Peverett and I did Egypt this year again and the kids loved it. You should have seen the masks they made; they were amazing!!!!!

You are such an inspiration in so many ways. Your love of learning and enthusiasm for education is a model for all of us.

Take care and keep us posted when you feel like it.

donna gordon said...

That comment was from me; not anonyomous. Donna Gordon

Carol Arcus said...

Wayne and I send love and energy to you, Pat. I have just been looking through the memoir of our 2000 drama reunion, and there you are 'jiving' with Stewart, Gail Homersham's husband. And another picture of Lorri and Mel looking deep into each other's eyes, as if trying to remember why they were there, or maybe how they got there after all these years. Your ardent speech to Bob and all of us is there too, about learning and life. You said, "I couldn't have known it then, since I didn't know how the story of my life would unfold, that the major threads had already been spun." You go on to talk about "a passionate commitment to good work, to doing impossibly difficult things over and over again for the fun of it." And about living a "gloriously unbalanced life." How blessed you are to be able to build so relentlessly and passionately upon that raw and real early experience we shared with you. Draw on that, it is really your life blood.

Carol and Wayne