Patrick was the first male that ever treated me with a soft kindness and respect that made me feel special. We were just kids when we met, I was 18 he was 23. He was kind and stable, I was emotional and wild. We both filled a void in each other’s lives. 

We were young and naive about life and really we grew up together. We both were looking to get out of our parent’s (my aunt’s) home so we decided to get an apartment together only a few months after we had met. We married just 2 years later, because that was the thing to do at the time, and we had both of our sons by the time I was 25 and he was 30. 

Patrick and I never really connected about parenting. He was the fun dad and I was the disciplinarian. Kyle and Dillon adored their dad. The camping, the hunting, the dirt bike riding, the trips to Original Joe’s and Granzellas. He was definitely the fun parent. Me, not so much. I took them to their Dr.’s visits, sat with them while they did their homework, took away their toys when they were disrespectful, signed them up for soccer, made them eat their vegetables, etc, etc. I was also there when they had a bad day, their teacher didn’t understand, their hearts got broken, and they were frustrated with life. Patrick and I both share/shared in very important moments in their lives and I am so grateful for this time.

We had a typical marriage for the most part. Some good times, some not so good times. We got busy raising our boys and we were barely adults ourselves. I’m not sure if it was the pressure of raising kids and not being on the same page, the struggles with finances and tying to balance paying the bills and having fun, or the difference in our personalities that finally pushed us apart after 19 years of marriage. I think maybe it was that we were more friends than partners and our bond wasn’t strong enough to get us through the tough times. 

Even after our divorce Patrick was good to me and cared for me. Not immediately after, but eventually. He cared for me in spite of our dysfunction, and I cared for him because he was the father of my children and a good friend to me. We let bygones be bygones and he showed up for our sons and for me during some of the most unknowing times in my life. He swallowed his pride, came to parties in my backyard, drank beers with Steve, my now husband, always had a kind heart, and gave the best bear hugs… a trait he passed to his sons.

When Patrick died suddenly at the young age of 52 it hit all of us hard and left us in shock, it left us questioning life, and it made us realize what precious little time we have here on earth. Patrick always told me that he knew he was going to die when he was young. I would shove him and say “Don’t say that!”. But somehow he knew. Dillon knew too, he told me these words also just a few years before he passed away. I wish I had stopped and asked why they felt that way. I guess I’ll never know. As devastating as it was to lose Patrick so young, there was a gift in knowing that he was there to welcome Dillon home. It has given me a kind of peace knowing that Dillon was embraced by his father’s bear hugs after he transitioned. And if I’m being totally honest, I’m a bit jealous as well, I wanted more time with my baby before he had to go. 

I wonder about my own death now. Will I die young? Well clearly not as young as Dillon, but young relatively speaking. I’m 53 now and I’m not really sure how long I think I will live. I’ve never really thought that I would “die young”, but sometimes it’s hard to imagine getting old, even though it’s happening more and more every day. I guess in a way that’s a good thing. There are times that I wish I knew my “expiration date” so I could plan out things I should do before it’s my time to go, but I’m beginning to realize that instead of planning it’s time to start doing. Living in the moment and enjoying each day as it arrives. Grief has stopped my world and I’m the only one with the ability to start it moving again.

I feel this next phase of my life will be about slowing down, discovering the hidden secrets in life, allowing myself to pause and experience the reality that I’ve been handed. I’m definitely not happy about the losses I’ve had to endure, but I have to make peace with it. I have to feel the feels, cry the cries, and give myself the permission to completely fall apart. Maybe then I can slowly begin to put myself back together. 

Thank you for following along with me on this journey.

All my love,



  1. Said very well Mare. And so true. Carpe Diem is what I am trying to focus on as well since you never know when it’s your time to go. I as well have always had a feeling that I would die youngish which frankly I am ok with since I really don’t want to grow old. And I’m not afraid to die anymore since maybe the other side is more beautiful than here. Also I will have a handful of people to greet me and show me the way when I get there.
    Love and hugs to you my sweet sister ❤️

    1. I love you too honey. We will definitely have some wonderful souls there to greet us on the other side. ❤️

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