In late June 2017, Abby, Julie and Rui visited California. In addition to the usual fun-for-kids stuff like Disneyland, horseback riding (three times, including once up to the Hollywood sign), going to the beach, and checking out the stars on Hollywood Blvd, we were able to visit with Julie’s brother, explore San Francisco, and go see Abby’s Aunt Gretchen at her house in the mountains near Yosemite.
On the last day of their visit, the four of us held a brief memorial service for Patrick in my back yard. Here’s a transcript of that service.
JP: Tonight we’re gathered around outside, enjoying the view of the mountains at sunset just like the concerts at Son Maroig in Mallorca, Spain, to remember and express our appreciation for my father, and Abby’s grandfather, Patrick Meadows.
Patrick was quite the character. He loved Abby very much. He loved all of his kids, but he lived his own life in his own way, so we didn’t get to see him very often.
I am thankful for the times I got to spend with him and will cherish the recordings and photographs that I have of him from the past. The saddest thing will be that, for all the pictures and all the emails and all the recordings, there will be no new ones because he’s gone. Now we will hear from Abby.
Abby: Poppy, I love you and I miss you, and I like how you liked to play a lot of musical instruments. I like a lot of music and all kinds of that stuff. Now I’m gonna pass it on to Aunt Julie.
Julie: Patrick, I’m sorry that you spent your last days in agony. I miss the times that we talked on the phone or the times that we had seen each other in person and you were in our home. Those days, those times will be cherished and missed.
I just wish that things were a little bit different and that you were able to be around a little bit longer to witness what you always wanted for Abby. And I promise you that we will do everything we can to protect her, love her and raise her the way you would want us to raise her. You will be missed.
Rui: Patrick, I’ve missed you. The last time I talked to you was Easter Sunday. I had promised you that I would try to get Abby to go see you. At least we saw you over the video. You will be missed. I promise you that Abby will be well taken care of with us, with J.P. Everything will work out like you told me once before. It definitely will. You will be missed. I’ll miss you.
JP: So at last Patrick is free from pain. The pain has been transferred to us in our longing for him, but that will diminish with time, and will be replaced with happy memories and the many friendships that he established and shared with his family.
For Patrick, it has been a long voyage. Now the sails have been furled, but his ship will remain on the ocean forever.
Rui: Adios, Patrick.