for the family of Patricia Santistevan

Patricia truly loved her life,
But loved her Savior more,
And now she sees Him better
Than she ever did before!

She always had a kindly smile
For people in her path,
And had a special way to share
A story or a laugh.

She did amazing things
With what she had on hand
And baked and wrote and planted joy,
Directed by God’s hand.

We grieve, but think of her with joy
Away from every harm,
Remembering our friend
Who now rests safe in Jesus’ arms.

by Gwennon – September 9, 2012

Patricia was one of the kindest people I have ever known. A short time after my husband and I packed up our kids and left a place that felt like home to go to a new place where we hardly knew anyone, Patricia was one of the first people we met who invited us into her home and made us feel like family right away. We could hardly go to see her without receiving some home-baked treat, or a home-cooked meal. And whenever I had struggles, Patricia listened to my concerns with great compassion and never made me feel like I was a failure, even though she witnessed me on several times in the center of great personal failings. She just loved me where I was and kept on pointing me to Jesus.

After a long, courageous struggle with cancer, Patricia died. This caught me by surprise because separate interests and the increasing fast-pace of my daily life had caused us to lose touch. I could hardly believe I would never see her again. But at least I could go to her funeral and pay my respects. And perhaps write a short tribute to her.

The problem was I had no words or even the smallest idea of what to write. Dejectly, I had gone to bed the night before Patricia’s funeral with an absolute dearth of words. The next morning, as I fretfully prepared the pasta salad for the funeral dinner, still no words. I was beginning to get desperate. Knowing that nothing was expected of me, I tried to tell myself that it was no big deal. But how I longed to be able to give her one last gift.

Before church began, I asked my friends, Lorraine, Lola, Michelle, and Jennifer (and perhaps a few others that I have forgotten to credit – forgive me, please?) to pray for me to be able to write a sweet, commemorative poem that would honor Patricia’s memory.

Well, they got right on it. As the sermon was beginning, the words came pouring in. But because the lights were lowered in the sanctuary, I elected to leave for parts better lighted. I’m afraid I was very rude to my dear new acquaintance, Bernie, who ran into me as I rushed out, and to whose kindly, “Good morning! How are you?” I blurted, “I HAVE. TO WRITE.” before finding a seat and capturing the first lines.

Throughout the sermon (sorry, Pastor Ron, I really was listening), more words came, and at the end of the church service, Pastor Ron kindly agreed to allow me to type up a readable copy on his computer. I showed it to Michelle and Lola, who said, “You did it!” But I had to be honest. (I am not usually this honest.) “GOD did it,” I told them. “By myself, I’m not all that impressive.”

So, because of the prayers of my friends, I had something good to share.

Patricia was one of a just a handful of friends and family that I can honestly expect to meet in heaven because Jesus truly was her life. She left a legacy that will not be soon forgotten.

Matthew 25:21 and 23 “Well done, good and faithful servant!