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When I find myself in times of trouble
July 9, 2010 - Michael Palmer
The death of co worker Patricia Graham has been a shock to us all. I debated long about writing anything. Words are of little use a times like these. However, this is my therapy now, the blog. I write many that never make the internet, but this one I will share.
It was a strange atmosphere, as her desk sat empty and her white mini van sat parked in her space across the street.
It has been difficult for all of us here at the paper, none more so than our Ticket editor and managing editor.
When Bubba returned on Tuesday evening, as he alwasy does to begin the next days work for the paper, I asked how Trish was doing. It was a question I needed not ask, his ashen color and wrinkled brow were uncharacteristic.
He usually would enter and intorduce himself as if we had never met and give me a fist bump. Then make some glib remark about a news event or ask a question with an obvious answer.
Not this night, he had lost a long time friend. He had initially told me that he had a "bad feeling about this one, Arnie." (My nick name in the office)
It was a foreshadowing of a tragic loss to everyone who knew this amazing woman.
I heard the arrangements and knew, despite my dread of going to Funeral Homes, that it was necessary to attend these calling hours. If there was anythng, however small that I could do for her family, even if it was just showing up to offer condolences, I had to do it.
If you read her column or the taste Buds blog, then you already have a sense of who she was. If you had the privilege of knowing her then you also knew of her positive spirit and heart of gold.
Her dear friends in the office are going through the motions this week, but are having a hard time staying on task. Especially her fellow bud, Emily. These two were scary friends, often finishing sentences for each other, in an accent from North Dakota no less. It was quite entertaining to work alongside the pair as they bantered back and forth on every subject under the sun.
Her ability to find the positive and look on the sunny side is absolutely a family thing. When we went into the funeral home, there were long lines of people who came to say goodbye to a friend. The atmosphere was a celebration of her life rather than a greiving for her loss. So many young people had gathered to say goodbye to her, a tribute to her giving nature and her special mother quality.
Her husband was an absolute rock, greeting and thanking everyone and listening as they shared memeories of how his wife had touched their lives.
I told him that hopefully her many years with the paper will be rewarded with a gift from our company to her scholarship fund that will insure that her children can get a good education and pay tribute to their mother by being the same type of wonderful person that she was. He said that the scholarship was something appropriate for her, She would have liked that better than flowers,
For all the rest of us, life goes on. There are bills to pay and piles of laundry to wash. The deadlines still have to be met. The newspaper will no doubt find someone else to do Patricia's job, but they will never replace her.
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