Happy November, Everyone!
If you follow me on Facebook or just about any other of my social media platforms, you may have seen a post that I began circulating around mid-week last week. Tragedy has struck members of our chosen family, but before I talk about, I want to go back to the beginning.
In late 2009, Mr. Paige, then my fiance, headed off to California with full-ride scholarship for his Master's degree, and a dream that I would be joining him in the summer after our wedding. Living apart was one of the hardest times of my life. We coped the best we could, but it wasn't easy planning a wedding when one half of your partnership was on the opposite end of the country. A month into his move, I received a call that I never expected.
Glen had hurt himself on a youth group trip to Six Flags. He assured me he was okay, but turns out, he wasn't. He struggled for weeks to get medical care and an answer for his shoulder when a guardian angel came into our life in the form of our friend, Pat. A woman in her 70s who was a board member at my husband's church. She showed up to Glen's apartment with a few of the church men in tow, and moved him into her house while he sought medical treatment. She drove him to class, helped him do his laundry, typed papers for him. etc. You get the idea. Throughout the months he lived there, they became close. You see, Pat, had lost her to youngest son to drug addiction. Her husband followed soon. After losing two important people in her life, Pat began giving back. Her home became a shelter to those who needed help. Friends in need became her family.
Even after Glen was forced to move back home for medical treatment, she never let him give back her house key. This wonderful woman even flew in for our wedding that next summer, and even came home for the weddings of friends who had come with us on our annual trip out to see her. Her home became our home. A refuge for us all.
In July 2018, our annual trip was something much different. The minute we arrived, Pat's beautiful smile was a little dimmer. You see, Pat's breast cancer that she had bravely fought off the year before was back. This time in her lungs and very aggressively growing. Something that she knew weeks before we arrived, but hadn't told us. We made it a mission to spend as much time with her as we could that week because I knew how bad it really was.
Two weeks after we got home, she passed away. Her death hurt us both so much. Hurt the friends who she had welcomed into her home and life as family. But, her legacy wasn't over yet. Her son, Darren, continued her life's work by offering her now vacant home to our friends and their family, filling it with love once more.
That is until last week when a plane tragically crashed into the master's bedroom, and destroying the house. With a friend's husband and 18 month old son inside the home. Thankfully, they escaped, but their home. Our home was gone. Watching the national news coverage brought so many memories back for me this week. The love we shared in that house now gone. Our memories there the only thing left. You can read more about the crash here.
Until I realized tonight that it was just a house. Not the definition of her life. Her spirit and her love is still with us, and a part of me truly believes that she kept our friend's safe. That she protected them from harm. The house may be gone, but her love will always live on.
Now, I know that this isn't the kind of story you expected to read this month, but it's the story that was on my heart when I sat down to start writing this month's newsletter. I hope that you found hope in it because even if you lose every physical possession you own, life and love is all that matters. And with Thanksgiving this month, I can't help, but feel thankful for Pat being in our lives and how she impacted those around her.
Hug your love ones a little tighter today.
Avelyn Paige is an Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY bestselling Motorcycle Romance author.