Patricia was a thankful person, in all ways and to all people. The day before she was admitted for a brain tumour operation I took her out for a meal at one of our favourite eating places. The following day after I had taken her to Charing Cross Hospital and settled her in ready for the procedure I returned home and in my study I found an envelope with a card in it, that she had carefully put there so I could find it; this is what it said.
“For my beautiful lunch – Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! To my darling M – for your loving kindness, patience, your love and care. You will never know how much I have appreciated all this. My prayers will be for you; that you will just hand it all back to God – He’s always cared and kept me since I was 12. He will keep me now too, so we can enjoy life again. Love you my darling.”
What more can I say, I’m in tears, unashamedly. I did just that, handed it back to God, and he took it and her, His need was the greatest. My life rang with her thanks. I will treasure that card until I die; it was the last real act of generosity in her life. My memories are of her being so grateful for everything that was done for her. She was selfless and charitable, and was constantly giving away things and my money! If I have to define her main characteristics I must turn to other writers, here are two comments from Clyde Kilby, Professor of English, which describe her very well indeed.
First, “I shall not allow the devilish onrush of this century to usurp all my energies but will instead, as Charles Williams suggested, ‘fulfill the moment as the moment.’ I shall try to live well just now because the only time that exists is now. She seemed not to be concerned about the future too much but how to live and enjoy the present moment. The morning was never rushed; she dawdled over her newspapers and breakfast — it was the current moment that captivated her. Time was in God’s hand, He knew her well. She was never in haste; everything was planned and perfected in her daily programme – time for everything important. It didn’t matter about other issues, they could wait.
Second, “I shall sometimes look back at the freshness of vision I had in childhood and try, at least for a little while, to be, in the words of Lewis Carroll, the ‘child of the pure unclouded brow, and dreaming eyes of wonder.’ ” There was a childlike simplicity about her; God was sovereign of her life, what possibly could go wrong! She was His child He her father, He loved her she adored Him, what better. She was safe; therefore if things did apparently go wrong, there was a divine answer. God knew best, she was born into His love, He knew the future, she trusted Him. If only we could enter into that priceless confidence and say with Edward Mote: 
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid rock I stand
And so we do.
Third, we live in a violent rage-filled era, and there is too much sadistic exposure on our TV, in newspapers and comics. We see things now that many of us never dreamt we would witness for news now travels at lightning speed around the world. Patricia veered off the spectacular and the brutal, gobbled up by so many as a normal diet. Her kindness made her radically different eschewing anything that injured or scarred. She lived in Prov 22:24 “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go,” She guarded her life and character meticulously. The last foster father she had was a war torn soldier who had a vicious temper, and she vowed when she married she would marry a man who did not smoke, did not drink, and was kind and gentle and a Christian – she got me! It seemed to fulfil her specification.
The last women’s prayer meeting she led was against pornography; her thesis was that their husbands, sons and grandsons may be so afflicted: violence against women needed combat in the spiritual realm. She had been collecting information for months that was spread around walls and on bulletin boards to illustrate the growing danger of its filtration into current society; for even the church, which is supposed to be the citadel of holiness, was not immune.
Thus she held a standard high for personal lives in the everyday. I have chosen but three things, amongst many attributes – she did not rush, she was childlike, she had a high moral tone – she was not weak, but forthright, incisive, clear-thinking, militant for God, never overawed by anyone except God; a challenge to my daily life. I hope to yours also?