4/11/1963 - 3/9/2012
So, one of the best parts of the last few years is that I tried to beat Pat to the sports section of the newspaper every day (It was the only section of the paper he read).
I didn’t do it to check box scores, or game schedules, or any of that sports crap.
I checked to see if he was in the obits.
When I didn’t find his name in there I would slap him and say, “Hey…you’re not here.”
Today he’s in the obits.
And he’s not here for me to slap.
And I miss him.
Pat finally got tired of fighting, and on March 9th, decided it was time to let go.
No one can blame him.
When he relapsed this last time he came home, gave me a big hug and told me, “Well, we’ve had a good run!”
And we did.
He was tired of feeling like crap.
There aren’t many people who would have put up with it for as long as he did.
It was not easy watching someone you love, and respect, and rely on, be so unhappy and so sick.
I give him and our girls so much credit for slapping on that happy face every day, and going out and facing the world.
From day one, he fought for his family and his friends.
He is now with his mom and dad, Hector and Frances, in a place with no pain, no nausea and no feeling icky and tired, and we are sure he has a lap full of dogs.
He may even have hair again, but let’s not hold our breath on that one.
Pat grew up in the Minnehaha (Little Italy) neighborhood in Spokane…fat and happy, thanks to the many Italian families who all looked out for each other.
He attended Cooper Elementary School (he loved to call it Pooper school), Shaw Junior High, and was a very proud John R. Rogers graduate.
He earned his teaching degree from EWU and spent his entire career at Sacajawea Middle School, as a much loved teacher and coach.
When Sandra Bullock wasn’t available, he settled by marrying Robin in 1991 (probably the best decision he ever made), and together they raised two strong, beautiful, funny daughters, Erin and Gina.
(And a few furry friends…Hannah, Barkley, Chloe, and his favorite napping buddy, Lucy).
While the last 4 Â˝ years of his life were defined by his battle, he was so much more than his illness.
He was a son, father, husband, brother, uncle, friend, teacher and coach.
And that is how he would want to be remembered.
Pat lived a full life, and loved nothing more than spending time in his yard, his kitchen, at Mamma Mia’s, or at Diamond Lake with our extended Hernandez family.
His ravioli are world famous, and people traveled from as far as Coeur d’Alene to enjoy them.
His two favorite bonus sons to feed were Cameron and Cole, who could smell his ravs from across the street and coming running (not walking) for their second dinner of the night.
He loved the Dodgers, March Madness (he literally watched games while I gave birth, and got kicked out of the room), the movie Tommy Boy, and barbequing in his outdoor kitchen stadium.
The only thing he was never able to accomplish was potty training Lucy.
(I told you I would put that in your obit!
Maybe you should have listened to me and written this yourself!)
Thank you to Dr. Lund, and his amazing staff who kept him alive longer than we expected, and to nurse Claire Tiffany on 7 South at Sacred Heart (The Fart) for always saving him the “special” room and leaving love notes on his white board.
Thank you to our Spokane Public Schools “family” for supporting our family, taking excellent care of our girls, for donating sick days, and for covering Pat’s classes during his many attempts to get back to work.
We couldn’t have survived the past few years without the love and support of our family and friends, who continually lifted us up and helped us keep life as “normal” as we could.
Pat is survived by his wife Robin; daughters Erin and Gina; brother Hector and his wife Kathy and their daughters Morgan and Katelyn; sister Lynn and her husband Lonnie and their son Cameron; and many, many friends he considered family.
Celebration of his life will be on Friday, March 30, at 7:00 pm in the Commons at John R. Rogers High School.
A dessert reception will follow.
Pat loved the game of baseball and was involved in a very special project.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Al K. Jackson Field Turf Project: www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com.