Eighteen years ago this coming August 14, I helped deliver my Godson, Patrick. And while it was thrilling to be in labor and delivery with him (I even got to cut the cord) that experience was only a precursor to the years ahead of us. Today I’m flying out to Seattle to visit Patrick and celebrate his high school graduation and his eighteenth birthday—both momentous events of the summer.
Serving as his Godmother (with my husband as Godfather) continues to be a joy and blessing. From his baptism (see left) and baby and toddlers years—which we were able to share while he still lived in Memphis—to the long-distance relationship we would develop when he moved with his mother and siblings to Seattle, Washington, when he was only two. He would return to Memphis almost annually (one set of grandparents were here for quite a few years) and we would look forward to those visits with joy.
The summer of 2008, when Patrick became a teenager, he flew to Memphis for a visit, bringing along his wonderful service dog, “Kudzu,” who helped Patrick with various neurological disorders. You can read my post about that visit, and enjoy some terrific photos, here: “A Dog and His Boy.” Kudzu “retired” shortly after that visit, enjoying his retirement years as a loving pet. I love the pictures of Patrick and his Godfather playing Wii Football at Game Stop after church that Sunday, while Kudzu stands faithfully at attention.
Last summer Patrick spent a few weeks in Memphis working as an intern with a group that helps homeless people. He spent a couple of nights with us and we talked about his hopes and dreams for the future. Patrick struggles with health issues that often derail his plans, but I know he will find his way and will do something important as he moves into adulthood. I thought then how grown-up Patrick had become, and how proud of him I am.
This past March, Patrick and his mother, my dear friend, Charli, came to Memphis for Patrick to visit an eye specialist, and we had a great time “down on the river” with them both, along with his sister, Mary Elizabeth Phillips, and her boyfriend, Wes Riddle. Walking by the river just before sunset, dinner at Tug’s, and watching the Memphis Grizzlies back at our house later… we soaked up the moments we had with Patrick, not knowing how soon we might see him again.
And then the invitation came. June 8. A celebration for Patrick. The Godfather can’t go, but I got my plane ticket right away and today I’m off for a long weekend at Patrick’s home in Seattle, which I’ve never seen. I’m sure I’ll take lots of pictures, but I might not be on the grid much… we’ll see. Have a great weekend, everyone!