Working in the yard yesterday, I was thinking about what seemed most important to Pat. I think about all the years I had the good fortune to know him — since college. He was a great human, and a good friend. If you don’t know the situation: Pat passed away last week after a battle with cancer that lasted more than three years.
While I was in the yard working, my wife took a picture of our three kids on their newly refreshed bikes, headed down the sidewalk.
Pat and his wife have three kids too; all grown-up, strapping young men they are now.
It crystallized for me as I watching my kids on their bikes, maybe Pat’s strongest belief: Family Comes First. Yes indeed, family and friends too are right up there too in his hierarchy of Most Important Things In Life. Nothing was more important to him than his family, and his friends.
I count myself extremely lucky that Pat considered me a friend, even a close friend, in some ways. We didn’t connect too often. We were both part of a small group of guys from school that got together for a few days every year as a little “mini-reunion.” Whenever we got together, I always felt an easy comfort and strong bond with him. In conversations we had over the years during difficult times, that theme provided the basis of what Pat would always come back to. Family keeps us grounded; friends make the difference for us when we need it most.
The more I consider it, the more sure I am. The trait that comes to mind over and over again about Pat was his love of family and friends. I came to find out over the years knowing him that this was a common denominator in the Welsh Family overall. The joy and strength found in this simple prioritization gives clarity and grounding to life. It is the cornerstone on which everything else is built. For sure it was Pat’s cornerstone. Here’s to Pat Welsh.