Here’s to Pat Welsh…Perspective and Faith

Celebrating Pat Welsh…Perspective and Faith provide the foundation by which we can cope with the sadness of Pat’s passing. Those traits are also at the core of the lessons I’ve learned from knowing him. His perspective helped him endure for so long through his illness. His faith provided him the light that lead him home.

Faith and Perspective Helps Us Transcend. Taking from things heard yesterday at Pat’s funeral, there was much shared that helps us cope, to better understand the good that is present, even as sadness and loss washed ashore after Pat’s passing. The big take-aways as I heard them, that spoke to me go something like this:

His son Jack talked about being lucky that Pat was his dad, the greatest dad in the world. He was lucky to have had Pat as a dad, for all the love and lessons he shared.

His brother Don talked about how he’d prayed for a miracle that Pat might survive his illness often over the passed three years. And then he realized the miracle was Pat’s life and survival over those three years being sick, having Pat in our lives three more years through his battle.

The preceding priest, Monsignor Connolly, talked about the power of faith when confronted with the mystery that accompanies death. All this helps us all deal with the reality that Pat is gone. But also that he lives on in our memories and love for him.

AMEN.

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Here’s to Pat Welsh…on Friday, We Celebrated Him

This from a Friday, another Friday that turned out to be GOOD, for reasons other than the usual motivations.  We gathered in Redondo Beach, southern California.  We packed a church and sang together and prayed together and listened and chatted and remembered and celebrated his life.

Celebrating Pat Welsh…as sure the sun comes up each day, Pat’s competitive spirit burned hot, and bright, and knew no limits, right up until the end. Of that I am sure.

He was always in the hunt, believing he could get a positive outcome. Whether on the golf course, or working a business deal, in a game of cribbage, or battling cancer, he was in the fight.

Until God called him home, two weeks ago – I pray he closed his eyes and walked toward the light knowing he did the very best he could, an example for us all.

Today (Friday, 4 May) the tribe gathers together with his family to celebrate his life. We love you, Pat!

Here’s to Pat Welsh: A Zest for Life

Thursday, Celebrating Pat Welsh…His zest for life was palpable. Consider the Hawaiian shirts he wore, his fan enthusiasm for the many sport teams he followed, and the way he danced and sang along to his favorite bands (think Oingo Boingo, Joe Jackson, Van Halen, to name a few). It was evident: Pat squeezed every little bit of good he could from life. He loved it, and it loved him back.

The first time I remember seeing Pat was at a college event when we were freshmen. 1985. We were playing Broom Ball. His zest for life was apparent, as he chased that ball around the rink.

Over the rest of our college years, after we’d become friends, that passion for everyday manifested over and over. Whether it was playing or watching or studying or working or whatever it was, Pat had a plan, and an appreciation for the moment.

He inspired me over and over again throughout all our years as friends, even though we would only talk a few times a year. Frequency didn’t matter. He just brought the energy again and again. His little smile that often became a big grin, and a steady gaze that said, “I’m all in.”

We were all better for it.

Here’s to Pat Welsh: One Sharp Mind

Wednesday, Celebrating Pat Welsh…One of the characteristics I admired most about Pat was his sharp mind.

Whether it was sports or business dealings, his ability to evaluate and explain things — especially quantitative matters — always impressed me. I recall many times listening to him talk about his take on “the playoffs”…

…it could have been basketball or football or baseball, and he’d talk about how the different teams sized up, specific players and what they’d need to do. I would think, “I don’t know how he has all that in his head…” It just all seemed to flow. Pat had a very natural and intuitive understanding of things.

His knowledge and assessments on business deals dealings was the same. He soaked information in, processed it, and could speak intelligently about whatever the matter at hand was.

And when he explained things — though I’m not so quantitative in my thinking – it made sense and I understood. Pat didn’t speak at you, he spoke with you. He engaged. He wanted it to make sense to you.

What did he do with that sharp mind? He cared.

Here’s to Pat Welsh: Everything is Going to be OK

Tuesday, Celebrating Pat Welsh…Pretty well every time I think of Pat, his reassuring smile, confident voice, and sense of humor are what rush to the fore.

Pat brought a positive energy to any room or situation he walked in to.  Like the Bob Marley song goes, Pat provided a sense that “things were going to be OK.”

He was always ready to engage the situation he was in, ready to lend a hand, ready to help, ready to get things done.  He had good and balanced insight he would share if asked (and sometimes he’d even share if he wasn’t asked).   He knew what he believed and he would share that perspective with conviction.   Even if you didn’t agree, you had to listen, because the impetus was genuine.

Pat also brought levity as needed, and his little smile gave a big boost to anyone who saw it.  He had a wit that allowed him, with a quip or twist of phrase, to ease the tension in the room or conversation.   He was on your side.

Pat Welsh was a can-do person who made you feel like you could too.  I always felt better after talking to Pat.  Yep, things were going to be OK.

[Circa 1991. Photo Credit: Tom Stergios]