If you read my last post you will remember that it was mostly a plea to pray for my dear mother in law who was due to have surgery the next morning to input a stint in her heart to relieve pain from a heart attack and to improve the blood flow from her heart.

Unfortunately, the next morning we received devastating news that Patricia’s body had depleted too much and her body was beginning to shut down before the nurses had even begun to prep her for surgery.  By 8:30am, the respirator was pretty much the only thing keeping her alive, so David (my father in law) decided that he would have the respirator removed and turned off for Tricia to avoid prolonging what would look like the inevitable. The doctors and nurses turned off the respirator just after noon on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, at which point, Patricia got about two breaths on her own and then passed away.  That morning was full of tears and sadness knowing that we had lost such a wonderful member of our family and would miss her boisterous laugh and positive attitude.

The rest of the week was spent with family and planning her funeral service and laying her to rest in Midlothian–the town where she taught Speech for more than 27 years.

The last week has been an emotional roller coaster, and I know the next year is going to be very hard and moments will pop up when I suddenly am brought to tears because I no longer have this wonderful special person here on Earth to enjoy her company.  I am so grateful that Patricia no longer has to suffer and is permanently healed and will live eternally where she can watch over us, but it doesn’t mean that I am not terribly sad that it will be so long before I can hug her neck and kiss her cheek once again.

There are a few memories that I will greatly treasure about my dear mother in law.

Whenever Cliff and I first got engaged, I met my mother in Dallas to go shopping for wedding dresses the very next day since it was my spring break.  I asked Patricia if she would like to come with us and I am so very glad she was with us for that experience. Having her there with me to pick out a dress is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.

When Cliff and I got married, Tricia told me at our rehearsal dinner that she would not be my mom, “because you already have one of those!” but she would indeed be my friend.  She turned out to be one of my best friends in just a few short years.  I commonly would call her when I had a question related to the world of teaching, cooking up to Cliff’s standards, and the occasional question of “how do I understand your son??”

In the months leading up to our marriage, I lived in David and Patricia’s house in Cliff’s old bedroom because Cliff and I didn’t want to live together before we were married and my parents had since moved back to East Texas.  I moved in at the very end of May just after Patricia had her transplant and while she was still in the hospital.  In the midst of that time I was looking for a teaching job, (and not having very good luck,) and working at Kohl’s part time.  This gave me time to spend with Patricia and help out around the house once she came home from the hospital.  I am forever grateful for that experience because we had a great opportunity to get to know one another and become pretty close.  It was an honor to be able to be there and help out in what little ways I could during that time and wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.

Here are some of the pictures I have been able to collect of Patricia over the last few years that I love of this wonderful woman who has touched my life so much.

Here is David, Patricia, and Ben with Cliff at his college graduation on her birthday in 2006:DSC_0064



Here is David, Patricia, Cliff, me, Ben, and Jenn at our wedding in 2007: Patricia insisted on standing for pictures despite being in a wheelchair due to a broken pelvis and vertebrae.Shankle-Carpenter (433)


Cliff pushing Patricia in her wheelchair at our wedding in October of 2007:

Shankle-Carpenter (218)-2


Cliff and his mother holding hands at our wedding: Shankle-Carpenter (435) copy


Patricia doing the survivors walk at Ennis Relay for Life in fall of 2008:Relay for Life


Here is David and Patricia behind their house in a picture I took of them during the Christmas holidays of 2009:IMG_1554


Here is Patricia and her granddaughter Zoey in the spring of 2011:IMG_2209


These two photos were taken when I picked up my new Canon 7D and took it over to their house to play with earlier this summer in late June.  I am SO GLAD I decided to take my camera with me that afternoon:IMG_4949



Here is Patricia and David in the picture I took of them for our church directory on July 31st, just a couple of weeks before she passed away: IMG_5232Patricia, you will always be in my heart, and I will love you forever, and I’m thankful for the wonderful time we had together. Love, Christy