My mother was blessed with incredible friendships throughout her lifetime. I grew up in art studios as mother’s shadow. Today I learned that her dear friend and art teacher Patricia Lyon passed away recently. Just this morning I was thinking about Pat after discovering the handmade doll she had made for my mother. I found myself reflecting on Pat’s art, her infectious energy and her mischievous giggle.
Pat was one of the women I was writing about in Puffy & Blue when I wrote,
Because my mom was an artist, she attracted the most interesting people. The women who have passed through my life as my mom’s friends were warm breezes of eccentric flavors. They danced in and out of our lives with flaming laughter. The women I remember called me girlfriend and giggled long hours with my mom. My ears always stayed open and alert. We spent our days in painting rooms and kitchens eating all the sins that we were not allowed at home.
I remember my mom’s friends laughing, but I know there were times in which they cried. It was the way they faced life that makes me remember their laughter. They were strong women—strong enough to be eccentric and to dance through life with my mom and me.
Pat introduced us to richest of brie cheese and finest of finger foods. She called me girlfriend. She loved to tell me stories while she twice painted my portrait. She spoiled everyone around her with attention, love and the widest of open arms. Pat was the very definition of delightful with eyes that sparkled with life. Her influence could be seen in my mother’s art and my life.
My heart breaks for Pat’s family. I have had a glimpse at the length and breadth of the grief journey they are just now embarking upon. Like my mother, Pat left bold brush strokes upon the canvases of the lives she touched.