January 16, 2010

Patrick Hayes memorial run

Back in 1998, I spent a good part of my summer in Las Vegas helping Grandpa take care of my newly-disabled Grandma, Harriet. I recall one conversation we had one night in which my grandmother grumped that life wasn't worth living anymore; she'd done everything she wanted to do and most of her friends were dead and the last few were dying. I vaguely understood her position, but didn't understand why she didn't take more joy in her husband, children, and grandchildren.

These days, I understand some of that much better. Since November 1st, I've lost four acquaintances, three of them from CF. Now, in the world of CF, very few of us actually know each other in person - contact is discouraged because of cross-contamination issues. So we make our communities online and in emails, newsletters, and pictures. We can become very close that way. So losing both Tom Hubin and Deron Arnold in November was quite a shock.

This morning I found that a fairly close internet friend, Patrick Hayes, passed away last night while waiting for a transplant. To be sure, the picture was grim, and the dry run earlier this week raised everybody's hopes for a moment. His passing isn't altogether unexpected, but a lot sooner than anybody thought. He was a great voice in the Great Conversation and I'll miss him.

So is this what life is? What getting older really means? That you make fewer and fewer new friends each year, but lose more and more old ones? This isn't getting any easier. I'm glad it's not! Because if it became easier, what would that make me?

I've been staring at this post for 15 minutes. I don't know what else to write. Things just feel a little useless right now.

After I read about Patrick and the responses to that news on the CF list, I went for a run. Great weather; just...perfect. Absolutely perfect running weather. This was a pretty good run, for me; though still full of walking and ultimately very slow. I'm never going to be happy with that. But for now, it's better than the alternative. I gotta keep it up so I don't end up like Patrick; and I know Patrick would be encouraging me to keep going out there and clearing out my lungs and invogorating my entire body. Maybe this is why I'm not racing right now - trying to find the real motivation, the actual reasons I should continue to run.

Patrick was younger than me. He was 36 years old.


Anonymous said...

It was heartbreaking to hear about Patrick. I was a friend of his here on the Internet. About 2 days prior to his death they put him on a Vent and the next day he was schedule to have a Trach placed. I'm not sure if that was ever done, because it was the same day he passed away on Friday, January 15th @ 10:55 PM ET. Their goal was to get him out of bed and start moving around.

The day before he was placed on the Vent, he had walked two laps and things seemed to be getting better for him. Then the next day they put him on the Vent.

When they put him on the Vent, they took him off the transplant list, because he was too bad. I know it's hard to imagine how bad someone is via the Internet instead of over the phone or in person, but I knew once they put him on the Vent things weren't looking good.

I cried a few days ago and yesterday. Thank you for writing this nice blog about Patrick.

Breathinstephen said...

I didn't know the guy, but I feel your pain Cris. 36 is way too young to go.

Dedicating your run was a fitting tribute to your friend.

You run because it makes you feel alive! I can't think of a better reason.

Michelle said...

I'm sorry Cris. I know how hard it must be for you to become good friends with folks and then losing them.

Please continue to run and feel good about it. Remember when I told you that your inspire me? You still do!