Heaven gained another angel today.
Patricia Ann Dunkel, my ferocious, intelligent, tiny, class-act, beautiful, witty, conversational, LOVING, worrier, momma-bear, fun, organized, planner of a mother-in-law, passed away last night, in her home, surrounded by her family.
8 long years of cancer.
63 beautiful years of Pat.
Pat, thank you for raising the most amazing man. Tim is kind, funny, down-to-earth, patient, level-headed, well-rounded, handsome, loving, smart. He is the best life partner, best father - my everything. Thank you for giving me him.
Thank you for being such a fun and loving grandmother to Teddy. He loves you so much.
Thank you for teaching me to love cooking and entertaining. I'm not sure I will ever be able to fill your shoes, but I promise to try.
Thank you for worrying about your kids... maybe sometimes too much... ha. Worrying means you cared. How lucky are we to have someone who loves us so, so much.
Thank you for welcoming me into your family with open arms. You and Rick have always made me feel welcome and included, and that means the world.
Thank you for building this beautiful family. We've been through more these last 4 days then I ever thought possible, but we are strong. We have each other and we will be ok because you've taught us what it means to be strong.
Thank you for your phone calls of checking in, for always answering my cooking questions and making me chicken noodle soup when I'm sick.
Thank you for inspiring Tim and me to have the type of friendships you've worked so hard to have. Seriously, the love we've seen these past few days is astounding. The people you have surrounded yourself with are the BEST and it's beautiful to see.
Pat, I don't know what life looks like now with you aren't here. We ate dinner around the table tonight, and there was an empty seat. Your absence was felt tenfold.
We love you. We miss you. We will never forget you.
Until we meet again.
"Grief, I've learned, is really just love. It's all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go."