A year ago, I went to work in a school district where I met a woman named Debra Patrick who is still currently a teacher’s assistant. She is always positive and upbeat. She is never too busy to say a kind word or offer a listening ear. Little did I know, Mrs. Patrick, as she is called by all, was dealing with her own personal trauma.
For the past few years, her husband had been seriously ill with heart problems. There were many times before and throughout the time I have known her, where she and her family were told he would not make it through the night. He managed to hold on. She came to work on time and never appeared to be stressed or worried. The only income was her aide’s salary and because of a mix up in paper work, their insurance policy has lapsed. She was faced with all the medical and pharmacy bills.
As usual, she was always there for the students (did I mentioned she worked with behavior disordered students who require an enormous amount of patience, but not once did she snap or complain) and anyone else who needed her help.
She volunteered at her church on Wednesday nights and kept her commitment even when Mr. Patrick was at his worse. Mrs. Patrick was told that her husband needed a heart transplant and her family did not have the money to purchase one. Our staff wrote everyone possible to assist her. Throughout that time, she remained positive and still focused on helping others. Mr. Patrick’s heart failed before he could get a transplant. While in the hospital on every machine imaginable, she encouraged people of family members who were in the hospital and she did not know them. She never talked about her disappointments, hurts or pain. She was constantly concerned with how she could help someone else.
Mr. Patrick died a year ago this past April. He was her soulmate. They did everything together â€” talked, worshipped God, helped others, and the list goes on and on. She has incredible strength for a woman who has endured all that she has. When asked how did she do it, she always answered with, “It’s because of God.” She is not a person who expects or demands anything from anyone. Mr. Patrick could not afford a pretty diamond ring for her, but I would like her to receive one in his honor. She really is a good genuine person who deserves a smile and something very nice. Please award her with this gift. She is very special to many people and she should know it.