Purple Patti

*Old 2009 Challenge writing contest [creative non-fiction article] (with a few edits)

In the memory of my dear friend, Pat Liesche McNamee (2/24/1935 – 7/20/18)

Purple Patti lives in the land of Sedgwick and welcomes you today. Enter the door to enchantment and fulfillment. Fear not, change leads to freedom. Leave your cares behind and be prepared for many pleasant surprises.

Patti moved to the mysterious Sedgwick kingdom seven years ago. She tip-toed inside looking back over her shoulder at the security she left behind. She knew there would be no turning back. She’d make this her new home and make emotional adjustments. The rulers of the land welcomed her. Would others be nice or would she be an outsider left to cower in a corner?

Residents came from various villages and backgrounds. Each shared their unique stories that led them to Sedgwick kingdom. Some would embrace her warmly. Others like her were afraid and would keep her at arm’s length. What would be her place?

Would she have a role to play or simply pass time marking days off a calendar?

Patti first reacted to this big change with depression and resentment. She did not belong in this foreign land. Why didn’t she hear from those outside of the kingdom walls? They could call or visit. She felt like the doors and windows held invisible bars keeping her in and others out.

Slowly, she began to put down roots to make Sedgwick her new home. Looking for the positive side in change, she found a new outlook. The leaders did seem to really look out for her best interest. She not only received three square meals a day but also medical care and a large variety of forms of entertainment and recreation.

Maybe this would not be so bad after all…

Purple Patti is now a regular greeter at ‘Sedgwick Heights’ assisted living facility. Her bright smile, cheerful laughter, and warm embraces help newcomers feel welcome. She knows from personal experience how difficult those first months can be.

Her desire is to encourage others and lead them to see the benefits provided. She continues to serve on the Residents Council giving input on upcoming activities, menu planning and more.
Purple Patti lives with passion.

She tenderly shares her passion for her Lord Jesus. Memories of being born again bring thanksgiving and faith. When she hears residents complain about their lot in life she reminds them of their many blessings. She trusts God with her problems and they can, too. The passion for people follows her passion for God.

It is easy to see why she calls so many people her friends. She shows genuine interest in their stories. There is always something going on in her new home. They take walks together, go for day shopping trips, and dine at the finest restaurants. Each summer they enjoy luncheon lake boat cruises and more. Friendships are built upon trust and Patti is tried and true. Purple Patti will be remembered by residents and staff as the little lady with a ‘passion for life.’

She doesn’t believe in getting old and giving up. She is too busy living each day with the excitement of a child on Christmas Eve. Mystery is tucked behind each sunrise and she can’t wait to follow the clues. Surprises include visitors from all age groups.

Children think she is one of them because her 4’ 8” frame is not much taller than theirs. Visitors bring dogs, which quickly snuggle up in her lap and relax under her tender touch.

How did Patti get her nickname?

Our little lady is passionate about purple.

Her room, wardrobe and jewelry box display a variety of shades of purple. Deep purples, delicate orchid and lavender are seen everywhere. Her birthday falls in February and amethyst is a regular reminder of her purple passion. It is easy to shop for Patti; if it is purple, it will be perfect. Everyone can learn valuable life lessons from Patti.

Look around you and see who needs an extra touch of tender loving care. Hugs are free and we have a never ending supply. The more you give away, the more you will receive. Live today like Patti, with passion and purpose.

Tomorrow will be a better day!



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