Honoring the Memory of a Dear Friend
There are a lot of thoughts on my mind today, that I could easily blog about. But the one that is in the forefront is the memory of a dear friend who transitioned to Spirit over five years ago – David Rathbone Patterson (AKA “Bub”).
Dave is someone who I sang with in high school, and one of the first things I noticed about him was that he always had a smile and a kind word for everyone he met. During their teenage years, kids often confine themselves to one group or another – the “sporty” group, the “cool” kids, the music kids, and so on. Dave had the rare ability to be able to reach across all groups and classes, and connect with anyone, regardless of who they were or what they were interested in. He was plenty social, but I never remembered him as being overtly loud or extroverted.
We graduated from high school in 1998, but in 2005 I had the first of many opportunities to see Dave and his band, Rathbone, perform at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun (as part of a bigger concert with Seth Shomes and Day After Day Productions over Thanksgiving weekend). Not only was it always a reunion of friends I went to high school with, but it was also such a joy to see Dave in his element, totally successful and happy, and shining like a star. I would also see his grandmother from time to time as I was doing errands around town, and she would always keep me updated on Dave’s successes and newest ventures.
In 2009, Thanksgiving weekend came around, and I was finding myself feeling a little worn. I was still working in my retail job at the time, and we had just experienced a huge change in management. My added responsibilities, along with my growing side business, and general beginning-of-the-holiday-season-in-retail schedule, had me feeling pretty wiped out. So, I figured, I’ll skip the concert with Dave and Seth this year. I can always catch it again next year.
Fast-forward to four days before Christmas – the home stretch. My boss had asked me to look up something for her on our local newspaper’s website. Immediately upon going to the site, I noticed in large font an article describing a fatal car crash on a major highway in the area the previous day. In the blurb underneath, I saw the words, “A 29-year-old Longmeadow man was killed,” and “David Patterson died at the scene of the accident.”
I had to stop what I was doing and click on the article. It felt as though my heart stopped in my chest. I was in shock.
I looked up the article for my boss, and then asked to take a 10-minute break. In my break, I went online to Facebook and saw exactly what I didn’t want to see – confirmations of the news. Dave had indeed passed. The shock was wearing off and reality was settling in. A co-worker saw me and asked if I was okay. That’s when I started to cry, quickly blurted out what happened, and dashed into the bathroom for the next five minutes of my break.
That night, I had a dream. Dave was in some little bar somewhere, getting ready for a show. I “knew” he had died, and said to him, “Wait, I thought you died in the accident on Sunday?” He looked at me, tilted his head and said, “Jess, come on, with what you do? You of all people know I’m not really dead. I’m still singing . . . just . . . in a bit of a different way.” He hugged me, and said, “I’ll see you soon – I promise I’ll come visit.” I woke up with tears streaming down my face. I knew Dave was okay, but the reality that I would not see him anymore in the physical, or hear his magical voice again – with the exception of his band’s CD that I had purchased a couple of years earlier – broke my heart. Over the years, I’ve had a few dream visits with Dave, and messages from other mediums that he’s come through. Each visit is brief, but I know in all of my heart it’s him.
So when I woke up this morning, realizing it would have been his 35th birthday today and probably the wild fun he would have had, I found myself a little teary. I listened to his CD in my car today, and watched this slideshow on a friend’s Facebook page, honoring Dave’s memory. I miss my dear friend, but I know without a doubt that his spirit is still very much alive.
I hope sharing my story with Dave helps you to feel and to know even more that your loved ones are still with you from Spirit. They give us signs – we just have to pay attention. 🙂