I would check on Pat from time to time to see how she was doing and make sure she wasn’t backsliding. Then, one of our mutual friends told me she was back at the Memphis House. I hung up and immediately called her dad, not her stepfather but her real dad. “How’s Pat doing,” I asked. “Mitch, you wouldn’t believe it; she’s like a different person,” he said, and he sounded so cheerful. “Well, I talked to one of her friends, and she said Pat was back at the Memphis House.” “Really,” he said, sounding a little irritated, “Did she tell you she was a staff member now, a counselor? She just gave notice and is going to the Methodist Hospital to work with their Methodist Outreach Program. She’s going to be in charge of all juvenile counseling. They bypassed three people with degrees to get her. You can’t lie to her. She’s been there.”
A few years later, I heard she had her own practice. She was married to a lawyer, I believe, and had two little boys. All the things she told me on her birthday had come true. I couldn't be happier or be prouder of her. I’ve never tried to contact her because I think I would be a reminder of a time that she would just as soon forget. When I first met Pat, I wanted to be her hero. As it turned out, she was one of mine. She’s every woman who has ever pulled herself up by her bootstraps and succeeded against all odds. She was raped, beaten, and strung out on drugs, yet she pulled herself out of the ashes with her head held high. She has helped many people, over the years, live better and more productive lives, including her brother, Billy. He has been sober for twenty-eight years now.
When I think back about Pat, I still see that cute nineteen-year-old girl that was so beautiful and so very cool. Who had that sly smile with just a bit of a snarl. The girl who sat on my bed, opened up and trusted me even though she barely knew me. But I also see the strong, intelligent, and independent woman that she became. The young girl who wanted to be trusted became a woman who showed other drug addicts how to turn their lives around and how they too could have a normal life.
I was disappointed when she didn’t need me to watch over her anymore. But I was also proud of her for the same reason. She became more dependent on herself. She became the master of her own destiny. She learned how to help herself and taught others to do the same.
Pat would never have reached her goals with me, and she had the sense to know it, even though I didn’t. She is one of the strongest, most determined women I have ever known. How could you not love and admire a woman like Pat Moore?
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