Saturday, July 22, 2006

A little night magic

Hi everyone:

Last night was a magical evening, for Patty and for our family. Patty was able to bask in the warmth of family and friends, and to just relax and not worry about health or anything else. Kevin reports that it was also a tremendous success, far exceeding his initial expectations. Thanks ever so much to everyone who had a hand in making it so successful and such a pleasant diversion from so many serious days and nights. We cannot even begin to fully acknowledge Patty's siblings and their families for their commitment to making this a beautiful night for Patty and all the other guests. Although Patty is weary today from such a busy day yesterday, she is feeling very loved.

If you would like to see the 54 pictures captured on our camera last night, please visit www.picturetrail.com and visit the omara-croft album. My apologies in advance for those photos that did not turn out as hoped. If you took pictures during the event, please email them to us so that we have as complete a record of the evening as possible. Our email is omara_croft@yahoo.com.

We were somewhat surprised and very thrilled to learn that so many of you have been visiting the blog with some regularity. Many of Patty's friends from school came forward to say that they check in every day. As always, Patty loves to read comments, so please don't be so quiet in the future.

Patty had prepared some of her comments for last night in advance, because she knew she would be nervous and was afraid she would misstep if she tried to speak extemporaneously. So, for those of you who were unable to attend, or who would like to relive the moment, here are her words:

Hi everyone:

I’m very nervous, and very moved, so you may be hearing some of this through a voice that’s not so steady. Please bear with me. I think everyone here will agree that this evening is a wonderful thing, both in its scope and in the love so obviously behind it. I would like to thank all of those directly responsible for this night, and to thank so many others who have extended other gestures of selflessness, charity and love. I know all of my siblings and their families played an important role both in this event and in helping our family cope with some real challenges.

First and foremost, I want to thank Kevin, who clearly must have made many compromises in his personal and professional life to pull all of this together. Marybeth and Sharon, I know you have put in many hours and many dollars to make sure that all of the finer details have been special for this night. Joe obtained a great many wonderful and – let’s just say it – incredible items for both the auction and raffle. Marybeth and Jeff, Kevin and Sharon, Peter and Rachel and Joe have all taken our kids for extended stretches and entertained them such that they’ve been able to turn a summer that could have been awful into one that will be forever special. Peter and Rachel have provided incredible medical and legal advice at a price we simply couldn’t refuse. Neil and Kathleen have called daily to check in on my well-being and needs, and have provided Brian with much-needed companionship during my hospital stays. Neil, I won’t get into specifics here, but you know what you’ve meant to us when we’ve needed a shoulder. Mike has somehow found the time to visit with me several times this summer even though he lives several hundred miles away. So, to all my siblings, all their spouses, and all of their families, thank you.

I’ve felt such an outpouring of affection and warm wishes here tonight. I want to thank everyone who has played a part in this evening, with donations, with raffle tickets, with auction bids and your presence here. I guess I don’t know really what to say, other than to say I’m overwhelmed and really, really grateful.

There are many of you who I haven’t acknowledged here, because to acknowledge everyone individually would take all night. Clearly, if you read the blog, you know that I probably don’t have the energy to deliver a speech all night. Some of you I would like to thank personally rather than publicly. So, for this time around, I’m focusing more on those who have been involved in pulling this night together directly, but please know the rest of you are in no way forgotten.

Lastly, I need to mention the kids and Brian. PJ, Kelly and Connor look after me and worry about me constantly, just as Brian and I worry about them. They are strong, nice kids, and will pull through just fine, based on all evidence thus far. Devin and Colin send heartfelt wishes from afar, occasionally posting funny messages on the blog, and making me laugh. And Brian bears all this right along with me, and never complains or falters. I love you so much, and I thank you so much.

I know that my life is going to be a bit of a struggle moving forward, but I also know I’m going to be fine. Knowing that this many people are pulling for me makes all the difference in the world. Now please go back and have a great time. Thank you.

Again, thank you all so much for your continued love and support.

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