June 06, 2019
A few hours ago, I found out my friend Pat Beatty passed away from a heart attack. He died on his birthday. He was 52.
Pat was just a cool dude. He always had a smile and something to say. Sometimes it was a compliment sometimes it was a wise remark. But it was always something funny.
Pat was a counselor at the middle school where I teach. When kids were misbehaving, we would send them to Pat. He would just lay into them or say something profound. Sometimes even cuss at them but in only a way Pat could do. They would stop crying or messing around, get their heads on straight, go back to class and behave themselves. Pat had a way of working with kids that worked for him. Not everyone could have pulled off what he did. It worked for him.
Pat was a great animal lover. We always talked about his animals. His wife, Zoe, started training the dog to do obstacle courses and Pat went into detail about it. He told me I should do it with my little Yorkie. He got me a magazine about Yorkies. He also gave me a book about dog training that I borrowed and lost and never gave back. I told him I lost it when I moved. He never begrudged me or told me to buy him another one, which I offered. Just said not to worry about it, then asked me about my dogs.
When my dog died, he called me to check on me. He told me he and Zoe would light a candle for my pup.
I also remember I did a drawing of one of his dogs for him. I think it was of the Rottweiler.
I remember when Zoe and Pat got one of their dogs, I got him a welcome basket like a baby basket. Since the puppies were their babies.
When I worked with Pat, I talked to him almost every day. When he left Leavitt, I rarely saw him. But he did come over to see my new puppies. He visited me after I got out of the hospital. I ran into him a couple of times at the gym and at Duck Creek, what he said was HIS MOUNTAIN.
Pat and Zoe were always my go to people at Marcia’s parties. I looked forward to the parties each season to visit more with them. Zoe and I were birthday buddies but it gave me time to visit with them outside of school. It was always nice. I was usually by myself and I knew I would always have my pal Pat and his wife Zoe to talk to.
I have nothing but fond memories of Pat. He used to always walk by my classroom and flip me off covertly. Nobody would see him. He would wait until I looked up and saw him standing there and BAM double birds. He’d just smile and walk away while I stuttered in front of a room full of kids.
I used to drink this green tea. One day the label came off. He started laughing and asked me if I was drinking piss because that was the color of the tea. I don’t think I drank that tea for a good long while after that. I couldn’t get passed the fact that it looked like pee. He thought it was hilarious and it was.
Pat cared about kids. When I took over as the Student Council advisor, Pat took me aside and told me how important the food drive was. We would be feeding kids at Orr Middle School. Our drive was important. He was friends with the principal. That stuck with me. The food drive was important to Pat, so it became important to me. I met George Leavens and his kids at Orr and I understood why it was so important to Pat. For the ten years I was the advisor, I grew the food drive to be one of the biggest drives in the valley for middle schools. One year, the collections were over 25,000 canned food items. It filled a portable. All these things happened because Pat pulled me aside the day I took over as a baby advisor and said, “We need to fill at least four trucks this year. Last year we only filled three and they sent four.” I told him we would fill five. I took that challenge personally. Due to Pat thousands of kids have been fed. Families have had food. It was due to his connection that we made a sisterhood with Orr. Pat created a legacy.
Pat was one of my first friends at Leavitt. He was always there if I needed to talk.
His last day at Leavitt, he took me out to lunch. Just me and him. The two of us. He always treated me like I was a little sister and I never felt it more than in this moment. We went to lunch at this sushi place. Neither one of us had been there before. The sushi was just okay. But we had a great time. We just talked and talked. He told me how excited he was to move over to Findley. He was excited to start a new place. I was sad to see him go but he was so excited. I was happy for him.
When my brother died, I struggled. Pat told me it was okay to struggle. He said grief was like an ocean. Sometimes the waves are small and tickle your feet. Sometimes the waves are massive and knock you on your ass. It’s all the ocean. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it large, sometimes it’s okay. You get used to the tide and sometimes it swallows you up. But kick to the surface and breathe. You’ll be okay.