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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze

It would seem as though another Hollywood legend has left us far too soon. Patrick Swayze passed away last night surrounded by his family. I've seen a LOT of deaths over the years and I can honestly say that those deaths that take place in the midst of family are the most peaceful. I've had patients tell me that they wanted to live to see one more Christmas or to see a family all in one room one more time...and then they do exactly that. It's amazing how a person can will themselves to live long enough to experience just one more experience...just one more time.

At the end of life, that "one more thing" usually has to do with family. And for all of his accomplishments, Patrick Swayze, his marriage and his own family are his greatest. I didn't know the man but I knew one thing about him that tells me so much more than any of the roles he played ever could have...Patrick and his wife Lisa were together for over 30 years through the sadness of not having children and the heartbreak of miscarriages. A man who can honor the most basic of all promises...the promise to simply stay where he promised to stay...is a man you can trust, a man you can depend upon and one you can be better for knowing.

When in training for life, there are certain fundamental building blocks that we are taught. Upon those building blocks we build our own character. If those initial building blocks are flawed, so too is our character. Swayze's commitment to family and to his word tells us that his building blocks were rather well founded and his wife seems to have those same excellent building blocks. The success of his marriage tells me that Patrick most likely chose another well founded character to be his partner for life. That was quite smart, wasn't it? She turned out to be all he needed to leave his mark on the planet.

There was a time when people would have said, "In Hollywood, you rarely see a marriage that successful." Now we can pretty safely say that, "In life, you rarely see a marriage that successful." Very few people are taught HOW to make a marriage stay together. That's because it's not so easy. If you haven't learned the building blocks by the time you ask the question, chances are pretty good that nothing you read, study or practice will help.

A successful marriage requires someone selfless enough to consider the fact that his own actions might have effects beyond those which he experiences. You also need a person who is able to walk back in to a room with an angry wife when everything in his head tells him that he could just as easily turn around and run. The strength to stay when all those around you are leaving is an awesome power and one which easily outshines the strength to lift the heaviest of weights.

A life long marriage takes a person who remembers the promise that was made on a warm June afternoon and one smart enough to know that the commitment to that promise is one that will pay off handsomely...and a person patient enough to wait indefinitely for that pay off. You must also have a person who can see things in life bigger than himself, things that are stronger than the sum of it's own parts...things that matter when all of the superfluous trappings of a modern life are stripped away.

Not only did Patrick possess those qualities, he possessed enough of them to be able to spot them in another person when he was relatively young. In his 20's, Patrick was able to choose a wife who would be able to fight for her family as strongly as Patrick would fight for his. He found that person and made her his own. And he was wise enough, strong enough and decent enough to honor her, their marriage and himself by holding true to the ideals he possessed over 30 years ago when he first chose the course that he stayed...until death made him drop anchor and take a well deserved rest.

Patrick Swayze can rest in peace knowing that he gave life his best and that life gave it right back to him. And he can also rest in peace knowing that he left behind a wife who will honor him in death as he honored her in life. He can rest in peace knowing that he possessed the love, honor and respect of his peers. With such a successful life, there cannot be failure in death so Patrick can simply, because of his commitment to excellence in every aspect of his life, rest in peace.

If Patrick made a commitment to live until he proved himself worthy of a space in Heaven, he has certainly done so. He went younger than most, but perhaps that's simply because his work on this planet was done more quickly than most. So, although the timing seems rather arbitrary and capricious, it does make some sense.

As for his wife Lisa, the pay off has yet to be fully realized.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. What you wrote here is very important to me. You gave me a lesson of life and an acceptation of death with excellent arguments. RIP Patrick

April 18, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we not comment on how Lisa has kicked Patricks family to the curb evicted Sean out of the house he bought for Patsy.

January 01, 2014  
Blogger Meg Kelso said...

I'm not aware of that. I have no reason to doubt you but I assure you, I'm not perfect myself.

January 01, 2014  

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