Last night, my dear friend Patty passed away. Patty and I had been friends for nearly 10 years. As co-workers for most of that time, we saw each other on a daily basis. When I left my full-time job 2-1/2 years ago, our friendship continue to grow, even without the daily contact.
Patty supported my writing from the very beginning, when I made my first tentative attempts at writing a book on Oscar-nominated film scores back in 2002. She continued to encourage my first published writings with Film Score Monthly and Varese Sarabande. She helped me figure out the pros and cons of striking out on my own and championed my decision to kick my freelance writing career into high gear.
Patty’s knowledge and love of music spanned everything from Miles Davis to ZZ Top, and that love of music gave our friendship a deeper bond. Though film music wasn’t her “thing,” she was always game to discuss it with me. When I mentioned names like Howard Shore, Bernard Herrmann, and Jerry Goldsmith, her eyes didn’t glaze over in boredom or incomprehension. Because it was important to me, it was important to her.
I will always treasure our last visit together. As she valiantly fought the cancer that ravaged her body, I sat next to her hospital bed and held her hand. Patty would be the first one to tell you that I don’t always particularly like to be touched, yet the grasp of her hand meant more to me than anything that day. And when I shared a piece of personal film music news that I was particularly excited about, her face lit up, the light went on in her eyes, and she squeezed my hand, somehow finding the energy to be excited for me as well.
These are the memories I’ll treasure, the memories that I selfishly get to keep for myself. Small moments, seemingly insignificant, and yet memories that are entirely personal. The best friends in our lives make that special effort to dig a little deeper, to take part and share in the things that touch our souls. Film music didn’t bring Patty and I together, but it weaved in and out of our friendship for 10 years, and it was there at the end to bring us together one last time.