Archive for May, 2010

Pat “Good Times” Milliken…

Posted in My Blog on May 26, 2010 by blessingsinparadise

My dear, sweet friend Pat Milliken passed away on Good ”Times” Friday,  April 2, 2010. It was a few days after he had an EPICALLY GRAND TIME seeing Paul McCartney in concert.   He was only 42 years old.  I call it “Good Times” Friday because  “Good Times” is something he always said upon greeting someone. I had to rename the day to commemorate him!

Also strong in his vocabulary, “Vividly” “ Epic” “Grand!” All words filled with positive energy, inspiration, and joy. He spoke them, he lived them, he embodied them!

He “ epically” touched SO many people’s lives.  On the Facebook site, set up for him after he passed, 650 people signed up the very first week to share stories, and to read about his life. At the memorials, I spoke with many people who shared with me how they all cried endless rivers of tears over their keyboards for him. Though the computer served a great purpose informing us and bringing us together, we were so glad to actually be able to hug each other and share the warmth of the friendships and love that we all shared with this amazing man.

Pat had suffered since his teens with many serious health issues. They ranged from a brain aneurysm ( for which he had brain surgery), to open heart surgeries and heart valves. He had major seizures, which on a scale of 1-10 were very often 10’s or 11’s. They were powerful and it took everything he had to deal with them.  Every night he had to take a myriad of pills to keep him alive. All of us felt his fragility, but it didn’t stop him from living fully.

He frequently visited friends, and invited them to join him at the Cajun Kitchen for breakfast or Playa Azul for dinner. He loved spending time in the park, any park or any natural setting made him feel at ease.

People connected with him immediately. He was open and present with whomever he was with in the moment. He was known for laughing so hard that he would double over into the fetal position. He was such a joyous and funny man!

He was extremely passionate about music. He played his guitar all over town, and he jammed with countless musicians for over 3 decades.  He had mastered a special style of playing called DADGAD. A complicated style for most musicians, but Pat made it his own.

He played his guitar for the patients as well as the staff at Cottage hospital for many years. He cherished the staff there, since he had spent many months of his life living there, while under their loving care.

I was lucky enough to have him play at some of the weddings I performed.  Since we usually performed our ceremonies outside amongst the flowers and the trees, his music was a beautiful enhancement to such romantic settings. His presence there, for me, was calming and pure FUN!

Beyond the working relationship, we had a great friendship. We would often go for Chinese food, and then come back to my house and play Chinese checkers on my livingroom floor. For years, since no one could beat me, I was the Chinese Checkers Queen. That was until Pat showed up! He would have such a big ol’ grin on his face when it came down to the last moves where he knew that he was the champ.  And oh, did he love to poke fun at how much he was winning. He got such a kick out of that!

He always had me laughing. We could just look at each other and start cracking up. He could tell the best and funniest stories, that would really get everyone rolling. He LOVED telling funny stories( especially the one where he was chased by Chester the Buffalo!!!!)

His memorial was EPIC!!!  Fifteen of his closest musician friends got up on the stage, and together played his songs with their instruments, most of them guitars.  I cry as I write this, remembering this moment.  I can clearly remember the feeling of his music multiplied by fifteen hearts pouring out their love of/to him. OH! I will never forget it. They also played the Beatles( his fave!) song “All you Need is Love” and had everyone singing…crying and singing…

One of his sisters shared a beautiful story about Pat.

She had become ill at the beginning of this year, and had to go into the hospital. She felt that she was the lucky one, since she got to see him daily for 4 months ( before he died) while she was there.  Her illness handicapped her. She was having an especially hard day, worried about her future life as a handicapped person.  She asked Pat” How am I going to live like this?” and Pat replied,” Full On Fearless, Full On Fearless.” She shared this to encourage all of us to live our lives FULL ON FEARLESS, inspiring us with his words of wisdom and LOVE.

I am so thankful to have been blessed with Pat in my life. I am so thankful that he lives on in his music and in my new friendships with his friends and family. Most of all, I am so thankful that he lives forever in my heart.  I feel him there everyday…VIVIDLY!!!