Brenda Northrup and Pat Gibbons, Mission
Hill Hospice, Boston.
Mission Hill Hospice
you set about dying, you start to close up your affairs and your world.
You clean up what you can, forgive what you must, and settle accounts as
best you're able. Then you narrow the circle of friends to people you want
to be with. The one many of us have wanted at the center of that circle
- the one I hope will be there for me - is Pat Gibbons.
Pat, who was the former
director of the Mission Hill Hospice, couldn't wait to introduce me to
Brenda Northrup. "She's a character," said Pat, laughing while shaking
her head... It could have been Auntie Mame who answered our knock on her
door, "Okay, honey, come on in - come see Brenda!"
While watching Pat...I
realized that she gave everyone the gift she gave to me. Pat gives herself.
She was giving herself to Brenda - razor-thin, nearly bald, chain-smoking
and grinning Brenda. When Pat is with you, you are the only person in her
life...She takes you in like a long-lost friend who cannot get enough of
hearing the news of your life.