i first met your dad in 1999. we were in the same summer internship in Washington DC. we were both eager to soak in as much as we could although i would quickly learn we pursued knowledge differently. your dad always had the comfort and the curiousity to ask anything. he wanted to know about process and connection, and even more frequently why. as a very action oriented person i first thought this might get on my nerves but i very quickly grew to love what i came to realize was a courageous, passionate man.
the thing that makes your dad the most famous to me is that during that wonderful hot summer in DC, he invited his college roommate to join us for a concert at the 930 Club to see Vertical Horizon. I can only imagine by the time you are reading this note, they will be so very outdated you won't be able to imagine this group, but we all loved them. his jmu college roomate, stephen oster, caught my eye and really my heart from our very first meeting. thankfully that was a reciprocal feeling as he is now my husband. so we are both forever indebted to your dad for introducing us.
the wonderful part about falling in love with his roommate is that it also allowed me the privelge of staying in relationship with patrick. for their senior year in college, i thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to come in stay in their little basement apartment and learn about their life. they were both very orderly and lived well together, your dad felt things had a place. he ate so healthy and excercised a lot. they were as cute as you could get, and even more so, they were truly trying to figure out what it looked like to be in relationship with God, at college, with the ladies, with their studies, with their familes, and with each other. they fought good and hard to figure out some wrongs and right and try to live as big as possible in the midst of that. i can't remember a thing or question your dad was afraid of, he was willing to ask it all and sought earnestly to live life for the glory of God and to love well.
we all moved to DC post college and your dad landed quickly and succeeded well in a consulting firm. he was talented and determined. he and stephen lived togehter until we were married and i remember we wanted to change the rules about height in our groomsman line so your dad could be the second closet man to us after stehen's dad. patrick hoped the right lady would cross his path as well. it wasn't until after stephen and I moved to the west coast that patrick met your mom. we were thrilled to hear about her but never met her until their wedding day. watching them together was really really wonderful and learning more of both families was really a quite lovely picture. i remember their wedding weekend so so welll, it was quaint and full of personality.
the first time your dad was diagnosed we were out west still and i remembering recieving the news and stephen and i crying and crying and going to see the movie big fish that night and coming out of it and continuing to cry. even the movie suggested that regardless of what is in front that we should live BIG and this was very much one of my favorite things about Patrick. he was never one to settle. he fought hard and we were very relived as he begin to strengthen and recover. he wanted to live big.
the years went by and we continued to stay in touch as both of us welcomed our first sweet little girls in our lives. a true surprise and privelge is when your dad ended up taking a job here in charlotte where we had moved and we had the most wonderful short lived chance to be in the same city again and to get to know your mom even better. she is marvelous on so many accounts its hard to name, but luckily you already know that. but for stephen and patrick it was really great to re-enter life together and share beers over fires again, this time legally (:, and continue to wrestle together of how to live this life well and honor God in our desicions, marriages, and parenting.
one of my favorite memories is when you were spending the day with your dad and he as always wanted to get out and about and find activitiy. it was christmastime so he asked us to meet him downtown for the bernstein bears show and then get lunch. after we watched these holiday singing bears, hannah and you began to run around and we looked outside and it had begun snowing. it was so fun and Stephen and your dad were VERY excited for thier girls to experience the feeling of snow on their faces so we went outside and walked over to our lunch spot.
i could go on and on as you see but tragically the story ended too quickly after they left Charlotte for DC. there were so many more things we wanted to do with your dad, questions we wanted to ask, parenting we wanted to learn together, familiis we wanted to share. he was so very delighted to have you in his life and i can totally imagine how he would have loved to watch you grow and mature. we cannot wait to see the ways that you resemble him as you grow up. there is so much to be proud of about your dad and he is a man that left a big impression on our hearts. we miss him already and grieve that you didn't get more years with him. we commit to praying for you and hope that you, as he did, come to know God in very authentic meaningful ways that offer great joy and love for your life.
in celebration and memory of your dad,
ashley wilson oster