PATCH - #tightlinesandhugetines
1977 - 2018
I met Patch six years ago, and our friendship quickly grew strong—based on a mutual love of wild country, crackling campfires, big whitetails and good dogs. He became the brother I never had, and a regular in front of my camera... his face gracing several magazines, ads and catalogs over the years. He was a constant in our lives—warm, caring, genuine—the do-anything-for-you kind of friend we all should strive to be. And his cancer diagnosis two years ago was a horrible gut punch to all who knew and loved him. Yet over the past couple years, though his battle was fierce, I never heard him complain, ask for help or seek pity. As with everything else in Patch’s life, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work... both fighting his cancer and living life to the fullest. He called this cruel disease his “greatest blessing.”
The 17 days we spent in Africa this past August—despite the warnings of his doctors—were incredible. He tackled the tough terrain like a champ, his ear-to-ear smile never fading. If he tired at times, he didn’t show it. I could write a novel about our trip—about how many seemingly “random” things lined up for us to go to Africa, about how many “chance” encounters we had with amazing wildlife and incredible people. Believe me, nothing happens by chance. Nothing.
We recounted our Africa stories just days ago with Patch’s family & friends... mere hours before he passed. Despite his pain, his trademark smile and contagious sense of humor never left him.
He passed on his terms, and though we’re left with a gaping hole in our hearts, we can take solace in the fact that he’s now restored in God’s kingdom. That much I know. It’s not my place to question God’s will or His timing; there’s purpose in this somewhere. I pray someday I’ll see it. Thanks, buddy, for teaching us about strength, focus and heart... for being our rock despite your struggle. Until we meet again, my friend.