03/25: Uncle Patrick

My Uncle Patrick Sokas passed away two years ago to the day. His passing was both sudden and unexpected, but from it came one of the most interesting and beautiful acts of tribute and remembrance in the form of Found Patrick. My aunt, Patrick’s sister Regina embarked on a journey of collecting my uncle’s written work (he was brilliant, he got through college in a year and worked as a journalist before going to medical school and becoming a psychiatrist) and inviting writers and poets to create ‘found poetry‘ out of the writings. The result is a wonderful collection of original writing, found poetry and artwork. She documented the process a bit here, (and her daily gratitude blog from 2012 helped inspire this website) so for many reasons I find myself grateful for her.

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I remember feeling cheated by his passing. He was brilliant and witty and the older I got the more I understood and appreciated that fact. Most of my childhood was spent not quite understanding why all the grown ups were laughing. Sunday afternoons sometimes involved the crossword puzzle, which would start with me and my sister picking up the low hanging fruit and would end up, invariably, in Uncle Patrick’s hands to tackle the tricky clues. At some point a few years back I remember him asking me what my favorite style of architecture was. I lied, and told him what he wanted to hear (art deco). “Ah, a man after my own heart.” (Since then I found myself appreciating art deco more and more.) He went to medical school here in Philadelphia and particularly admired 30th St Station, so I made a quick pilgrimage there today in his honor.

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