Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Death on Facebook

December 24, 2010. 2:10am. "Jesus come to my rescue."
December 24, 2010. 2:27am. "Officially reached my limit. Uncle."
December 24, 2010. 3:24am. "Do I need more? Moving in slow motion. Sheep [sic] time."
December 24, 2010. 3:57am. "Just need sleep"

December 24, 2010. 6:44pm. [friend posting via her account] "Pat needs everyone's prayers. She's in critical condition at the hospital."

After that, the messages were all condolences.

Up until Facebook last year, I knew Patsy only from junior high and high school ('79 - '83). In junior high, I knew her because she befriended a cute new guy to the school, who then dumped her when he got taken in by the football/cheerleader crowd. In high school: Once, when I liked a guy, I told Patsy that another girl who was after him was a slut. She told the girl, who then called my house and threatened to beat me up. A year or so later, Patsy got pregnant (an unusual occurrence in my school in the early '80s), and I attended her baby shower. That's all that I remembered of her from those days.

On Facebook, I discovered that she'd gotten very fat. And very religious. Most of her posts were about God. I also learned that she'd been married 4 times. The latest marriage was just this year, to a guy from our high school, a year below us, who I remembered as being a scrawny little guy, but who had, over the years, beefed up into a big ol' stereotypical redneck. Her Facebook posts months ago about her new marriage were gushing, though she'd just been dating the guy for a couple of months. Their marriage, according to her posts on Facebook, also lasted just a couple of months.

In recent weeks, she was, aside from quoting Jesus, busy getting her name changed back to what it was before her latest marriage. She liked the Cowboys. She supported Our Troops. (My last post to her, a couple of weeks ago, was countering her generic "Thanks to our troops for protecting us" post. I said, "What are our troops protecting us FROM, exactly?")

Because she tattled on me, I didn't like her much back in school. Though, because she was very pretty and calm and self-assured then (not a spaz like me), I assumed that she'd go on to a peaceful life married to a guy as handsome and self-assured as she was. Didn't think she'd be married 4 times, have a boatload of kids with different last names, have to resort to quoting the Bible on Facebook for sustenance. Or count down her last minutes on Facebook.


Beth Austin said...

On December 22, two days before her death, she posted a photo of her divorce papers and joked about it on Facebook to her friends:

"Woo hoo. Yes we will toast it next year!! I did have to stand in front of 75 people and explain. It was humiliating. But it's done and the celebrating begins!!!"
December 22 at 3:23pm · LikeUnlike ·

Two days later, on December 24, only several hours after her death, her husband of only a few months (recently divorced) posted:

"We should have seen the signs, but we were to busy making fun..."
December 24 at 2:24pm · LikeUnlike ·

Tom said...

did she have a blog? some people blog for sustenance.

Beth Austin said...

I know I do (post publicly for sustenance).

Don't think she had one, though. (Most of her Facebook posts were about God and about the Texas Rangers or Cowboys or something. The kind of feel-good brief stuff that a lot of people not really interested in writing post on Facebook just to be saying something.)

Tom said...

ha ha. I must say that blogging can be addictive.

Well I have liberal friends and they bash Bush, Palin, conservatives, etc.

If I don't agree with someone's radical political views I hide them.