April 24th 1963 - September 11th, 2020
Patrica Ann Thomas
I’m not as good with words as my mother but I’ll try… Today I wanted to tell her that her dog Oscar made a new best friend with Jack-Jack, my friend’s dog, and then it hit me: it reminded me of her. That’s why I wanted to share it with her, because she made a friend with everyone she met. Every person that came into contact with her saw the best of her, from her heart. She really did have a big heart. I was always jealous of that; that I had to share my mom’s heart with other people. I just wanted her all to myself, but her heart was so big, of course it had to be shared. That’s why you’re reading this. Because you saw it too, you felt it too. She impacted everyone she met, that’s just what she did. That’s who she was.
Patricia Thomas, some of y’all knew her as Trish, some of y’all actually thought that was her actual name, but no. My mom’s name was Patricia Ann Thomas. A friend of mine used to always refer to her as Mrs. Greer, and she would just light up! I know I’m a Greer but I was born a Thomas (and before that we came from the family name, Lee. Her parents were Glenda Marie Lee and Freddie Ray Thomas. Mom was born in Oklahoma City then moved to Corpus Christi after her mom passed.)
Growing up I used to be intimidated by her, she was just so free in every way, every sense of the word. I could never really get her back down to earth with me, which is why it could be so hard sometimes to be her daughter. What’s weird is that, even when we were really far apart, not just distance-wise but in other ways, at the same time we were so close. She’d always know when something was off with me… I know it’s a cliché stating this, but it’s true; no one knew me the way my mom did. Now that’s she’s gone, I feel like I’ve lost the love of my life. I loved her unconditionally, because that’s the only way to love her. We have that in common. If you cage us, put limitations, expectations on us, we disappear. We have to fly, we have to be free, that’s why people fell in love with her in the first place… I remember the first day I really saw her for the first time in her skin without a care in the world:
Meeting mom: she was unfiltered, she was who she was going to be naturally always, but in the beginning she was trying. I saw her body everyday, in it’s most natural state, moving without remorse, she was full, and what I saw as an introduction, was something that I was afraid of, I felt unlike her, she was, in her way, free, and I didn’t feel that way, but because I saw it in her, I wanted to protect her. Maybe one day I would be as alive!
She made anyone and everyone feel special; it was her superpower. She’d love a stranger with her whole heart. There’s so much to say about my mother, she wasn’t just one thing, that’s for sure. She was both dark and light, and everything in between, every color. Most of all, what my mother always wanted was to walk the righteous path. She would fall, but she’d get right back up again. My mother always wanted to do right, it just didn’t come naturally to her like it does to most, to know how to do the right thing. I just discovered the church she’s been attending by Father Roy, of Our Lady Star by the Sea, who will be officiating her service.
I hear her voice still, I hope I always do. I see her dancing in front of me singing with her infections laugh, going all-out with her dance moves from the 80’s. Hah! How we could just be childish together.
Some of my favorite memories with her:
-Mumsy attempting to cook: let’s just say she could mess up a bowl of cereal, which is why this one memory always comes to mind of it just being her and I at home without our step-dad, Daniel, who was the master-chef, and I was starving, and mom just figured out with the ingredients we had on hand and made Linguini with Clams, and I told her constantly that she did such an amazing job, it’s been my favorite dish since!
-Mom was really a hoot! When she’d tell me about movies she had seen, and did the whole “Oh wow! You’ve never seen that one, Amanda! Okay! Sooo it begins with…” And there she’d go, through the entire story, performing the highlights in detail, she’d get real animated too, I swear sometimes maybe she was the actor in the family because I’d be hanging onto every word, she’d even imitate each character. Man! She could make me laugh! So then I’d be completely sold on going to watch the movie my mother pretty much just acted out for me, and well, come to find out they never held a candle to mother’s rendition. I’d tell her, well, I watched it mom, and she’d ask “what did you think?” and I’d always have the same response; that I preferred hers and that she was much more entertaining!
And I loved to make her laugh, too, I’d be such a clown around her. She’d always tell me, Amanda, you should be a comedian! She didn’t realize that I was funny because she was my favorite audience. Because I knew her, I knew how to cheer my mom up and make her smile, even when she was hell-bent on being upset. It wouldn’t last long once we’d start joking around. I knew what foods she liked to eat and how she’d like to eat them. Even her favorite wine, which really wasn’t wine like Boones Farm Sangria, she liked the sweet stuff. And she was smart! Smarter than anyone I’d ever met. Sometimes her intelligence made me feel inferior, I never wanted her to have to correct me. I guess we all study our mothers. My brother and I can imitate mom all day…
As her daughter, I wanted to make her proud of me. And she was. She’d come up to NY and she’d come to see my plays, she’d watch my movies, come to my film premieres. I remember one of my first film gigs was all because my mom took me to this open call for the 1st Annual Corpus Christi Film Festival and she walked the entire room of filmmakers telling them they should cast her daughter before I finished with one booth and already booked me two films. She should’ve been my agent, I always told her that. She knew how to work the room. She was the one that found out about my school, AMDA, and said that I should audition… I felt like she was living through me sometimes. I used to ask her all the time, “didn’t you want to pursue other things? Go travel?” I think maybe she was afraid. Most of the places I’ve traveled to were because she suggested them. It was because of her that I even knew about The Shroud of Turin, and then going to Jerusalem. One of her favorite things was for me to sing “Mary did you know” to her, she’d always ask me to sing that… among other things. Our favorite song to sing together was “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. Even if someone mentioned the word crazy, we’d both spontaneously and simultaneously turn to each other almost on cue, and sing crrrrazy! Every time!
She grew up with my Uncle James and my Aunt Diane. My whole life she’d call me by Aunt Diane’s name and refer to Aunt Diane as Amanda. I always thought that was funny. Come to think of it, she didn’t do that with James and Julian, I don’t know why. I just know that she really loved my father, he was the love of her life. I think sometimes it was hard for her to see me or be around me because I reminded her so much of him, sometimes she just couldn’t take it. I couldn’t see it before, but I see her in me, too. And that makes me happy. All she wanted was to be buried with my father, and I’m thankful to my Nana to help me do that. My mom will be put to rest right next to my father, entombed in the mausoleum, Friday, September 25th at 10am, at Memory Garden Cemetery, coincidently my father’s birthday. I’d like to thank Sawyer-George Funeral Director, Ronnie Watson and Lindsey for taking care of my mother’s arrangements. I’d especially like to thank our dearest family friend, Sal Facundo; my brother and I couldn’t
have gotten through this without you, we love you. My brother and I will be hosting a reception at 11:30am with brunch at 1001 N Water St. Apt 50. Come join us and swap stories of Trish with us while we listen to The Beatles!
…And mom, I told Abbey you said hi. I love you.
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