Ed, I found your story to be a wonderful piece. I enjoyed reading it. You weaved it into perfection. It was sad the fate of Pat, but the story does hit close to home with the reality of it all. I hope many take their time to read your story and appreciate it as much as I.
...this is a story that, I believe, has it all. I know you dislike it when people use the word 'great', but I'm going to have to use that word here anyway.
I personally believe you have a 'great' talent, and this is a 'great' story. If Marian helped you with this...I think she is 'great' too. 'Great' team! (I'm still choked-up, and I don't cry for Humans often)...