Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pat's Wrinkles

Pat is one of the most intense people I have ever been around. She is quick to laugh, but equally quick to speak up when something bothers her. She is passionate about politics, health care, public assistance, and business.

Pat is one of the rare people we meet in the world who would succeed in business through sheer grit and determination. She is co-owner of a flooring store on Bell Road called Just Floors (it’s next to Evergreens and behind Home Depot). Pat got into the flooring business 30 years ago when she lived in Florida and it got in her blood – running a flooring business is what she loves.

Pat first opened her store in LaVergne, but struggled for years at a bad location. She said the technical aspects of starting your own business are the most challenging – getting licensed, dealing with vendors, signing a lease and being obligated to pay the rent whether your business does well or not. Her move to Antioch last year was a sound decision because her sales have increased between 20- to 30-percent every month this year. Pat says the longer she does it, the more she hates it. And yet she still loves it. Her greatest satisfaction comes when people trust her enough to make a major investment through her for a quality product.

Pat started in floor sales because minimum wage wasn’t enough for her and her daughter to live on. Pat’s husband left when Kim was just one week old. Her daughter has never seen her father, so the role of genetics is amazing to Pat – father and daughter look and act just alike.

Pat never received any real help from anyone when her daughter was growing up. She said she wouldn’t have been able to accept it had she even known it was there; instead she worked two jobs to support her small family. When she returned to Tennessee, she made an attempt to pursue child support, but the district attorney in Franklin indicated that because she had two jobs, she wasn’t a priority case. Pat let it go because even through tough times, she has also experienced joyous times.

Pat said something inside always makes her get up and get out of whatever situation she finds herself in because she knows she is on her own. She is amazed how a person can face so much hardship - wake up some mornings not knowing what to do - yet still retain a sense of humor. Her sense of humor definitely shows through when she smiles. Her eyes sparkle and she's not afraid of loud laughter.

Every 10 years, Pat seems to go through a major physical overhaul. She had total hip replacement and gall bladder surgery the old-fashioned way (non-laparoscopic). One time, she knew something wasn’t right and her doctor began treating her stomach. She went in for an endoscope, and was given liquid valium for the procedure. As she was being sedated, Pat told her doctor her chest was hurting and the pain was running up her neck. She saw her blood pressure dropping and knew she was dying. But Pat woke up and went on for another month in pain. A few weeks later, she was unable to get out of bed so a girlfriend took her to the emergency room. While she was hooked up to the EKG, she had an "episode" and another doctor immediately recognized the seriousness. She was given a heart catheterization and went in for open heart surgery right away. Her insurance cancelled her one week after coming home from heart surgery. She has managed to pay it all off except for one doctor who she refuses to pay since his office didn’t file the claim in time. Pat used to have TennCare, but they kicked her out a year ago.

As of right now Pat has never felt better, even though she claims to be old and grumpy. Pat says she’s not dead yet and is certain she has a lot of life left. I for one am so very thankful that she has long future ahead of her!


Blogger newscoma said...

I really think I would like Pat.

2:44 PM  
Blogger ceeelcee said...

Kathy T.,

Girl, this series is the best use on bandwidth since the "Frog in a Blender series" of short films!

You rock!

3:19 PM  

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