Patti Devlin provided this story of her mom.
|Patti Devlin. Used with permission|
My mom was an amazing lady and sadly passed away too early in her life (and mine) for me to have fully appreciated her. She loved to travel and had an adventurous spirit that I didn’t recognize until too late.
|Patti Devlin and her Fellows Family. Used with permission|
As I was nearing my college graduation in 1981, I got this wild idea to drive around America, a la “Travels with Charley.” I was naturally terrified to inform my parents of my amazing plan to (not) utilize my degree in Engineering, so I chose our Mother’s Day dinner to tell them. I told them I was planning to buy a VW camper van and drive across the U.S., stay the winter in someplace warm like Florida, and then return to Southern California to find a real job. My mom was great, and her reaction was, “I think you should get a big dog to travel with you.” She was involved in many aspects of the planning such as figuring out collect calls, Post Office general delivery, itineraries, etc. Remember this was before cell phones, and ATM cards were so new, mine was only usable in 8 states. My trip went well for a few weeks until I arrived in Kalispell, Montana. My travel companion was a gorgeous husky/shepherd mix I had named Shiloh. For some reason, and with poor judgment on my part, I left Shiloh unleashed while I stopped in a store. She wandered into the street and got hit by a car, resulting in a broken leg. I found a vet to set the leg and decided this was one night we could skip sleeping outdoors and I splurged on a motel. I called my mom to tell her what happened, and immediately burst into tears. Her response to me was, “Want me to come up there and be with you?” Who could ask for a better, more supportive, cheerleader in life? I’m sad to report that my fiercely independent spirit told her I could manage on my own, and I missed the opportunity to have a great adventure with my mother. I’m sure that would have resulted in many more memories to cherish.