Pat has passed.

Yesterday about 1,000 people attended a memorial service for Pat Gregory. There were friends, family, business acquaintances and those who perhaps only knew Pat as West Tisbury’s town moderator. Why were we there?

Attendance was driven by love, sorrow, admiration and camaraderie, but perhaps the most universal and overriding reason was, respect. We respected Pat, for who he was and how he interacted with others, but why?

We respected Pat for many reasons, but mostly because he respected others in ways few of us achieve. It was his ability to actually demonstrate that his respect continuously, consistently and genuinely. Respect is a fragile interchange. We seek it, but it must be earned. We give it, sometimes willingly, sometimes begrudgingly. Occasionally we receive it. It can be challenging to build and easily lost, but like a well cared for plant, over time it may actually become more durable, then fractured by an event, but with time and sincerity it may grow back.

The celebration of Pat’s life ended yesterday, but as we remember Pat and our respect for him, let us too take a moment to reflect on why he was so well regarded. Honor Pat, and ourselves. Give a little respect to someone, anyone, and hope they pass it on. Consider the lyric, “don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”

Ted Stanley
West Tisbury