Almost exactly 11 years ago, my then 92-year-old father was walking to the library when he was hit by a car driven by a man whose license had been revoked.
The police officer who gave me a copy of the accident report told me to get a lawyer.
Through a lawyer colleague of a lawyer friend, we found Christopher James Patsos. We found him just as my father, almost having completed a month of rehab after a week’s hospitalization, suffered a stroke, and was back in the hospital. Chris came to the hospital, and that was that.
Chris knew a few things. He knew we were not looking for a lottery jackpot, just hoping for some justice and the ability to take care of whatever was coming. And he knew that, given my father’s advanced age and actuarial tables, the insurance company of the driver’s employer (for, believe it or not, the driver was working, using that revoked license) would prefer to take its time, waiting for my father to die.
Well, my father did not die until another seven years had passed. True, he never walked unassisted again, and he needed help; but those were seven good years, seven good years for him, and seven good years for us, who loved him so.
Working with Chris was a dream. Whatever was needed was done, period. In a relatively short period of time, the company settled, and that was that.
Chris is a good man, a man of faith, of love, of duty. My father enjoyed all of his encounters with Chris, and liked him very much. That meant a lot to us. But much as my father liked Chris, he loved Chris’s wife, whom we meet when we all celebrated after everything was over.
Chris and his wife became family to us. We didn’t know that was part of the deal, but it was.