I opened BBC News this morning to read the sad announcement that Patrick Swayze has passed away, no less than 20 months after being told he had only weeks to live. I remember thinking months ago that it would be a sad day when this day did indeed come, and now that it is here, I feel I must say something about this man.
I’m not one for celebrity. Hence I have no problem writing about Patrick Swayze – because he isn’t one of these new celebrities that clog up newspaper stands and gossips columns across the world. Personally I think glossy magazines are soul destroying material that promote fake lifestyles that no one can ever attain to, and spur a culture of ‘me me me’ rather than ‘we we we’.
Even in this photo above, on his face there is a smile of satisfaction – not a vain pout of pride. There is a distinct lack of gloss, and a notable presence of genuine joy. On his arm is a wife – his companion and life partner – whose hand he holds like the treasure she is to him.
Patrick was the antithesis of everything about celebrity that I despise and rather stood for what a man should stand for:
- He was a man of hard graft
- A man who used his talents and pursued his dream, despite the bullies who mocked his ballet dancing
- A man of character who stayed faithful to his wife of 30 years – who didn’t need a divorce to order to gain new publicity
- A family man, who raising his kids with morality, a sense of responsibility to society – not as brats with too much money and no little sense
- A man who made mistakes and had issues, but overcame them, rather than wallowed in them
- A fighter, who fought that ugly thing called cancer for 20 months
Today I genuinely morn his death, because there is now one less of those quality men in our world.
I just hope that in reading, this inspires someone, somewhere, to take his place.