Patricia Walter McFarland

After graduating from George Mason, I attended Mac Murray College for one year and then transferred to the University of Maryland from which I graduated with a BS in Physical Therapy in 1964. I took and passed my boards and worked at Baltimore City Hospitals during which time I met my husband Lt Robert M. McFarland IV. We were married on June 27, 1965 and went out to Monterey, California where he was stationed at the Defense Language School studying Spanish. We returned to Baltimore where he returned to Fort Holibird and I returned to my job after a 3-month leave of absence. Once his Viet Nam orders were canceled, we were sent to Bangkok, Thailand in 1966. We returned with a 9-month old dividend 26 months later. It was a very enlightening time and we had a very unique time since my family had been host to Suwannee (American Field Service Exchange Student) and we were considered family while we were there.

On returning to the USA, I attended my sister’s wedding but my son Bobby (V) was the bride’s competition for attention being the first grandchild. Bob was able to join me in Atlanta on getting out of the Army to attend graduate school at the University of Illinois. After a year, we helped take 32 students to France for a year abroad program. Bob had decided to get out of Academia and after three months of difficulties and getting evicted, we said ENOUGH! We returned home for Christmas.

Bob joined the Hartford Insurance Group in Atlanta, Georgia; understanding that we would be moving to Hartford, CT in three months. That gave us some time to spend with his family before taking off. This was a continuation of our nomad years. After six months, we were off to Buffalo, NY for two months; then Rochester, NY for 2 years (Pamela was born here); and Richmond, VA for five years. Bob was on a fast track upwardly in underwriting. In Richmond, he was the assistant general manager and then we transferred to Hartford, CT where he became a company Secretary. We finally could think about putting down roots. By this time, Robert M. McFarland V was 11 and Pamela S. McFarland was 7. They had both gotten a good start in school in our neighborhood in West End Manor in Henrico County, VA, so they both were in advanced classes in Simsbury, CT schools.

In Henrico County, VA (11977), I had been able to do research to find out what I had to do to reinstate my physical therapy license, which was lost in the mail while in Bangkok. There was no base in Bangkok, so I could not work in a base hospital. If I spoke Thai (I did not), I could earn $40 a month in a unairconditioned hospital, which did not appeal to me even with my license. In Henrico, I performed a 30month internship to recover y license, but after a month, my boss apologized since he said I was very qualified so he let me watch surgeries that hadn’t been done in 1966 and brought UVA Medical Staff to supplement my education. I could ask any question and didn’t have to pretend I knew the answers. We moved to Connecticut in 1978 and I worked in rehab and home care for four years. In February of 1982, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy, chemo and radiation. I continued working for 22 years in home care and then did maternity leaves. My last setting was the most fun. I worked 3 days a week for 10 months and mentored a new graduate in manual therapy techniques. He was a sponge and we had a great relationship. I had to quit working in August of 1999 because my husband had already gone through chemotherapy and had had a stem cell transplant for Non-Hodgkins T-cell lymphoma and the lymphoma had returned.

We decided to return to Virginia because both of our children had settled in the Washington, DC area and my sister, Bobbi was in McLean. We moved to Fairfax just west of the Braddock Road/Ox Road intersection in the North Hill Subdivision in December 1999. Bob died on the morning of May 27, 2002 and present in our home with him were his daughter, son-in law, son and daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. He is in a better place and he is out of pain. We had a celebration of life in Atlanta with a burial and memorial service in Falls Church.

I enjoy my son’s six children and my daughter’s two children. We get together about once a month. My children have been wonderful with some problems that I have had recently a broken heel and fainting spells. In both cases, Pamela and family have taken me in the first – for 5 months and the fainting for 2 months – bless their hearts. The fainting was due to no enough sodium – could you believe it! With the fainting, I wasn’t allowed to drive for 6 months, so my son took me grocery shopping and to dinner at his house once I had a diagnosis and could come home. I really try to help shut-ins because I know how helpless one feels without wheels.

I also have taken in interns from our church so that I am not alone. It makes my children feel more relaxed. I try to keep up with friends as I just came back from CT with my daughter and family. She wanted to go to a reunion since she has been gone since 1989. I like to travel. I have traveled to Israel and Greece and cruised around the coast of Australia on the QEII and then toured the Far East ending in Hong Kong with a friend, also toured Bangkok with my son, gone to Hawaii with both my husband and my daughter’s family. I have traveled to California, Arizona, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North and South Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. I am sure I left some states and countries out, but such is life. I have also toured Europe a couple of times, but there are lots of places to which I want to go. I like to read, do all kinds of puzzles, do Bible study with other women, spend time with my family, watch movies and act silly in my spare time.

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