Somebody’s Number One

Two fingers hugging

Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…


Click the play button to listen to Francis Pass tell this story.

You know when a cartoon character’s eyes turn to big beating hearts? That’s how I felt the first time I laid eyes on Patricia Eddleman.

Back when I was a kid, you gave Valentines to each and every student. I always thought that was a little peculiar. Why send a Valentine to someone who isn’t your Valentine?

Some girls at school would get multiple boxes of candy. Other girls didn’t get any.

I remember giving one girl some candy only to discover she already had five or six boxes.

So, what did that say? It said I wasn’t her number one.

That was a hurtful thing... but it was the best thing that could’ve happened. From that moment on, I decided to focus on more important matters.

Like Patricia Eddleman.

Sure, I had other girlfriends as I grew older, but Patricia was always my mind.

Patricia was a farmgirl. Her parents, Van & Pauline Eddleman, would buy clothes at my grandmother’s store in Dongola. She carried overalls, and that was the unofficial work uniform for farmers.

My grandmother had a lot of respect for Van and Pauline. She’d tell me that they were hard workers. Trustworthy. Good at managing their money, too.

In fact, while other farmers bought on credit and paid off their debt when the crops came in, Mr. Eddleman always paid his bills in cash. He never bought a car or tractor on credit, either.

He was a good man. And he had a beautiful daughter.

Patricia loved to read. And she was smart as a whip. She wasn’t the valedictorian... but she was the salutatorian. That meant she was number two in the class.

But she was number one in my heart.

I always wanted to be somebody’s number one. I wanted it to be her.

And wouldn’t ya know... on May 11, 1968, Patricia Eddleman became Patricia Pass.

From that day forward, she’s always been by my side. For better or worse. For richer or poorer.

Patricia is a hard worker. She’s fiercely loyal. Disciplined, too. She was raised right, and our kids don’t know how lucky they are to have her as their mother.

After all these years, she’s still my number one. And I’m hers, too.

I hope you’re blessed with a number one in your life.

Be well. Stay well. Thanks for readin’...

Francis Pass

P.S. – I wish I could go back and buy a box of candy for every girl in my school... just so that every one of ‘em would know they were special.