Tera Jean Patricks: 1959-2006

“Nothing improves without change.” But let history be our guide.People come and go, but life goes on. So it is with a heavy heart that I bring you sad news from Tera’s family.

Saturday afternoon, I received a phone call from Tera’s parents. She was staying at their home near Los Angeles. Tera Jean, our friend and the Divine Missy T, passed away early Saturday morning following a long bout with cancer.

Tera was 46.

We first met over 20 years ago. Tera taught a business seminar that I attended while still in college. I was attraced to her thoughtful, energetic, no nonsense approach to life and business.

Tera was a teacher, a writer, a business partner, and a kind and gifted friend to many.

Through the years of our friendship, sad times, good times, prosperous and poor times, Tera instilled in me a practical view of life, and a desire to learn, examine, and challenge.

Though severely ill for the past few years, even while dying, Tera somehow managed to teach me more about living than I would have imagined possible.

Last weekend, a number of her friends traveled to LA and visited with Tera.

She smiled and talked fondly, not of the past, but of her friends and family. Tera held Alexis Kayhill’s new baby and smiled. Then the baby smiled. Tera said it was gas. They both napped together.

At times, Tera’s voice and grasp was strong. Other times, she spoke barely more than a whisper, with only enough strength for a touch.

Regardless, for our Sunday afternoon visit, that glittering light in Tera’s eyes never left. While she was awake that day, we snacked, laughed, and talked on the phone with a few old friends.

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Before we left, Tera gave me her diary—and firm instructions to continue publishing her journal, TeraTalks, with past, unpublished entries.

Tera wished the best for everyone, especially those less fortunate. We’ll miss her.

Remember, “Nothing improves without change.” Tera told me to remember it. I won’t forget.