It’s Never Too Late for Miracles

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Editors Note: Our LA Editor Debbie Zipp and her husband Michael Horton have been sending an annual holiday letter to friends and family since the 1980s. But they’re not your typical letter of perfect lives, perfect kids, blah, blah, blah. Some are funny and some are poignant like this year’s written by Debbie. And stay tuned, because the Zipp/Horton Christmas letters will become a book this year!

It's Never Too Late for Miracles
Patty Lamoree and Virginia Zipp

I’ve always said “It’s never too late for dreams to come true no matter what your age”… or for a miracle to happen.  Yes, I believe in miracles, though they may be few and far between… the Pollyanna in me still believes.   As many of you know, my Mother, Virginia Lee Zipp, is in Memory Care and has been since 2015.  She is surrounded by the loving care of her caregivers, but in Memory Care and with the cruel nature of Dementia, it is understandably difficult to make new friends.  My Mother had never, in her entire life, had a …human…best friend or friends so how could that happen in Memory Care? Now, enter Patricia Lamoree (aka Patty), a sweet, delightfully charming and enchanting lady who came to live in my  Mother’s Memory Care unit not too long after my Mother. And here’s the kicker,  Patty had never had a best friend either! Holy Cow! Of course, I didn’t know that until recently, but still…Holy Moly!

Upon being introduced to each other, there was an immediate chemistry between Patty and my Mother. Perhaps, it was the fact that neither one of them had ever known the true blessing of having a best friend or it was the similarity of their cute personalities? Perhaps, it was the fact that Patty’s husband was from Kansas as well as my Mother and her  husband, my Dad, were both from Kansas. Or maybe, it is simply a perfectly timed coincidence (I prefer…miracle) given to two sweet women that needed to experience the beauty of having a best friend by their side. 

Soon after meeting,  Patty and Virginia were helping each other in whatever way the other needed, sitting together for meals, events and activities… the caregivers made sure of it because they were so tickled by their deep friendship.  Ginny was always checking on Patty in the mornings reminding her of the schedule and helping to guide her when she needed it.  They would visit each other in their rooms for a good old-fashioned girl chat.  Patty would insist that she tell Virginia, with a kiss or hug, where she was going when one of her children picked Patty up to take her for an outing and that she would be back. Patty’s children even saw my Mother and Patty holding hands at times.  Of course, I made sure Patty was given a place of honor seated next to Virginia, at my Mother’s  90th birthday celebration in 2018. 

My whole family and I came to love Patty. She was always so cheery with a twinkle in her eyes…and we loved her British accent.  As for myself, I was deeply moved and grateful for Patty’s presence in my Mother life.

It is never too late for a miracle to happen, for a dream to come true or to have a new fulfilling experience in life. All that and more happened for Virginia and Patty.  Sadly, Patty passed away in November 2019 and it took a toll on my Mother. She misses Patty every day and I miss seeing Patty’s shining face when I visit. I wish they had had a little more time together. But, I believe Patty will always live in my Mother’s heart and that Patty is looking out for my Mother from her elegant room at the 5-star + Hotel in the Heavens. Patty and Virginia’s bond as best friends was magical and unequivocally Golden. Patty Lamoree and my Mother Virginia Zipp had finally, in their much later years, found the best friend…the soulmate that they had been waiting for their whole lives. And they found it in a Memory Care Unit!  That has got to give us all hope for our futures.  If that is not a miracle, I don’t know what is.  

It's Never Too Late for Miracles

As we see it… it is also never too late to wish all our family and friends a good and healthy 2020. Mike and I and our amazing children, Cali and Trevor, and our precious doggies, LaVinnia, Zoey and Grand Dog Bruce wish you all a year full of hope, miracles, new experiences and dreams come true…and…an abundance of loving best friends. 


  • Debbie Zipp

    The Three Tomatoes LA Life editor, Debbie Zipp is your friendly guide to the best of everything in LA with a tomato style perspective. Debbie is an actor, producer, and writer. She is best known for her recurring role as Donna on the CBS series "Murder She Wrote" starring Angela Lansbury. She has had many other TV and stage roles and has starred in over 300 national TV commercials. As head of In The Trenches Productions, Debbie produced, directed, acted in many short films for her company. Her book, The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known was recently published. Buy her book: The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known

2 Responses

  1. Ellen Seymour says:

    This story made my day! Thank you Debbie for such a lovely touching story about your dear Mom…and please give her a big hug from me.

  2. Betty Simmons says:

    Thank you Debbie, for sharing this precious memory and your dear family. May you all know the Love of God & our Savior Jesus Christ ???

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