In the late 1970s, Patty Woods was a waitress at a restaurant in New York City when a customer caught her eye. They became friends and soon after, struck up a relationship.
Years later, Patty lives in San Francisco. At StoryCorps, Patty told Cedar Lay about the lasting impact this partner left on her.
Click here for the transcript.
And I just insisted on finding ways to get together with her. And one night, we went out to dinner and we came back to my house. And we were having some cocktails, and I said, "I just wanna tell you something. After that if you wanna leave, I understand."
I proceeded to tell her that I was lesbian and that I was interested in her, in more than just a friend. There was music going on, and she stood up, and I thought, "Well, she's leaving." And she grabbed me and she started to dance. And then we kissed. It was the most romantic time in my life. It was like something from a, a movie. And that was my first kiss.
We had very strong feelings for each other, but both of us were closeted. I would introduce her as my best friend.
When she got cancer, I said, "I just wouldn't want to live if anything happened to her." I'd never felt that feeling about anybody. It was the most difficult time of my life. I took care of her, and people thought I was such a good friend.
She wanted to tell her family, my family, but we both felt nobody would understand. If they accepted us as being close friends, and we could continue to spend the time together, we still were better off than threatening that private time.
And when she eventually died, I had to pretend I was grieving my best friend. And I never really could openly let people know what a loss I had.
She was more than my best friend. I feel she was my soul mate.