CCM Magazine: Just a few days after you announced your retirement, we were at a Women Of Faith event and I asked you how you were feeling about the attention the news perpetuated. You replied, “Excited and depressed.” Now, after all of the experiences cross-country since you first set out on these farewell dates, I’ll ask again, “Sandi, how do you feel?”
Sandi Patty: We’ve had a saying in our family for a long time—instead of saying something is “either-or,” we say “both-and.” Excited and nervous. I can grieve the loss of my brother Mike, who passed away during the run of this tour, and have hope that I will see him again. So this tour season has been “both-and” for me.
It has been such a joy and honor to work with amazing musicians and to meet incredible audiences across the country. It’s been fun to dust off some “oldie” songs and hear my kids say, “Wow, Mom. That’s cool.” It’s been a process of remembering funny moments and meaningful ones. And it’s been a process of saying, “Goodbye” and “Thank you.”
I am so glad my team and I decided to do this tour. It felt honoring to the many songwriters—I haven’t written most of my songs—that have given voice to my heart. It felt honoring to the people who have come alongside this musical journey these many years. But most of all, the tour felt honoring to God, because at the end of the day I’m just a girl from Oklahoma-California-Arizona-Indiana-Oklahoma who wants people to really, really know that Jesus loves them. It’s been that simple.
CCM: After an acute battle with cancer, your younger brother, Mike, journeyed on to the other side earlier this year. How has his death impacted your perspectives on life or in faith?
SP: One of the dear women in my life whom I have learned so much from says, “There are two things in life you can’t plan for—birth and death. You just have to walk through it.” Her words came back to me time and time again as my brother was preparing to move to Heaven. I kept saying to myself, “I don’t know how to do this.” The truth is, no one does. You just show up and grieve with hope. And tell funny stories. And remember the things that were important to Mike. And that’s how [his memory] stays alive. But sometimes, we just want skin-on so we can hug him one more time.
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