Amy Passaretti and Lee Hamilton

Amy Passaretti and Lee Hamilton

“To love and be loved is the greatest gift on Earth.” 

Growing up, this cross-stitched sign made by my grandmother hung in our house and I promise you I can still picture it well.

I don’t think it ever rang truer though until now. 

As some may or may not know, my boyfriend, Lee Hamilton, was admitted to the hospital for pancreatitis and things snowballed and took a turn for the worst. I will spare you the details. But what I told myself was unfathomable for more than four weeks became reality and he is gone. A reality beyond difficult to accept.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the outpouring of love and support from this community. Often, it is so easy to point out what we lack here but what we have is a family — one that has reminded me I am not alone and made me absolutely feel surrounded by love and support. Neither Lee nor I are from here but we have definitely been accepted into your hearts and I could never adequately express how much that means.

I’ve gone around and around on the turn I wanted this to take. I want to preach about getting your legal documents in order; stop holding grudges; I want to advise about not waiting to be with the one you love; I want to tell you it totally is worth it. 

Stop fighting over the stupid things. Stop worrying about who said what last. Just stop. Please stop. If you have to worry, it means you still have someone to worry about.

But, for me, the man that mattered was Lee Hamilton. So, while I know this community knew Lee, I bet you didn’t fully know the man I knew. And I would love to tell you.

To say he was loyal was almost even a disservice to him. The man loved deeply, passionately, truthfully and wholeheartedly. He cared about people; he absolutely loved Saturday football days; he ate like a child; and he told ridiculously long stories — ones he always told me would go faster if I didn’t interrupt.

Lee made me laugh — boy, could he make me laugh. He made days better and brighter. 

And he would do anything in the world for me, his family and his friends. If you were fortunate enough to know Lee personally, you are one lucky person.

He was a first-class friend; he gave the best advice; he couldn’t dance and hated to — so I won’t even go there; but he sure could love.

A mutual friend told me, ‘Lee didn’t love you — he adored you. That’s on a whole other level.’ I cherish that sentiment and hold on to the wisdom he gave me, the unconditional love we shared and the beautiful memories we made.

There are not words to describe my partner, my best friend, my support system, my sidekick. When you lose the person you love, you lose more than love. You lose comfort and security and being content. You lose Saturday morning routines, Friday night traditions and daily phone calls.

You lose the “you look beautiful.” You lose “I can’t wait to see you.” You lose “You’ve made me the happiest I’ve ever been.” 

Don’t lose that. Don’t lose that if you can avoid it. And if you don’t have it, don’t miss the opportunity. I may have had only two years with this man, but it was the best two years of my life.


Amy Passaretti is the editor of Lake Martin Living and Elmore County    Living. 

Amy Passaretti is the editor of Lake Martin Living and Elmore County Living.