Gratitude List

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.

John Greenleaf Whittier

During this period of Thanksgiving, I cannot help but think of all the good I have experienced in the last several months.  Each one of you has added to this most intense outpouring of good that I have ever known in my life.

On the day of my Patrick’s funeral, I left the church and reception with one of the most profound feelings of happiness in my life.  How could such a tormenting, agonizing day possibly bring me happiness?  From the realization that Pat left me in such good hands.  I was surrounded by all my loved ones, all Pat’s loved ones, all those who loved me and Pat and my kids.  The church was packed.

I have so much to be thankful for:

  • My Patrick–17 years of growing with Patrick, intertwining our lives, making compromises, sacrifices to develop profound love for eachother, our children, our world.  Patrick gave me the love, support, and freedom to become more fully me.  I am a changed person for having known Pat.  I am now on a path of discovery.  I will never be the same.
  • My 4 beautiful children, each with Pat’s spirit, pieces of his personality, charisma, and looks.  There is hope.
  • Each one of you who has offered me new hope, new life. Everywhere I go, I am met with incredible kindness and compassion.  I have met new friends and deepened meaningful relationships.  Embrace life now!
  • For the vibrant communities that support me and my kids in all of life’s necessities, discrepancies and indulgences:
    • My and Pat’s families, especially sisters and mother who have kept me from being nothing more than a heap on the floor.  Our families are large and loving.
    • Paddling community and dear friends; Kelly and Tom, Ted and Michelle, Matt and Danielle, Matt and Mandy, Steve and Kris, Buzz and Ann, Paddlefest Committee, Indiana Paddlers, MIPP, USCA, USACK.  You share Pat’s passion.
    • IUSB faculty and students, especially Pat’s nursing professors and nursing classmates.  You were there that horrible day and wretched night.  You carry on Pat’s dream of helping others through health and fitness.
    • Friends, new and from our past.  Childhood friends, high school and college friends, and neighbors.
    • YMCA and Swanson swimming families, bringing dinner, support, and nourishment for weeks after the accident.
    • Unitarian and Little Flower Churches, Fathers Ryan and Scheidler.
    • Cycling community, especially working members of the Bike Michiana Coalition, Outpost Sports, City of South Bend, Scott with the ghost bike memorial, and all those who supported us through Pat’s Memorial Bike Ride at his funeral and the day after.  You have made such progress in ensuring Pat’s accident and death were not in vain!
    • St. Joseph County Prosecutors Office and FACT team, for going beyond the call of duty to make sure the process was as swift and painless as possible.  Thank you, Eric, Ken, Donald, Lucette, and Tim and Scott.
    • The South Bend Tribune, WSBT, and WNDU for bringing bicycle safety issues to the forefront rather than sensationalism.
    • Attorney Mike Anderson.  Standing up for law and giving honest integrity to the profession.
    • The homeschooling community–local and nationwide.  The mothers of Michiana LIFE.
    • The entire Michiana community, people I have never met, who have reached out to me.  You restore my love for humanity.
    • This list is endless.  Every day the kids and I feel your love.  I lean on it for strength.

Each one of you is beautiful and brings light to the dark days, weeks, and months of mourning for a beautiful soul who will be missed entirely.  Our community is better for his having been a part of us.

I have heard from many of you how Patrick’s life and death have affected you. Thank you.

Thank you.  Thank you!



This Post Has 2,255 Comments

  1. hathomas

    i am thinking about you on this morning of thankfulness. i want you to know that today i am thankful that your children have such a brave, pure, and honest mother to look to. the reason that you have received such love is that you opened your heart to it. you made a conscious decision to let the love in, and not the hate. you are courageous! you are an example to us all on thanksgiving that a little compassion and forgiveness can lead to many things to be thankful for. thank you, nancy!

  2. carolann19


    I have to completely agree with Hannah–You are amazing and have opened even my eyes to how good people really can be. You are setting an awesome example to your children about love. You are an amazing person. I will continue to be thankful for you and Patrick everyday. You both have changed my life in your own ways.


  3. nprimrose

    Nancy, this is Tim’s wife. I think you’ll remember me as the pregnant one from his graduation party. As I sit at my computer tonight, like so many other nights, I glance at this website. Tim is 12 days away from the pinning ceremony. I still cry every time I read anything on this website, I can not imagine!! You are so strong and such a brave woman. I can not express the emotions I have on this situation becuase they are so confusing. Tim spoke, and still speaks so highly of Patrick and what they were going through together in school. Patrick was a good man, no a great man and his legacy will continue in your children and in everyone that knew him.

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