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!