This is Mary – I just wanted to stop by and leave a little note about Pat. Yesterday (Sunday) we went to his pinning ceremony/graduation at IUSB. This was the day that Pat worked so hard for over the past 3 years. This was the day he sacrificed his time with his family for. This was the day he and Nancy dreamed of and looked so forward to. This was the day he finished his nursing education, received his degree and his nursing pin, and if he were still here, this is the day that would have symbolized the beginning of his and Nancy’s new life…
It was a very nice ceremony – we could feel the love for our Pat through all of his fellow students as well as from all of the faculty and staff. Everyone he knew was deeply touched by his being a part of their lives. We could see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and saw it on the picture of Pat they all wore over their hearts. In the midst of their happy time of celebration, they were never separated from Pat, he was there in everyone’s hearts and minds. In this way, he was there, he was a part of the ceremony.
I also wanted to share some more of my thoughts and memories of my best friend Pat. I found this picture of him and me at one of the past Paddlefest events:
Pat’s personality and love just SHINE through in his face. This picture shows not only how much I felt he loved just ME, but it is a true picture of Pat’s HEART. He loved everyone like this. People made him happy, and if he could help someone, and cheer them on, it made him even happier. He was happy for everything I did, every small step, every accomplishment I made. He was always there to cheer me on, to encourage me, to support me in what I did. He was there every day for me, to ask me how my day was, to tell me how his day was, to talk about nursing, to talk about our kids, to make plans for the next swim meet he would come to with me and Teddy, to make plans for the next time he would take Jimmy out in the kayak. We talked about little things, and about big things. He was concerned about my boys and their welfare. He loved Teddy and Jimmy like they were his own sons.
Nancy gave me Pat’s nursing pin that we got yesterday at the ceremony. I am humbled by this generous gift, I do not deserve it, but I love it and will cherish it dearly. Pat loved the idea of being a nurse, he talked to me about it so excitedly every day. He was so looking forward to doing this work, to helping people, to actually getting paid to do something he LOVED, to actually get paid to reach out and love other people – which he did naturally and without any pay every day of his life.
Pat is a wonderful, kind, sweet, caring, loving soul – I know his soul, his spirit, could NOT have died. There is no way that kind of love, that kind of life could just pass into nothingness… Pat lives still, in my heart, in Nancy’s heart, in the hearts of Danny, Joey, Tommy, Laura, Teddy, Jimmy and EVERYONE in our family, as well as all of his friends, in all the lives he touched and made a difference in. We all hope that our lives can make the world a better place – Pat can rest assured that his life DID and still DOES make a difference.
Thank you Pat. I love you forever.