Thoughts

Voice of the People

I will try to put the South Bend Tribune Opinion articles on bicycle safety here: Cyclist’s death a tragic lesson on road safety VOICE OF THE PEOPLE On Monday the Michiana cycling community lost a good friend, Patrick Sawyer. My hope is that drivers will look at this tragedy and as a result slow down and pay attention to the task of driving. The number of drivers speeding through our town and neighborhoods seems to be at an all-time high. Add to this speed the number of drivers talking on cell phones, sending text messages and other forms of multitasking,

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Thank you

I just want to thank everyone for all the support you have given.  MANY meals have been brought over, and ALL have been delicious.  We have had a lot of people in and out of the house and the meals being delivered were such a help.  Thank you to the Swanson swim team moms for remembering Laura’s birthday today and organizing a fun party for her.  All the gifts were not expected, but thank you for them.  Thank you David Schmokel for donating the flowers for all of Pat’s nieces and nephews at the funeral.  Thank you for all the

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Pedaling For Patrick

Yesterday evening was simply amazing!  Although it was an extremely hot and humid day, I had the chills as I watched hundreds of people of all ages pedal for Patrick.  Patrick always tried to be involved in our community, so this memorial bike ride was simply a perfect tribute to him–his community truly gave to him.  God, I so wish he was there! I’d love to read comments from those who participated–what was it like for you? There’s a WNDU news video of the ride here. I truly feel the support of you all! Love, Nancy

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Some of My Memories

Some of My Memories

Hi, I’m Tommy Sawyer.  My papa is Patrick Sawyer. I’m ten years old. What I remember was how Papa always bandaged me up from all my scratches and mosquito bites.  But now that I just got a bunch of mosquito bites all over my neck, I had to bandage them up all by myself, which I don’t usually do. What else I was thinking about was about his ashes and how we’ll probably put them in the St. Joe River and try to find some other place for them. The ashes were his body, so it’s a way for his

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Tribune Articles

I am amazed, humbled, and profoundly grateful for this community–I am utterly astounded by the turnout for Tuesday’s bike ride!  I am receiving the most heartfelt, sincere, and supporting emails, comments, and cards.  I would be a curled-up mess in a shell if were not for all of you. I said in the beginning that I want something GOOD to come of all this.  This community is actively doing that.  Here are just three of the most recent articles regarding Patrick and bicycle safety: Bicyclists raise $15,700 for Sawyer’s children GRANGER — J.V. Peacock stood on a corner in the

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Continuing

Continuing

Wow.  Each morning I wake up with a renewed wound and fresh shock that my Patrick is not here.  He’s really not coming back, is he? Lots of painful reminders surrounding me: His piles of clothes as they come through the laundry. His textbooks and school folders stacked neatly in our small room. His well-known pick-up truck sitting on the driveway, naked without his “Destroyer” kayak on top The utter silence of his voice in this house each and every day His fitness training calendar/journal left unfinished with unmet sessions of running, paddling, lifting, swimming Even the darned toothpaste tube! 

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Common Circle

This morning, an email to Patrick popped in my mailbox saying, Hello Patrick, Do you live to feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair? Do you love to be active and outdoors, exploring in vibrantly beautiful natural settings? Does the prospect of sighting a whale, breaching off the coast in sparkling blue water, bring a smile of joy to your face? As a matter of fact, YES!  YES, he does love all that!  That little blurb came from regular newsletters from Common Circle Expeditions, an organization with the tagline: Intention + Presence + Permaculture Design

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Tragedy Again

Oh my, God!  My family has just received news that my brother Mike’s stepson, four-year-old Carston, just died last night!  I am in utter despair for Mike and Amy, Carston’s mommy.  Amy was just here consoling me, giving me a book, “I Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye”. Oh, Amy and Mike, my heart simply pours out to you!!! We have set up a website in Carston’s memory also: www.sweetcarston.com

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Remembering Pat

Remembering Pat

Hi everyone, This is Mary, Nancy’s sister.  Nancy has gone for a couple of days to spend some time at a lakeside house with our brother Joe and his family in Michigan.   I just talked to her and she and the kids are having a nice time.  It’s good that she was able to get out of the house for a little while. However, as expected, everything she does of course, reminds her of Pat.  Last time they were at the beach was when our whole big extended family spent a week at a vacation house not too far away

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Funeral

Can I say that Patrick’s entire funeral service was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had?  Hundreds of people who Patrick has touched during his lifetime were present all at once to celebrate his wondrous, incredible life!  Every person there brought me so much joy. My children and some of Patrick’s nieces and nephews wrote letters to him that were closed in his casket and will be part of his ashes. In the next few posts, I want to include some of the eulogies that were given for Patrick. (If any of you spoke at the funeral without

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Ted’s Eulogy

Ted Beatty is one of Patrick’s closest friends, one he has spent countless hours paddling together.  Ted so eloquently delivered the main eulogy at Pat’s funeral.  Here are his words: Patrick Sawyer July 27, 2008 Nancy asked that I take a few moments today to talk about what Patrick has given to so many of us. I knew Pat for less time than many people here—just the past 5 years—but as with many of you, Pat left an indelible mark. He was a friend to many of us, but Pat was also something much more: he was—he is—a model. A

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Crying

I’m crying.  I feel like dying.  I want my Patrick.  I want him there for my four beautiful children as they grow and mature into 3 young men and a young woman.  I miss his voice.  I miss his smell.  The grief just drives me wild. I want to feel his strong, warm hands in mine. Just as I was feeling so low, I went outside to get the mail. My neighbor Judy happened to be riding her bike by me at that very moment. I burst into tears, and she was there to comfort me at the perfect moment.

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Kelly’s Words

Here are the words Kelly Harrington wrote for Pat.  Kelly is a good friend of ours, and she was a part of Pat’s paddling group that trained together, spending hundreds of hours on the water together. Between Pat and Nancy I have saved almost 400 email messages. I read through all of them this past week. Some were very short one-liners like “Shut up and stretch your shoulder” and “You’re a freak.” Others were very long. From both of them, their messages are filled with humor, intelligence, warmth, sarcasm, frustration, doubt, sometimes anger, but above all, love and support. On

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Father’s Day 1995

Today, while looking around our bedroom, I lingered by Patrick’s dresser.  The top of his dresser has always been his “untouchable” spot–where he could put anything and know that the kids weren’t allowed to touch anything on it and even I would not move anything or attempt to clean it.  It’s not the neatest dressertop–dusty, filled with all kinds of odds and ends from wrist bandages to boat epoxy to sport drinking systems for his marathon races. I hesitated to touch or move anything, but when I did, a small wrinkled piece of paper with my writing came into sight. 

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Rive of Love

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My Thoughts About Pat

This is Mary – Nancy asked us to share what we said about Pat at the Memorial Service we had after the funeral, so here is mine: There are no words that can describe what Pat means to me.  He and Nancy have been my lifeline.  Pat stepped in to be a father to my boys after they lost their father at a very young age.  No one asked Pat to do this, he just did it because that is the kind of person he is.  He was so involved in his own family and his own activities that he

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Photos

Pat Hall, my sister Julie’s brother-in-law, took several pictures and videos of Patrick’s funeral day. You can view them here. Some miscellaneous pictures of Pat can be found here Thank you, Pat!

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Video 1–River of Love

My brother Joe spent countless hours putting together one long (15 minute) video tribute to Patrick which was shown at Pat’s funeral reception. I will attempt to post that video–in 4 parts–here. River of Love Sam Phillips There’s a river of love that runs through all times There’s a river of grief that floods through our loves It starts when a heart is broken into By the thief of belief in anything that’s true But there’s a river of love that runs through all time There’s a river of love that runs through all time There’s a river of tears

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