Thoughts

Joey’s Victim Impact Letter

Joey’s Victim Impact Letter

Dear Judge Chamblee, I am Joseph Peter Sawyer. I am 12 years old and Patrick Sawyer’s second oldest son. My papa was killed by Shane McGee. I think that Shane McGee should be punished for it, and I hope that he won’t come out from his punishment just being worse than before. I hope that his punishment could make him become better than he was before. If not that, then he should have to do good for the community with community service or something like that so that it’s not just that he killed my Papa and gets put in

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3 Months

Today marks the 3rd month since I last talked to Pat in the emergency room before his cranial surgery. Just writing that sentence has brought a flood of painful memories of my poor husband laying flatly strapped to an immobilizing spine board and in a neck brace. His puffy eyes opened when he heard my voice. To my relief, he recognized me, was able to kiss me, and told me he loved me. He whispered, “I’m okay.” God, I wish it were true!! After Shane McGee’s sentencing, I fell into a hollowing, carving depression. My physical mind and body began

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Denial

My mourning has become a self-indulgent luxury. Finding time to mourn when so much is going on seems selfish. Last week, for the first time, I was able to consciously put myself in denial mode. For these reasons, I have not contributed much to this site for the last several days. I apologize to all the faithful visitors and supporters! Except for a few relapses here and there, I was able to push the pain away and concentrate on some of the more practical matters I had been unable to fully address–taking showers, getting kids to bed in a more

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Anger

My mourning has become a self-indulgent luxury. Pat died 3 months ago yesterday.

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IUSB Bike Fair in Pat’s Honor

The nursing department at IUSB is sponsoring an annual health fair that they have decided to name for our Patrick. One of Patrick’s main passions was health and fitness. This year’s IUSB health fair is concentrating on bicycles. Pat’s former nursing instructor, Teri Dobrzykowski, is teaching a class of nurses returning to school for their BSN. She and the class are the primary planners for this upcoming bike fair. Teri invited me last week to IUSB’s nursing department and her class. Patrick basically lived at IUSB throughout the last 15 months of his life. His nursing program was extremely intensive

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Pictures

Okay, I’ve spent the day looking at many pictures from Pat’s and my past.  What indescribable pain. The night before Pat’s memorial services, all my extended family was gathered at my house (which is also my parents’ house) searching through my boxes of pictures for photos of Pat to display at the services.  It was a huge family process that I could not partake in.  Nieces, nephews, sisters- and brothers-in-law, brothers, sisters were all passing around stacks of photos to find Pat.  I know that all of Pat’s brothers and sisters and extended family were going through the same process

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Why Do I Write?

I have so many thoughts, issues, and experiences I want to write about. For starters, what are the reasons I write on this blog that I know is public and open to anyone and everyone?  Why should I expose my feelings to the wide open internet abyss? Many reasons. I started this blog as a practical way of letting friends and family know how Pat was doing in the hospital.  This eliminated the need to call a long list of people every day to update them on his status. I wanted Pat to be able to read about everything that

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My Victim Impact Statement (Very Long!)

I had the opportunity to speak to the court at the sentencing for Shane McGee.  I was able to speak about how Shane’s actions on the morning of July 16 affected me–to describe my loss.  I was also able to give my thoughts on his sentencing. I knew I would want to say something, but I didn’t know what or how.  Every time I tried to put my loss into words, I broke down and realized it was impossible. I couldn’t give my thoughts on sentencing until I met Shane.  I had introduced myself quickly to him and his mother

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My Victim Impact (part 2)

I continue the statement I made before the court with one of Pat’s letters to me while I was pregnant with our third son: Letter from Pat to me, 1998 Dear Nancy, Why do I want to live?  I want to be whole.  I want to know a bliss that I believe exists.  I believe that I must be whole before I can give my most to others. I want to become your soul mate.  I want to have a more complete love for you, a love without dependence.  I want a connection between our minds and souls that is

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IUSB’s Bike Fair

From WNDU’s site: Nursing students at IUSB took time today to honor a former friend and classmate who died in a hit and run. IUSB held their annual health fair today, but renamed it the Patrick Sawyer Memorial Health Fair. Sawyer was an IUSB nursing student who was hit and killed while riding his bike last July. This year’s health event aimed to promote bike safety. Nearly twenty vendors from local bike shops were on-hand showing students the latest in gear and maintenance. Members of the South Bend Police Department were there to promote safe cycling. “We renamed it the

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Gratitude

This grief and mourning is constantly taking on new shapes.  When I think I’m reaching a tolerance for the feelings and issues I’m dealing with, the wave ebbs and then flows again, first crashing wildly upon me.  Each time, it hurts, it’s raw, and it’s deep. My emotional brain is only allowing me to handle what I can.  It has taken over my normal thinking and is slowly receding to reveal what I must now face. I am so fully aware that I am not the only one in this world who is feeling this way or has ever felt

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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,

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What am I doing?!

Here I am alone on Monday night. All the kids (and parents!) are asleep and I’m listening to the music I chose for this Web site while, in a new tab, I am reading through the pain and anguish of other young men and women on an internet bulletin board for young widow/ers. So much hurt everywhere. I normally would be spending this time with Pat, relaxing, talking about our day, about our children, making plans for the future. His belongings are STILL all around me. The boys finally have moved into rooms of their own. Laura tried her own

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Where To Now?

I’ve just spent 17 years working at my dream of being married and having a family.  It’s funny–I spent all my young life planning for college, career, marriage, children.  I had specific goals, and looking back, I believe I accomplished them just as I had always envisioned. But, I never had a long-term vision for what came next.  Pat talked often about our future, even asking my thoughts on retirement age–how we’d like to plan for it and live it and grow old together.  He often became frustrated with me because I could never give answers.  He wanted to plan

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The Beauty of Now

Look your last at all things lovely every hour.  ~Walter de la Mare I feel as though I’ve been to the depths of life and tasted its core.  Having been there, how do I now continue on with the inanities of living?  Having been there, have I discovered the answers to the mysteries of LIFE?  I’ve wrestled with these mysteries.  I’ve explored them.  I’m in the process of learning to embrace them. Once again, I return to journal writings from a different me, long ago.  Trying to get a grasp: November 13, 1990 From living in the present, I have

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Cold!

11:54 p.m. Note to self: Next new winter widow I meet is going to get an electric blanket for her bed from me! Thanks, Mom. Pat was always so warm.  Piled-on blankets just don’t do it for me.

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Driving

Today, my sister Mary took Daniel and me to the license bureau so Daniel could get his driver’s education permit (yes, I am that old). The last time I was at the license bureau was this past August, a few weeks after Pat died.  I had to sign Pat off of the cars’ titles and registrations.  That was excruciating. Today, I was sitting at the bureau with Daniel in the exact same chair as I had sat back in August.  I was remembering how I had broken down and cried in front of the BMV workers back then.  I am

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Six Months

Six months have passed since Pat died.  Half a year. How have I been living without him for so long?! The last month has been so up and down for me.  I tried to ignore the holidays, let them just slip by unnoticed while I hide out in my room.  Fortunately, my family and this wonderful community did NOT let Christmas pass unobserved.  I could NOT give my kids what they really want and need.  But, this community banded together and gave them some material happiness.  I am forever grateful! I’ve begun looking forward a bit at a time.  I’ve

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