Where is Pat?!

I’m typing on my desktop computer back in our bedroom in the dark while my kids are sleeping on mattresses all around me.  The sound of nothing but the pecking keyboard reminds me of Pat.  In the last year, I’d often go to bed earlier than he did, and I’d hear this sound as I’d fall asleep–Pat working hard to finish some school assignment or catch up with some personal emails.

My desktop faces a large window with the horizontal blinds closed.  Through one uneven gap in the slatted blinds a bright light suddenly peeks through.  It’s what looks to be a full moon.  At the same moment a breeze comes through the window.  Without hesitating or thinking, I speak out loud, “Hi, Patrick!”

I stand up to widen the gap in the blinds and get a clearer view.  “I know you’re here, Pat.  I love you!”

I smile.

This Post Has 2,236 Comments

  1. Betsy Station

    Dear Nancy,

    This is Betsy, good friend of Michelle and Ted. We moved to Chicago, away from South Bend, late last year but have been at many a party at the Beatty’s with you and your family present. We just learned yesterday about Pat’s death. I am so sorry for your loss and so shocked. Pat was a wonderful person and such a dear friend to Ted especially. His friends will miss him on every single paddle for a long, long time to come — probably always.

    We bike and kayak and love the outdoors too and so to think that someone like Patrick was lost because he was out riding, doing the right thing, well, it’s just unbelievable.

    Your forgiveness and grace are inspiring and will go a long way to healing not only you and your family but others by your example. I hope the community that Pat helped to build will be there for you, and that together you will raise those kids into wonderful people.

    Bless you — please know that people even far away are thinking of you all.


  2. hathomas

    i don’t have many words right now. i just want you to know that you’re in my thoughts tonight. i hear the crickets outside and am feeling a slight breeze. hoping it’s patrick as you say. my heart hurts just thinking of our pinning rehearsal tomorrow and him not there. i will talk to you soon. -hannah marie

  3. aseberha

    I know that I never met you, but my name is Ashley Eberhard and I was in nursing school with Patrick. I transfered to IUSB last year from Indianapolis and was placed with the accelerated students for the first semester. It was such a great group of people, and they were all so welcoming.

    I woke up this morning to check my emails and prepare for my last semester of classes next week, and to my surprise, I had an email from a professor about Patrick’s death. I am in shock. I don’t understand how I missed the story on the news, but I am so sorry for your loss.

    It was almost a year ago that I first met Patrick. I admired his intelligence and his dedication to his family, sports, and nursing (studying). He talked about you and the children regularly during clinicals and classes. My heart reaches out to your family for your loss. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. steveandkris

    Hi Nancy, Steve here.
    I went out for my first early am bike ride since Pats accident this morning. It was about 5:30 when I started out and boy was it chilly. As I headed out of the subdivision all I could think about was Pat. Every time a car came up on me, I shuddered. Even though I use a rear view mirror and know where the cars behind me are, you just never what a driver is doing when they are passing you.

    As the miles clicked away, I began to think that I can’t let Pats accident stop me or others from enjoying riding and that we can be as prepared/safe as possible but that there is a God out there who is in charge of everything. God gave me a passion for cycling and paddling and he knows the joy I get from participating in them. I just have to have the faith that he will use me as a tool in what ever capacity he deems necessary. I hope that I am able to fulfill Gods purpose for me in this world while I am here. I have days where I get so wrapped up in my life and all the stuff going on that I feel I am not on track any more. Then I get to go paddling or riding and have time to reflect on the past and I can see that Gods plan is playing out even on those days when I feel out of touch with him.

    Nancy, you were created for a reason. God gave you very special talents and gifts and I can see how God is using you even in this time of grief to fulfill his plan.

    Kris and I are always thinking about you and the kids. We will never stop thanking God for bringing you and Patick into our lives.

    The Petersons

  5. Holly Simpson

    Hi, Nancy. This is Holly from northern KY — we met at the UWWG last January.

    I’ve been thinking about you & your family so much since hearing about Patrick, and my heart breaks for you all.

    I hope that you are blessed with many, many more moments of love and connection like the one you wrote about in this post.

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