The other week when the Sandy Hook shootings occurred, the only thing I could think about was all of the families that would have unopened presents under their trees. Presents for children who would never return home. Little did I know that our family would face the same fate.
Sunday Matt’s parents called to let us know that Patrick, his younger brother, was sick with food poisoning and they were headed to ATL to see him. He wouldn’t have enough time to come home since he was sick. Their plan was to spend Christmas morning with Patrick and they would meet us at their house later in the day. This seemed to work well for us since we had planned to spend Christmas Eve with my parents, have Christmas morning with the two of us, and head to their house a little later in the day.
Yesterday Matt and I had a few errands to run before my parents came over. We got home around 2 pm when Matt received a call from his dad. I could hear Steve through Matt’s phone. He said he had bad news, then I heard him say Patrick was gone. Almost immediately I saw the tears.
Once Matt was off the phone I grabbed him and hugged him. He laid on me crying while I called my parents to let them know what had happened. Mom and dad couldn’t believe the news and I told them I’d call later.
Matt and I laid on the couch for awhile. I finally managed to get him to go upstairs and lie down. I called my parents and told them to come over. I couldn’t sit in the house in silence. And truthfully, I wanted them there. They came over a little while later and we talked for a while. I filled them in with what I knew but it still wasn’t much. At this point, it looked like Patrick had slipped in the bathroom and hit his head. An accident.
A little later Matt came downstairs and we talked and had a few drinks. I attempted to make dinner and we opened gifts. It really helped to keep out minds busy. Matt managed to get some our clothes washed and dried and put away. Anything to keep busy. After dinner mom and dad left and Matt and I busied ourselves with house work. We finally agreed to open gifts so we could leave first thing Christmas morning. Matt thought we should drive to ATL to be with his parents.
Neither of us slept much last night and around 7 this morning we got up and got ready to leave. We left Raleigh around 9 and made it to ATL by 3pm. We talked to his parents and they recounted the events of the day before. Then we headed to the hotel lounge for a few drinks. We talked and teared up and finally managed to eat a little.
Tomorrow we will go back to Patrick’s and pack his things, then we will head back to Jill and Steve’s house in Thursday.
The past day has been filled with tons of fb posts from Patrick’s friends. There’re are tons of heartfelt posts all saying the same thing, what a great guy Patrick was and how much he will be missed. The words are so hard to read but at the same time it’s wonderful to see how many people’s lives he touched.
We love you Patrick!