Memories of Patrick

I don’t know what my very first memory was and sometimes I can’t remember things from last week, but I remember my first day of first grade vividly. I remember the way it felt when I stepped off of the school bus into the early morning fall air. I remember the way the classroom smelled, like freshly sharpened pencils and cleaning supplies. I remember the feeling of being nervous (probably for the first time) as I walked around the room trying to find the desk with my name on the tag. I remember finding my seat and realizing that I was sitting right next to a boy!

Patrick looked at me and whispered “hi” as I took my seat. He was my first friend and quickly became my best friend. Together we learned how to read a clock and write full sentences in cursive. He always chose me as a partner in gym class and sat across from me in the cafeteria each day. We went through elementary school together like two peas in a pod.

After a few years, Patrick’s mother took a job at the Pentagon and they moved to Washington D.C. I missed him, but we kept in touch through snail mail and the occasional visit when they came to town. The letters would come and I would stop everything to read what he had to say. He’d tell me about his new friends in the city, but how he missed our sleepy little town.

One day while practicing in band class during the eighth grade, I heard a few girls around me whispering. I caught a few words here and there- Washington DC, used to go here, boy, DIED. One of the girls caught me listening and said “Hey! Didn’t you know Patrick, the kid who used to go here?” When I responded yes, her eyes immediately turned to the floor. “I guess you haven’t heard yet, but he died yesterday.”


How is this possible? I just got a letter from him a few days ago.


After checking with a few mutual friends I realized it was in fact reality. My best friend was gone. My mom came to pick me up from school and I remember running to her car and collapsing in tears in the front seat. How could my 13 year old best friend be gone so soon?

Today marks 11 years since his death. I still think about him often. He would have been 25 this year. Where would he have lived? What career path would he have chosen? He loved to scuba dive so maybe he would have become a marine biologist, who knows.

Every year around this time I go home to my parents’ house, sit indian style in my childhood bedroom and read the letters he wrote me. His twelve year old handwriting and stories make me smile. I’m grateful that I have a small piece of him to carry with me forever, along with all of the memories.

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  • Katie Benney

    Megan, this is beautiful. I felt your emotion while reading this post. It’s evident that you’re still able to celebrate Patrick’s life. I hope you carry that with you forever. I’ll keep you and Patrick in my thoughts today.

  • Haley Junks

    Aw, I like the story of Patrick. I’m happy to hear that you remember him well. I’m sure he’s been watching over you for the last 11 years.