In Amanda’s Words

Patrick took his role as big brother very seriously. From as far back as I can remember, he was protecting me—and all my girlfriends. He was 21 months older than me, so we were only one grade apart in school. I loved being so close in age because it made us more than siblings, but good friends. I loved being his little sister. Not only did he always make sure I was safe, he made sure I was happy. He called me “Sissy” and would constantly tell me how beautiful and precious I was…and I could tell he truly meant it. We loved each other the way parents pray their kids will love each other. It wasn’t a forced sibling love, it was organic and pure. In my eyes he was the coolest, smartest, and funniest person I knew (and will ever know)—and I was so proud that he was my brother. I wanted nothing more in the world than for him to be happy. He brought our family so much joy and entertainment with his ridiculous humor—I can’t remember a time my dad would smile more than when Patrick would tell jokes. While he was at Dartmouth I tried to visit as much as possible. He made me feel so welcome and I could tell he wanted me to meet his friends and teammates. I actually felt a deeper sense of school spirit for Dartmouth than my own college—that’s how hospitable he was. I loved having discussions with him about random topics because he was so passionate and knowledgeable about stuff no one else was. He could teach you the history of some obscure topic and it was extremely impressive. It also never ceased to amaze me how kind and engaging he was to anyone that crossed his path—he had a special way of making people feel important, even if they were complete strangers and would never see each other again. His heart was so generous and big—and his smile was infectious. Sadly, as his CTE symptoms became more prevalent, the last few years were really tough on our relationship. I tried to help and didn’t understand why he would act and do the things he did. I eventually lost my patience and ability to sympathize. Now, I so wish that I could rewind time and do so much different so he knew how much I still loved him.