Wabash Blogs Philip Towne '10

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Patrick Woehnker - "We'll Miss You"

Last week was long and brutal.  I didn’t really realize this though until I got through it.  I think that’s because I was just too numb and in some sort of zone to realize how much work I’d done push through to the weekend.  Even with all of that, it was a busy weekend to look forward to.  But after everything that had happened last week, Sunday came and erased everything, brought me to reality, and brought some sort of eerie wake-up call to the campus.

Though I believe that resuming somewhat of a normal routine and continuing with life is a great factor in the healing process, I couldn’t write about anything else even if I’d wanted to.

It’s just odd to be on campus right now.  Classes have started for the week and most schedules have resumed, but most of those affected by the loss of Patrick just aren’t ready to move on quite yet.  We all are finding some comfort in each other, but the thoughts are still there.  When it comes down to it though, I think I’m coming to a greater realization about what’s really important.  I started to understand some when the swim team had its dreaded meeting about the incident on Sunday.  Coach Weitz mentioned how he’d never seen such a strong, supportive community like we have at our college.  Professors are more than understanding and flexible to work around conditions while many others are more than happy to help in any way possible, but even when daily routine begins to pick back up, it should still be our responsibility to put others before ourselves.  It wasn’t until this week that I had seen the bonds that we share here and especially among the team. 

Sunday night, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and members of the swimming and diving team stayed out the paint the bench in memory of Patrick.  I think it is one of the most honorable things that we, as a family, could do to show he was a genuine part of Wabash by incorporating his memory within a Wabash tradition.

The middle of this week may be the most difficult, with all the services there are to take place.  Tomorrow, I’m going to the memorial chapel for Patrick and then the team is driving up to Kendallville on Wednesday for the viewing.  It’s hard not to let emotions, misconceptions, reporters, and all the widespread agendas get to me at times.  I’m proud though to know that we are better than that and Wabash isn’t letting anything take away from the real importance of the matter at hand. 

We loved and greatly miss you, Patrick Woehnker.