The One About Nick

There is a message saved in my voice-mail. I know every word, every sigh, every pause. I had just, moments before, sent a text message to Nick. It was the morning of January 26, and my mother had just taken her last breath. I text-ed something benign like, “She passed. I’m fine. Stay at work.” I felt guilty enough that week. Nick had taken considerable time off of work to be by my side at my family home, during the stress and heartache of watching a loved one suffer.

He called me, and I did not take the call, could not take the call. I was too busy trying to hold my shit together, and I knew a concerned voice would be my undoing. He left a message. Called again, left another message. I waited an hour to listen to them. “Laura. This is Nick. I really need to talk to you. I don’t need to be at work today. I need to be with you today.” It had been his mantra through the entire ordeal. Fairly impressive for a man I had known less than a month, no?

I text-ed him that previous Friday too. Camped out at the hospital as we were that week, he requested nearly constant updates. One evening, he drove me to the hospital after work so I could space out about everything during rush hour traffic. Another, he picked me up from the hospital parking ramp on his way home from work to give me a reprieve from the weightiness of the situation. But that Friday, that Friday was the beginning of the end, and I knew it with absolute certainty.

Some of my family members would slap their foreheads and say, and sarcastically I’ll add, “Duh!” But there have been so many bleak moments during Mom’s illness, so many bleak moments that I knew in a secret place that she would overcome. We just had that link between us. But, just as she foretold, I knew just when things travelled past the point of no return. I messaged Nick, too grief-stricken to speak, “They’re sending her home tomorrow…home to die. I am so cold.”

Again, less than a minute had passed before he was calling, and I was willing voice-mail to kick in quicker. “Let me be there,” was his theme—or, as a throwback to the Friends reference in the title, perhaps a little “I’ll be there for you” instead.

And, he was. He first came to my family home that Sunday. He met all of my extended family after knowing me 22 days. All of my extended family, and under those conditions…I will never forget it…and he did it for me, saying he couldn’t imagine me there, without having support, somebody there only for me. He also stayed at my side through the visitation, and through the funeral…during which I cried nearly incessantly—nice date material. He’s of a quality that has become rare, invaluable, and he will always have a very special place in my heart and a lofty position in my admiration of his character.

He’s opened up his home to me, a welcoming refuge from the dwelling places so full of my mother. They are getting easier to bear, but the emptiness whirs despairingly still, there among her things, and my memories. Nick keeps vitality vibrant and shimmery in its splendor, and he keeps the shadows at bay. He has been a true blessing, a wonderful friend, and something that seems too early to feel for knowing each other fewer than two months. In those two months, however, we’ve been through a situation that some do not face in 10 years of marriage.

So today, Valentine’s Day, I am going to breathe life and tenderness through my sad moments, and cherish this magnanimous individual who held my hand through my darkest moment, and who just might be holding my heart as well. I hope to touch his life as profoundly one day.

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16 thoughts on “The One About Nick”

  1. Holy Crap! Sarah isn’t the only one doing the “happy dance” right now around their computer! Holy Crap! Holy Crap! Geez, Holy Crap!

    Great! Now I’ve got the FRIENDS theme running through my head as I do the “happy dance”…….holy crap!

  2. ..and what an adorable face it is! Thanks for sharing Nick with us Laura!!! Yes, let him hold your heart…you deserve it!! Happy dance, happy dance!!

  3. Laura, he sounds like a keeper! You deserve someone like this Nick fella! Laura, you’re one of the strongest, sincere, and loving individuals I know–no, THE strongest, THE most sincere, and THE most loving. You are a prize to the one who wins your heart, and it sounds like Nick may just deserve you—and I mean that in a good way.

    You are a beautiful spirit, and you’ve done well for yourself. You have a honor code that few still keep, you’re decent, fair, and you know how to take care of the people you love. Nick, I hope to read much more about you in the future…you actually sound like you match her in principle, responsibility and in caring. Take care of each other.

  4. I’m doing the happy dance with y’all! Laura! Love is in the air! What a cutie! *whistles*

    Happy Valentine’s Day Laura and Nick!

  5. Hey Laura…Lurker extraordinaire here…just wanted to say kuddos on getting back out there…You’ve got too much to give to another person lucky enough to win you. Nick, man…all I gotta say is congrats! She’s a keeper!

  6. Nick and Laura! You sound good together! Did you find a local boy this time? All my best!

    (PS…he’s GORGEOUS.)

    (PPS…he doesn’t read this, does he? I’ve never seen him comment.)

    (PPPS…you should have him check out your site…it’s a masterpiece. I think you are a teacher in the way to properly conduct yourself through life. It’s an honor to actually be one of the few to say that I know you in RL…she portrays herself very accurately here, world. This IS Laura…and yes, she often uses words that I don’t know whilst speaking too—no small feat. I was an eng major!)

    (PPPPS…ok, going now.)

    1. Way to go Laura! Although are you concerned at all that after such a short time period (22 days) he is willing to meet your extended family, leave work early, and attend funeral and wake services.

  7. Well since everyone else has “gone there” I will too…lol. I have a very southern friend who has the most redneck phrases you can imagine. When referring to a handsome man (Nick, if you are reading please turn your head away for a few sentences) she has the best redneck saying. A few months ago we were talking about Matthew Mcconaughey and she said he was “so good looking I could put him on a biscuit and eat him up.” I think you need a biscuit.

  8. Laura…I’ve known you practically all my life…all of it that I can remember. You always seemed so much more level headed than the rest of us…pensive….even in grade school, YOU were the deep thinker, you were the one who knew your mind so so well…when you married Miles, I was overjoyed for you…because I knew how long you had known him, I knew how close you were to him, I knew that you made a good call…but life doesn’t always follow what makes the most sense, as I’m sure you know better than anybody. Nick seems like a departure from Miles…whether that’s better or not, I don’t know…but I know you’ll give it all of your mental capacity before you come to a conculsion. I love you girl…I read your post this morning…I hope Nick IS worthy…you deserve a prince. I’m sure you miss Miles terribly…you were such close friends…be happy and be in love, my friend. I hope you find the same level of friendship with Nick, and I hope you’ll know pure joy again one day soon.

    My love,

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