“Please show me a picture of Nick healthy…” is what was asked of me when a new friend of mine walked into our home recently. Oddly enough, all the photos I had scattered around our home were taken during his four year-long battle with cancer. In my mind, he was always healthy; I’m always taken aback when I see a picture of him during treatment. “Oh yeah,” I think, “he was so sick then…” Nick was adamant to be living that my mind never captured images that he may be dying. We tried to avoid taking pictures of when he was vulnerable in his battle, as cancer certainly didn’t need any more attention. Even as Wacky Warriors was growing, he refused to publish photos for dramatic effect. He much preferred photos of himself and other survivors as actually embracing life rather than fighting death.
But yet, I paused in reflection of the request. Of course, I have hundreds of photos of healthy Nick, but it is the photos of him with cancer that capture his strength, his courage, his giving cancer the big “kiss my a** because I’m still living” salute, smiling all the way – those are the ones that I love the most. But to those that may not have known Nick, here are a couple pictures of him months before his diagnosis, a senior in high school, his whole life ahead of him – virtually limitless:
I know, right?
On the third anniversary of Nick’s passing, Lee captured Nick’s essence in verbiage taken from his talk given at Nick’s funeral found here in this week’s “Meaningful Monday” video. This is a sweet reminder of what one can do in four short years if you choose to do so (that and having family and friends helping to carry out your vision).
Healthy or not, this kid loved life and he had fun! He was adventurous, charming, silly, intelligent, and every thing else one could hope to find in a young man. Oh, how I miss him. And I’m very aware of others that miss him, too. So grateful for you…
Healthy or not, what are you going to do this year? What does your future look like? If not yours, how can you help someone else with theirs?
Healthy or not, get out and live!