Time and space are so strange sometimes. We missed our friend Dennis’ memorial tonight and I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but it did. I am just gutted at this missed opportunity to help lift some of our friends who’ve recently lifted us up. But this isn’t about me, I know. It’s about Dennis and all of our friends whose lives he touched, who are mourning as well. Regardless of our absence at his memorial tonight, I will always remember him fondly for his big heart, warm hugs, and genuine kindness. He had such a soothing, easy presence. I liked being around him and am extremely sad he is gone. May his soul finally find peace.
I’d like to say a little more about Nicks visit to the High School yesterday. He was such a rockstar at his old school. He got to chat with two of his former teachers who still work there. I can’t believe they remember him. They even recalled specific stories about him, like the time he brought his big snake to school around his neck. Walking through the school campus, I realized just how old we’re getting. Nick kept pointing to buildings and reminiscing about “how it used to be”. And apparently a lot has changed since 1996.
Our friend Sue has been talking to her math students about Nick since the accident happened. They made cards and signs and have been anticipating his visit for a long time. It’s been weeks in the making. We got there just before one half of the school went to lunch. Most of Sue’s class sat and hung out with Nick during their entire lunch, and lots of students got dismissed from their classes to come and visit. They asked lots of questions, mainly having to do with his tattoos and skydiving. We really hoped to leave them with an inspirational message of following their dreams or never giving up, but that didn’t happen. Somehow, some way, the big lesson of the day was, “wait until you’re older to get your tattoos, otherwise you’ll end up with something you regret.” Good, honest advise, yes, but it’s just not how we planned it. Guess we can chalk that up to “knowing your audience”. It really was an incredible experience. They had genuine care and interest in Nicks story and his recovery. Thank you Sue for setting it up and creating a great life-learning environment for your kids. And the cake was excellent as well!