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From Mom....

 As I am writing this letter, tears come to my eyes. It’s been one year since my son Nicholas died. This is still as painful as the first day, and by far the most dreadful thing that has happened to my family and me. It's always difficult to lose a love one, but it is so hard to make sense of your loss when it is both pointless and intentional. Nothing can replace the pain when your own child dies. Friends say “I know how you feel and time heals all,” but only someone who has lost a child can understand and share the pain I feel. With time the pain becomes an element that lives inside you the rest of our lives. There are days that I feel I am recovering from it, but next morning I wake up, and it all comes back to me. Nicholas is not here! He's not coming BACK! His beautiful spirit is gone. My memories and feelings of Nicholas have even made that impossible, and long as I lived, his memories will always be with me. I feel that I didn’t tell him enough how much I loved him and sometimes I know he wanted to hear it. I should have given him more hugs and kisses. Now I have to face with the reality that there is no tomorrow. Life is a gift and shouldn’t be taken for granted, so please let those you love know it, especially your children.

 I haven’t been able to write about him because I start crying uncontrollably. So I will write a letter to let him know how I enjoyed all the favorites things we did together and how precious he was to me and to all our family.

My Dear Nicholas,

  How are you now that you have left us? I hope and pray there is another side call "Home." You were a good son and accomplished extraordinary things in the short 19 years you were here in this earth.  I hope you are blissfully happy, without pain and no life lessons to learn, and accomplished all the things you were not able to in this lifetime. For example writing, creating your own art masterpieces. Also, playing the guitar with your favorite musician that passed to the afterlife. But of course! Now you are one of them. You were fascinated with Hemingway, Salinger and Bukowski. Your interests were so broad in music with composers such as Gershwin to contemporary artists like Richie Valen, Lennon, Hendrix and Morrison. Artists such as Dali, Rivera and Piccasso also had an influence on you. Oh I could go on and on! You were so hungry to learn; there was never enough. I was always amazed how you could keep up with your side of a conversation with adults at such an early age. You were so eager to share your knowledge and learn from others. Now I can see you hanging out with all of those artists and having intense intellectual discussions, and jamming with your favorite musicians. Yes, I know you are having a blast! They are so lucky to have you, I wish I could take a peek…Maybe…just once?

  Such a great life gone, prematurely from this earth. “God! I wish he was still here.” I miss your beautiful smile and your big hugs that wrapped around me with your long arms. You pulled me up and I held my breath; hoping you might not drop me. I miss my voluptuous wet kisses that you gave me. Your laughter was so contagious; I couldn’t keep a straight face. There was a saying that you and your brother and sister would say all the time. All three of you said it so fast I didn’t have any idea what you were saying. “Waddup-widat-dendude?” One thing I knew that when we were all together I could feel the love between the three of you. I enjoyed those times, it was magic to me to see all my children being together as grown-ups. Now their heart is now your home, because you’ll never be forgotten. I haven’t heard them saying “Waddup-widat-dendude? ” since you’ve gone.

  You were always writing short stories for me. I would always save them and now I have all your memories in your grandmother’s old trunk. All of your journals since you were nine (ten to be exact). All of your beautiful drawings and writings along with every greeting card you made or bought me. I read them and my heart breaks all of the time. I realized how special you were to me and how much I love you. I wished I could have told you that more often and also given you more hugs.

  Not only were you my Little Angel but also my Buddy. We shared so much together. We enjoyed going to the movies and you always picked a good one too. We spend hours at the book and music stores finding good books and listening to music was our favorite times. Now I hardly go to the movies and as I pass by the Barnes n’ Noble, it reminds me of the times with you. I haven’t gone to the music store; it’s just too sad for me. As I am driving in my car listening to the radio, a song that you liked comes on and brings memories of when you were here. The tears will never go away, they are here to stay… there are so many memories.

  Christmas was your favorite holiday and it was a tradition for both of us to go out Christmas shopping and have dinner afterward. Our last Christmas together we enjoyed it so much. You were already on your own, working, renting a studio and on your 2nd year of college. I am so happy you brought your camera and asked the waiter to take our picture in front of the Christmas tree inside the restaurant. The waiter asked if we were from out of town; you replied "No I just want a picture with my Mom." Every Christmas now it will be up in from of the tree. My beautiful jewelry case you gave me I’ll cherish forever.

  Our first holiday without you wasn’t easy, it was very difficult for all of us. We all miss you, but it was important the whole family be together. To celebrated life and a time to be thankful for all the great memories that you left us. In honor of you we place your pictures in the dining room, I know you were there in spirit. Your father said the blessing and a beautiful speech in your honor. My mind was racing with memories when you were a child. Your favorite holiday was Christmas, (2nd was your birthday). When you were about six years old; you went all over the neighborhood collecting bottles for deposit money. Even though you didn’t collect very much, you were so excited because it was to buy Christmas presents. You couldn’t wait till Christmas to hand them out. Ever since then you always tried to give Christmas gifts to everyone in your family.

  Your friends come by to visit and ask how I am doing. Sometimes they have nothing to say, I feel they miss you and they still haven’t gotten over that you’re no long with us. They too are going through a lot of confusion; this was their first encounter with death. You had so much compassion for your friends, always trying to help them. You told me once, “I am so lucky to have two parents who love me." You would bring your friends over to eat and stay over for the night. I remember when you gave all of those clothes to your friend? I heard what you said; “They don’t fit me anymore." But I knew that wasn’t true. Also, the time you gave your favorite skateboard because your friend couldn’t afford to buy one.

March 9th was a horrendous night for all of us. Only if you knew who that person was then you would not have gone out that night. You were such a benevolent person. I think you felt compelled to go and help your friends. Even though they say you had a piece of wood in your hand, there was no reason for you to be shot in the back. Especially when you pleaded him not to shoot you as you were running away. I know how scared you must of felt; your whole life flashing before you then gone…

Son, I now know this is behind you and that you are happy now I feel it in my heart.   I thank the Lord for letting you live those 19 years instead of taking you when you were so sick as a baby. I am so honored and proud to have been your mother. I won't say good-by because I know we will see each other again. OH Son! Please occasionally browse over the “Rainbow Bridge” so that when it is my time for me, you'll be there to guide me home. That is, home is where ever you are.

I love you

MOM.