His name was Nick.
He was my nephew’s son.
He had a smile that really did go from “ear to ear.”
Whenever we were both at the same place at the same time, he hugged me.
When he hugs you, you know you have been hugged.
The last time he hugged me was at my sister’s funeral.
It was so strong, my glasses turned sideways on my face.
He was a little over 6 foot tall.
I took his picture while he was sitting in my living room.
He was sitting in my rocking chair across from me.
With a smile like that, I just have to take his picture!
He was very pleased when I gave him a copy of it.
Mostly, we ran into each other at hardware stores.
He always spotted me before I spotted him.
You would think it would be the other way around since I’m only 5-foot-4.
He recently gave me a card of his business he had started.
I was glad for him to have his own business now.
Earlier this year we all met to celebrate my sister (his grandmother’s) birthday.
She had died last year, but we still wanted to celebrate her special day.
When we met, he was with his wife and carrying his baby daughter.
And what a lovely baby she is.
And on that day, he told me that he would be coming to see us.
And I said I will be looking forward to that day.
But that day never came.
Just a week ago now, I got a very sad phone call.
My niece tried to tell me that he had died.
I couldn’t understand who she said it was.
So, she had to say it over several times.
I guess I just didn’t want to hear it.
She didn’t tell me how he died, just that he did.
This past week there was a gathering in his honor.
Before we got to the building it was in, we could see the parking lot was filled.
So many cars, so many people!
Family and friends who cared about him.
If he only knew how much people cared about him,
Maybe he would still be here to smile his smile and give those big hugs.
But now, we have to go on without him.
His name was Nick.