Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Nicole

Sister Do

Many thoughts have flooded my mind this past week and I wanted to share them with you.

You are my first born girl (and my last one too). The sweet spirit you brought into our home right from the beginning was unmeasurable. Christian was enamored by you. "His Sissy" he would call you.

You were blessed by your Uncle Bill Fleming. Daddy has always looked up to him as a great example. he wanted Uncle Bill to have the opportunity to bless a child and what better opportunity than you. You grew in Spirit just as Heavenly Father blessed you.

Christian and you were inseparable even before you could really play together. A few times dad and I has to go out of town and we would leave one of you with grandma and grandpa and one of you with Auntie Dana. With in a few hours you both would be sick. One or the other would bring you both back together and instantly you guys would be well. We soon learned that is we were going to leave you overnight it had to be at the same place. I guess separation was just too much for the two of you.

Many camping trips we took as a family. Zion's Nat'l Park, Arches, Moab, Canyonlands, Tetons, Crystal Springs, Cascades, Payettes, Sun Valley, Sawtooths, Pend Oreille, Spirit Lake, Banff, Tyler State Park, Illinois. We are a camping family.

Do you remember the summer daddy was a river guide on the Snake near Jackson, WY. We all became seasoned campers that year.

There were so many camping trips but the one that sticks out in my mind at this moment is when we took a 2 week long camping trip to Washington, Idaho and Canada. We were just outside Banff, Ontario, Canada at a beautiful camp ground. (in Canada they offer HOT showers and free wood already chopped for your fire). You never know a stranger. One morning we awoke to a tent with no little girl asleep in her bag. We hurried and dressed to search for you. Thoughts of you missing in another country terrified me. It didn't take too long to hear your laugh and see your half moon eyes. You were making yourself at home 4 campsites down, sitting at their picnic table, eating their breakfast in your pink pajamas, barefoot. So glad you never new a stranger.

Everyone was always, "that's my best friend." Christian more reserved, you always pointing to others and telling us they are your friend - even though we had never seen them before.

Challenges in your life became evident early on when you stopped speaking for 3 years. But that didn't stop your zest for life. Tree climber, fast bike rider, tumbler, swimmer, not afraid of anything. You learned sign language at that time. I now wish I had kept it up as good as you so when you awaken I can communicate with you better until your trach comes out.

As you grew your relationship with your brother grew also. Riding your bikes to 7-11 or Wiles to get camels (Nibs licorice), Playing spy's, washing your bikes, Playing Ponies and Polly's, Fishing together, Swimming your summers away at Thomas Pool, Barbies and Kens in the drive way.

Christian was not only your brother but your friend, protector and example. Ever the consummate companion. Where you were he was and where he was you were. Sharing a room for several years (just until age 6) because you didn't want to be separated. Sometimes it felt like a twin thing to me.

You have taught me many things:
1. Acceptance
2. Pure love of Christ
3. Unselfishness
4. Be a friend
5. Acknowledge others
6. Share fully
7. Listen to uplifting music
8. Its okay to cry
9. I'm different and its okay
10. Service
11. Kindness
12. Joy in small accomplishments

These are the ones that roll off my tongue.

Your short life has been filled with challenges but that never stopped you. You always think, "there is nothing I can't do".

When you were in ROTC at Northwest High School you learned great skills. You were always so proud to wear that uniform.

You love diving. The time you spent with the Shockers dive team made you a better diver. The many hours you would climb that ladder over and over perfecting a dive. Wanting to learn more 3 meter dives than 1 meter. You were so at ease in the water.

You found your own running cross country at Goddard High School. You loved to run. I don't know where you got that from. You were so proud you lettered and so were we. You wore your letter jacket knowing you had accomplished a goal. I remember you setting goals as you completed your Young woman's Recognition. One goal was for appreciation for community. (I don't really remember what it was called). You took dinner to our local fire station several times. Bro. Coccannouer was the chief there. I know you always looked up to him.

When Christian turned 8 we changed his name. I think you thought that was what people did when they turned 8. On your birthday you told us that you wanted your named changed like Christian had. When I enquired as to the name you thought you should have now without missing a beat you said.....Snow White. You said it was because you were the fairest one of all. So cute. So like you. Sad to say that never happened.

You always loved being the same age as your brother for 9 days. Somehow I think he didn't like it as much as you did.

As you lay here sleeping I can't help wonder what is in store for you. I have wondered that many times throughout your life. I want you to know that I love you all the stars. I also want you to know of my love for you. You, though you have had your share of trials, are a blessing in our lives. God gave you to us. He knew the trials you would be faced with. He knew, even when we didn't, that we could handle them and help you through them.

I want you to know I love our Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful for His ultimate sacrifice so that one day we will live with Him again as a forever family. I testify to you, Nicole, I know God lives and loves us. That he gave His only Begotten Son so we can have everlasting life. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored upon the earth and we receive blessing from that restoration. I know that God is watching over you at this time and He is waiting for you to come home to Him to hold you close and comfort you.

You are my sweet girly-girl, my doer, sister-do.

I love you.


1 comment:

Anne said...

Angie,I love what you wrote about sweet Nicole. Your memories are so beautiful and poignant. We are all reverently taking a peek and being bonded into this loving family by reading what you write. Thank you. We love you