Today I am going to my friend Nikole’s memorial. Her husband asked me to speak at the memorial. The following is what I wrote.
I met Nikole when she was two, almost three years old. Nikole and her sister Brittnae were my very first babysitting job. I never considered taking care of them as a job though. They were more like little sister to my brothers and I. They were part of the family.
The past few days, My brothers and I have been trying to remember the things we did with Nikole. What they remember doing the most was hanging out with her and talking to her… They remembered the funny comments she would make. Nikole and I were talking one day and I told her that my brother were a pain in the butt. Then she said, “ Yeah, the boys are a pain in my butt!” She said it so seriously it was just too cute not to laugh at. My brothers remembered one time when Nikole was scared of thunder and to comfort her they told her that God was bowling and that was what all the noise was about. She was ok with that explanation and didn’t feel scared anymore.
My family used to pick her up nearly every Sunday morning for church and Sunday School. She was always happy to see us on Sunday mornings. She enjoyed Sunday school and learning new songs , making friends, and learning about God. She also loved to go to Vacation Bible School. I was a teachers aid, in charge of art projects and though Nikole was a little too young to attend Vacation Bible School, I still brought her with me. She loved doing the art projects and singing fun songs. I remember one day after classes got out her mom told me that Nikole was vacuuming and singing her little heart out to “Jesus Loves Me”.
We did a lot of things together. She loved to make stuff, so one day we were stringing beads and I looked up and she had a bead stuck up her nose. She quickly realized that she should not have stuck that up her nose and started to panic. I pulled her over to me and held the unplugged nostril down and told her to blow…the bead came right out. I don’t recall her sticking anymore beads up her nose.
For Christmas one year we made reindeer ornaments out of clothes pins. She told me a few years ago, that she still had the Reindeer and still remembered making them with me.
For one of her birthdays we went to the zoo and had a picnic then we went swimming at my cousins apartment. On our way home I stopped and filled my car up with gas. Something told me not to take the freeway home that night so I took a main street home. As I was driving down the street, with Brittnae and Nikole sleeping in the back seat. I notice sparks flying out from under the hood of my car. My friend, Stephanie, and I couldn’t figure out why there were sparks flying out from under the hood of the car. I pulled the car over and as I was trying to stop it I found out my breaks were out. I got the car stopped and smoke filled the car. We woke up Nikole and Brittnae and got the girls out of the car quickly, Nikole was in a total panic and Brittnae was like “COOOOL! HA HA! FIRE” We calmly walked to a fire station down the road. We walked into the fire station and told the firemen that my car was on fire. They didn’t believe me because I wasn’t panicking or frantic. They were getting ready to go out on a call and one of the men walked out and saw the fire. They quickly went to my car and put the fire out. The firemen told me that we were lucky we had filled the car up with gas, if we hadn’t the car would have exploded. My dad came and picked us up and took us home Brittnae still wired from the excitement and Nikole still in a bit of a panic. We were all happy and thankful to be home safe.
We all had a lot of fun. Tea parties, flying kites, taking walks, playing in the park, singing silly songs, watching movies, exploring the zoo,, dancing, singing and joking around. We had a blast!
Nikole was a beautiful young lady and my family was heartbroken to find out she was sick. She will be missed, but remember that this is not “goodbye“, it is ”Until we meet again”.
July 4, 2012