***Disclosure: I will be receiving a promotional item in exchange for posting. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
You see, a lot has been happening in my family over the past month or so. I got deathly ill and needed emergency surgery, which was hard enough. I even missed out on spending Thanksgiving with family because I was in too much physical pain to go.
Then in early December, we got the news that a cousin's long-term boyfriend was rushed to the hospital and wasn't breathing. Of course at first, we were all very optimistic...He was young...A person isn't supposed to just "shut down" at 23 years of age.
Over the next week, the unthinkable happened. After a multitude of tests performed while he was in a medically-induced coma, doctors discovered that he had a serious issue with his heart as well as substantial brain damage from lack of oxygen and a series of strokes and seizures. Sadly, he passed away in mid-December. At the age of 23. One minute he was fine, and basically in the blink of an eye, Nick was gone. He left behind siblings, tons of friends, his parents, and of course his girlfriend, my husband's cousin.
It just didn't seem real....or fair....that this was happening. He was such a wonderful, kind person, and we have always enjoyed seeing him at family gatherings. Here he is, with my Xander on his back. Xander giggled and thought he was "touching the sky", since Nick was extremely tall. If I had to guess, I would say he was darn close to 7 feet!
I have been seeing a ton of awesome tributes to Nick, both on Facebook and in peoples' lives. One restaurant is holding a benefit for his family to help with medical expenses, (Mt. Airy Inn in Mt. Airy,MD! If you're local and would like to help, pay them a visit on January 13th! 10% of all sales will go directly to Nick's family.) Lots of his friends have also been posting photos of things that remind them of him. Many of these are toasts to Nick, with a bottle of his favorite beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon.
The funny thing is, Nick always hated having his picture taken. His girlfriend has a photo-obsession. So of course, to make her happy, he endured posing for countless photos. From silly to sentimental, she has hundreds and hundreds of photos of her love to always remind her of the good times she shared with him.
Since we can't be there in Maryland to physically comfort our cousin, my husband and I have decided to do something extra special for her. (So Shhh! If you happen to know of whom I speak, do not tell her!) She has so many amazing photos showing all of the good times she shared with Nick. She has been sharing them a lot lately, reminiscing about all of the joy they shared as a couple. She has even joked that now she is grateful that she "made him" get so many photos taken with her, friends, and family. We will be "borrowing" a few of these images to have some special surprises made for her. The first one? A beautiful, high-quality canvas print from PrintKeg.com.
Which photo we will choose is still undecided. She really has a ton of great ones to choose from. We want to pick the one "perfect" shot that embodies Nick as the kind, gentle person that he was, as well as his unwavering love for her. I just wish we could be there to see her face when her gorgeous canvas print arrives, and I hope she hangs it proudly and that it brings her some sort of comfort.
Nick's untimely passing has taught us a lot....Life is a beautiful thing, and tomorrow isn't always promised. Be kind. Be giving. Be genuine. And of course, pose for the darn pictures, no matter how much you might hate doing so...You never know when a person could become a memory.
RIP Nick...Heaven is a better place with you in it, just like the world is a better place for having been your home for 23 short years. Please continue to look down on those who loved you, especially your Mama and the love of your life. They're really going to need some comfort right now. See you one day, my man. Have some PBR's chilling for us when we get there.
Enter to Win Your Own Canvas Print from Printkeg.com :
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This giveaway is open to US residents 18+ until 11:59PM on January 25, 2014. No PO Boxes. Winner will be drawn using Rafflecopter's Random Number Generator. All entries will be verified, so play fair! I will notify winner via e-mail and they will have 48 hours to reply before I am forced to redraw winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. This contest is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. Thanks for entering, and Good Luck!