“In the beginning, the end, I am unique. From that precise moment when I was dragged out of my mother’s womb into this cold world, I was complete… an amalgam of the DNA passed on to me by my mother and father, and they too had been born finished products, with their DNA handed down by their respective parents, and so back ad infinitum. It is clear to me that I was always there, somewhere in my ancestors’ DNA, just waiting to be born. So this unique guy has always existed, even in the mystery of nothingness.”
Taken from the documentary, “Stories We Tell” by Sarah Polley
“>I Will by Matchbox Twenty
If you’d like a preview of the sappy, Hallmark moment I have in my head, click above. Actually, just do it anyway. Humor me and my belief that music heals. When my grandparents passed away in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, it was the whispery Sarah McLachlan who comforted me. When Adam’s cousin passed away a few years ago, it was the warm and raspy voice of Grace Potter sing “Stars”. But in this latest episode of loss and grief, it’s this little acoustic song by a band who is most definitely a part of my teens and twenties soundtrack. And it happened by accident.
It had been a few days after knowing, after crying and asking “why?”, after writing and reading the eulogy, even after tempers flared and mending hearts needed to take a rest, that I came across this song. My group of pals will be seeing Matchbox Twenty in 2 months time, but I thought to keep myself distracted and to motivate myself into de-cluttering our house, music from this band would do just the trick. It did work for a little bit. But as I was Windexing the bathroom mirror, this song, “I Will”, came on. I do not believe I’d ever heard it before, and if I had it was background noise, never to be thought of purposely. I do not think it was an actual single by them, just a B-Side to fill up space between music videos. But, with that simple guitar medley and Rob’s easy voice, I took a moment to hear the words and knew this it. This song is my band-aid, my gift from the universe reminding me that these days are in fact happening, and to remember fondly those bits of life that make it enjoyable.
I did not finish cleaning the bathroom that day. I did not do much else until Adam got home.
Now, being eleven days from the day my Uncle Nick left us, the world is in fact still spinning. We’re closing on a house soon. In thinking of moving, I think of all those who helped us move into where we are now. My Uncle Nick was a big help that day. He was a big help whenever you needed him to be.
Growing up, I saw him the most. Before starting Kindergarten, my dad would drive me to Nunu’s house. Nunu is Maltese for grandma. But she wasn’t my actual grandma. Nunu was my uncle’s wife’s mom. And for that, I saw my Uncle Nick a lot. He’d bring me candy, take me to Toys ‘R Us, and he’d always find a way to make me laugh. He and Nunu would have mini-arguments about the mundane but he was always respectful. When I was in grade school, he’d stop by our house unannounced frequently. I remember dancing with him at his wedding to my Aunt Vicky, my feet right on top of his shoes. He was close to my Papa, my mom’s dad, and when my Papa passed away in the summer of 2001, my Uncle Nick cried and hugged me tightly. I remember when he and my aunt said they were having a baby and I suggested that if it was a girl they NEEDED to name her Alicia (after Alicia Silverstone, because I was 12 and Alicia Silverstone was all that). When my cousin Nicole was born, I remember how he smiled at her. When Nunu passed away, I recall him being quiet, which was so out of character. He was a talker! He liked to joke, to sing, to do anything that gave him attention. I remember at my wedding he was having a great time dancing and celebrating. He loved Adam and thought he was good enough for me. At my cousin Mikey’s graduation party, my Uncle Nick and I had a few shots and when Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” came on, he and I drunkenly danced our hearts out. He knew we were buying a house soon. My mom and I took a drive over to his house about a month ago to see his new kitchen. He offered me a Coke gave me some advice on home ownership and that was the last time I saw him. I did hear his voice the day before he passed away. It was in the background of a phone call I had with my aunt. And now I so desperately wish I could turn back the clock and called their house phone instead of her cell. Then maybe he would have answered. I’d have one more memory, one more joke, one more time hearing him say “Erikaaaaa! What’s up?”. But as is, no such clock exists.
I’m not going to copy/paste his eulogy on here. If you were not there but would like to read it, it will be tucked away behind his portrait which I’ll place on a table with a collection of our friends and family in our new upstairs living room. But even from those words and even in this silly blog post, just know that Nick Danias existed. He’s always existed and always will and I love him.