Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nicolas, my "grandson" of the heart,

Nick is getting his first car today!!

Nicolas and I first met when he was two years old and a patient at Doernbecker Hospital. He was in ICU with a trachea, a halo, a feeding tube and two of the brownest eyes I have ever seen. I visited him three times a week for months. He was a chubby, adorable little boy and he had been in a terrible auto accident. His mommie had died from leukemia, three weeks before the accident. It was the saddest thing I had ever heard about...and so I volunteered. Nick had months of rehab, learning how to live with his disabilities, and moving forward. I was with him through all of this as his daddy had to work. I loved him more each time I was with him.
In rehab at Shriners, which went on for years!

When it was time to discharge from the rehab hospital, his dad asked me to stay in their lives and I was thrilled. I just became "grandma joan" over the months and years that followed.
Nick on my back patio "fishing".
I spent at least 3 or 4 days a
week with him--either at my
house, or his, and to one of
his endless doctor or rehab

Today, he is thrilled beyond belief! He is now 17, a straight A student, and hopefully heading to U of O for architecture study after he graduates in the spring of 09! He is an amazing young man!

Next week his car will go for special hand controls adaptation, for you see, Nick was left a tri-plegic after all the healing was done. He does walk with crutches, but it is very laborious for him, so he prefers his wheelchair.

When Nick was five his dad remarried and his new mom adopted him, as well as his older brother, Charles (who is another story) There was a new little brother born into the family who is adored by his two older brothers.
Nicolas, Charles, Paul--Christmas 2007
When Nick was 10, his darling daddy, who had become like another son to me, was instantly killed in a head on crash on a beautiful, sunny Oregon spring morning. What a shock it was. We all reeled from that loss for months and months. Nick was forlorn, depressed and in such deep grief, that it was hard to know how to help him. I loved him and prayed a lot. My own thoughts were in turmoil and I was full of questions for God...i finally came to the fact that we live in an imperfect world where accidents happen and while God does not plan these things, he allows them in our lives, hopefully for His ultimate glory. It does take a long time to process all of that after a terrible tragedy.

As Nick matured, he was quietly resistant to the call from God placed upon his heart. He has been active in Young Life, has gone to their camps and loved every minute, but still refused to make that commitment to the Lord. I am thrilled to say that last fall Nicolas gave his life completely to Christ when he experienced the rebirth of his soul by asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come into his life.

I wrote about Nick today because this is such an important day for him--getting his own car and then learning to drive. He says he will drive himself to see me--I'm looking forward to that day!! He comes to see me and spends week-ends here when he can, but being able to drive himself will be a marvelous milestone for him.

Nick, if you are reading this, I love you, sweet boy. I've loved you since the day I first laid eyes on you. Of course you know that. I hope you are okay with me sharing some of your story. I think it is an amazing one and I am sooooo thrilled for you that you are going to be driving!!

gramma joan
Nick, taken last week--age 17


Anonymous said...

Very nice!!

Senorita Kassey said...

Aunt Joan- You just made me cry! What a beautiful occasion to celebrate!

Anonymous said...

I love you too, Gramma Joan! Thank you for posting this. See if you can find out how to post pictures, I am a pretty handsome guy... ;)


scrappy jen d said...

Dearest Joan, the story of Nicholas really touched my heart!
How much greeve a child can heve?
It's is God's miracle that YOU were there for him!
It has to be this way and boy, I can amagine HOW MUCH YOU LOVE each other!
I both admire you!
Nicholas: YOU LOOK GREAT AND I THINK A GREAT DEAL OF YOU AND GRANDMA JOAN....She must be an angel .......
Bye, Jen.