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Saturday, July 26, 2014


I'm glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter.

{July 2010}They remember.
 It has been four years since Nate left earth. My friend Nate was 20 when his heart stopped.

I wrote about how he inspired me as a teacher here -- the day before he died, completely oblivious to what the next 24 hours would hold.

I wrote about it raw here.

I wrote about how he impacts the way I parent here.

I wrote about how he influences me as a writer here.

I used to worry that Nate would be forgotten. As time marches and the world turns, people would forget. I worried about my kids forgetting. I worried about the community forgetting. I worried about me forgetting.

It was a ridiculous worry.Nate lived life too big to be forgotten.

Yesterday, in the pool, Hannah worked on her stroke. She bobbed up from the lap, lifted her goggles, and said, "Was that better?"

"Absolutely. How did you figure out what to change?"

Hannah wiped water from her nose. "I thought about the things Nate used to say to me. I remember his voice when I'm underwater. Sometimes it's almost like he's there whispering to me."

Then there are times when Sam changes a name to make it boyish. Jordan-rita or Dad-rina will be called throughout the house, followed by a little chuckle. If you call Sam, Samantha in return you will be rewarded with an all out laugh. Then a breath of silence. In that moment, his voice rings true, "I miss Nate-ella."

He remembers the way Nate teased him.

Stephanie points to the picture on our fridge of Nate the day before he died. It's one of those shots that is so Nate. His telltale smirk and his relaxed attitude.  It's smudged from small fingers, but I don't ever tell them hands off.  Steph says to Jay, "You would have really liked Nate. He teased us. He was always taking my doll and then I'd chase him. He liked that."

"Who was he?" Jay asked.

"Well, he started as Mom and Dad's friend, but he liked us so much he became our friend too. Nate liked me even if I threw a fit."

It's impossible to forget someone who makes you feel special. Nate was there in the most difficult years of my life. He'd show up and play in the yard with the kids. He'd park his Camaro at the bottom of our icy driveway and bound up the front yard through snow drifts. He'd open the door, calling, "I couldn't make it up the Driveway of Death." Then he'd settle into his spot on the end of the green couch and pop the recliner.

I close my computer screen.
Andy mutes the game.
Nate tells another story.
Laughter nourishes my fragile soul.

The memories cut sharp, but story is always worthy of a celebration.


  1. This is a beautiful celebration Ruth. And a wonderful reminder for me to celebrate the people like Nate in my own life.
    I may be missing something, but I can't find the add your link button at the bottom of your post today.

  2. So touched by your story of Nate. What a gift. I am sure you must question why he was taken so young.
    I am putting my link in the comments since I can't find a link up button. Celebrating my trip to the Pacific Northwest with images from Bainbridge Island.

  3. Ruth, Nate was such a beautiful person. I never met him, but your words about him always move me to tears, even while I laugh. Those people are never forgotten, but I'm so sorry he left too soon. Sending you hugs.

    And my link is here:

  4. Your words keep Nate close by. What an awesome person to be a part of your life, even though it was too short of time.

  5. Ruth,
    I hadn't read any of those posts about Nate, but I had to. What a wonderful person, and what lessons he taught. Thanks for sharing him today. He will stay in my heart.

    Here's my link:

  6. Here is my link

  7. Beautiful and touching. Sometimes it's so hard to remember a loved one because of how much we end up missing them but it's also a blessing to have those memories to cherish!

  8. Wow! What an incredible celebration and remembrance. Thank you for sharing.
    Here is my link:

  9. Thank you for sharing Nate with us. What a wonderful celebration of love.

    Here's my link:

  10. Thank you for sharing your story about Nate. Here's my link:

  11. Nate's story will always be celebrated. This is a beautiful celebration.

  12. Ruth. Just so special. Thank you for sharing with all of us. I am teary but smiling. My link is here:

  13. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story...and for letting us celebrate with you. How lucky you were to have known Nate!

  14. Such a beautiful story. I read it, cried and immediately sent the link to my dear friend, Stevi, whose forty year old son, Dean, died of brain cancer a couple of weeks ago. Thank you!

  15. Read this post while sitting at Cascadilla Falls. What a blessing Nate was to your family, and I'm sure to many others.
    Here's my link -

  16. Your words bring Nate back to life. He lives on through the memories and through the pieces of him that have made their way into the hearts of those he loved. I came across a mantra today that made me think of you and might be just right for this post about Nate, too: " Let nothing go uncelebrated."

  17. Wow, such wonderful words that share your love for Nate and bring him to life again for readers like me. Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart!

  18. Such a heartfelt, tearful celebration, Ruth! I understand your desire to preserve Nate's memory! I'm glad you have such a supportive community to share it with!

    My celebration is on early writing literacy:

  19. Hi, here is my link. I will be back by on Monday evening to comment and visit other sites. I am on vacation in Charleston and in a hurry tonight. :)


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