Rose Kennedy has always been someone I’ve looked towards for inspiration.

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
~ Rose Kennedy

Rose Kennedy has always been someone I’ve looked towards for inspiration.

I’m well aware her family was predominantly known for their political endeavors, but my fondness for

Mrs. Kennedy had absolutely nothing to do with her powerful politically inclined family.

I initially admired her for her strength; long before I knew what it was like to be in that ‘club’ I looked up to her.

I could never begin to imagine how she got through losing her oldest son, Joseph then daughter, Kathleen, followed by the assassination of sons, President John F. Kennedy and subsequent assassination of presidential contender, Robert Kennedy.

I couldn’t imagine because at that time I had not lost a child.

I do not know what sustained her through those awful years. I know she had a tremendous amount of faith and faith is imperative to get through something of this magnitude, but losing four children?

That would be a tragedy no mother or father should be expected to endure.

Today would be Nick’s 24th birthday. It is entirely true what Rose Kennedy once penned.

There are times the pain is just as fresh as if it just happened. There are times I’l be in the middle of a mundane task and it hits me, “I used to have two kids.”

I realize I still have two kids, one just isn’t here.

Going down the rabbit hole imagining what Nick would be like as a 24 year old, grown man, is dangerous for me, but I allow myself to do it once in awhile.

Would he still call me ‘Mommy’?

The emotional side of me says, absolutely he would.

The practical side knows there is no way he would.

Would he wear Scooby Doo boxers still?

Now, there is a really good possibility that would, indeed be the case.

What kind of uncle would he be to Sawyer?

I know, without any trepidation, he would be the most fantastic uncle ever! He and Hannah were best friends; despite how he lovingly teased her ALL THE TIME!

He was ornery, no doubt.

Nick would have loved to hang out with Sawyer!

Sawyer looks and sounds so much like Nick it is certainly a blessing. There is a photo of Nick and me that often confuses people. Most think it is a photo of Sawyer and me.

Once, Hannah showed it to Sawyer and asked him who it was.

He said, “Mommy and me.”

Hannah said, “No, it is Mae-Mae and Uncle Nick.”

Sawyer went about his business for a bit, came back to his mom, looked at the pic again and said, “That’s Mae-Mae and Uncle Nick.”

I know Hannah talks to Sawyer all the time about his uncle. I talk to Sawyer about Uncle Nick. He may not physically be here, but Sawyer will always know he has an Uncle Nick who watches him from above and loves him very much.

Not every year is easier. Some are, some aren’t. It largely depends on other things going on in my life.

Both Hannah and I have spent the time since losing him to work on being better people, more empathetic, decent human beings.

I see on a daily basis how people treat others and it can be downright disgusting or it’s absolutely beautiful and makes me love life.

People are welcome to live their lives however they see fit as far as I’m concerned (as long as it isn’t detrimental to someone else). It’s really not my business, but when so many folks are battling different illnesses, diseases, struggling to get out of bed each day, just trying to stay alive minute by minute, or mourning the loss of loved ones it drives me bananas to see people who have been given a second chance or who are healthy, employed, have a roof over their head, a vehicle to drive and food to eat and they treat more days than not like it’s a piece of garbage as well as the people around them.

There are absolutely times when I’m down in the dumps. Am I negative sometimes? You bet! And, it’s okay, I just cannot allow myself to camp out and live in Negativeville forever.

I’m not afraid to die. I don’t want to do it anytime soon, but I’m not afraid. If Nick can do it, so can I.

I’ve no doubt I will see him again and I’ve no doubt he is with me, his sister and his nephew.

Since it is his birthday, if you want to do a little something to honor his memory do something fun; eat ice cream, come out to the Spook Trail at the Nagel Playground at Lakeland Park hosted by the Canton Park District and Canton High Thespian Club, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Now, that is something Nick definitely would have loved!

If you can’t get out to the Spook Trail, you can always toss a piece of bologna so it sticks on your living room ceiling, but that’s a Nick story for another time!