I went to my Naturopath today to go over my blood work I had done almost two months ago. He told me today I have amazing genetics and that some people would pay good money for my genetics. Thanks, Doc. I was secretly hoping he would diagnose me with some untreatable disease with a max life expectancy of a year. So I left there thinking great, I still need to figure out how to get through this mess.
I spent the evening with my Dad and two of Nick’s closest friends, and I call them Nick’s closest friends, but the truth is they have become two of my closest friends. All of Nick’s friends have literally adopted me, and I can not be more grateful.
Right now it’s 23:43hrs and I am laying in bed listening to songs that are making me have the most intense ugly cries. Thank god my Dad is sound asleep. I know this because I can hear him snoring all the way down the hall. Grief is such a weird thing. Right now I am listening to music, and it is making me reflect on the last week I had with Nick and although I am ugly crying, I am finding such solace in listening to some of the last songs Nick and I had heard the week before we said our last good bye.
On February 12th I went to Johnny Reid in Medicine Hat with my friend Sandy. For anyone who hasn’t gone to see Johnny Reid live, I order you to. Even if you aren’t a country fan, and you don’t think you are a Johnny Reid fan, I am telling you when you leave you will love him. Johnny Reid is an amazing human and both times I have seen him live I have been so incredibly impressed with the person that he is.
Johnny Reid sang a song called “What love is all about.” While he was singing this, my heart just pounded. This song instantly hit home with me, and it reminded me of a conversation Nick, and I often had. I sent him a text as soon as I got back to my parents and said you have to download this song. I said, “you know how we always talk about that my Aunt and your Grandparents met in heaven and decided to set us up?”. Nick said, “ya” and I said, “you have to listen to this song, it reminds me of that.” Nick said okay I will download it when I get home. I said, “Nick you have to listen to the words.”
The next day when I got back to Calgary Nick, and I headed out with the dogs to Elbow Falls. I made him listen to the song over and over and said, “I just love this song, this is how I feel about you.” Nick said he liked it too but still really loved our song by Dierks Bentley. So I made him listen to them both back and forth about three times so we could be sure about what our wedding song would be. Dierks Bentley, you won Nick’s vote but Johnny you are still amazing. I realized it wasn’t my Aunt and his Grandparents doing at all, it was God. God sent Nick here to show me what love was all about, and that is indeed what he did.
Another song Johnny Reid sang was “Picture of you.” He told the audience the story behind this song. He said he was having some tea one day, and when he was walking down his hallway, he was stopped by a picture of his Grandmother on the wall. He began just to stare at all the pictures which inspired him to write this song. When he sang it, I remember feeling so sad and so happy all at the same time. I thought what a beautiful song about memories we have of our loved ones. I listened to it about 18 times tonight and I am probably going to cover every wall in my house with pictures of Nick’s beautiful face just looking at me with a smile. Rian when you are ready you can stare at my walls with me.
Johnny Reid wasn’t the only country artist who was a part of mine and Nick’s lives that week. The last night I spent with Nick was at the Brad Paisley concert as I have shared before. This concert was the longest concert I had ever been too, Brad Paisley just kept singing and singing and singing. Normally Nick would be panicking because it was getting late and he had to be up early for work but he wasn’t, we just enjoyed our time together. Nick and I had such an amazing time and threw our arms around each other and swayed back and forth to some of the love songs. “Then” was one of them. Nick and I had a perfect relationship but it wasn’t always easy. I remember within three weeks of dating Nick I thought I loved him and he told me the same thing but boy did our love grow. To be honest, I thought I loved Nick more than ever the day he left to go sledding. I remember thinking “God I love this man and I don’t know if I will be able to go a week without seeing him.” When I read the text messages where Nick and I were talking about how we hadn’t been apart for a week before, and how hard it was going to be, it just makes me cry. I would give anything to go back to that feeling and I would have just sucked it up. God, we didn’t need to be tested. We get it; a week isn’t that long.
I have never loved Nick more than I do now. They always say “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and I am telling you “they” weren’t lying. I miss Nick more and more every minute of every day and I would give anything to go back to that week leading up to his death. Nick was more alive and happy the week before he died than I had ever seen him before. I am not the only one who felt this and his friends and I often share the different things he said and did that week that just makes us wonder “was it really his time after all?” That saying doesn’t always make me feel better and some days I want to punch people who say it but so many things happened that week that makes me truly wonder.
When Brad Paisley sang “She’s Everything” Nick and I just looked at each other throughout the song and laughed, and somehow that is the exact song the girls chose for the slide show. For the record, I didn’t tell them what music to use. Nick loved that I was not so much a girly girl but would be when I had to. Nick loved that I was sassy and loved that he could tell me how it is without having to worry about my feelings getting hurt. Nick knew when I needed to be put in my place and he would, but he would always follow it up by making sure I still knew he loved me. Nick didn’t care that I drank beer and he drank girly drinks, Nick didn’t care that I wear a hat 95% of the time and Nick didn’t care when I wanted to wear track pants out to dinner and a movie. Okay, I am lying now, Nick did care about that, in fact, one night we were going out for a date night and I came out of the closet wearing Adidas track pants and a comfy t-shirt. Nick said “seriously.” I said,”What? It’s comfy.” I loved Nick, so I changed into something a little more appealing.
There were so many songs we had heard the week before Nick died that related to our relationship. Country music artist truly have no idea the impact they make in people’s lives during the good and the bad times. I know I keep preaching country music but honestly, these are the songs that make me feel Nick’s presence the most. I feel him right now as I listen to Brad Paisley.
The last song that I happened to see on my phone tonight was Thomas Rhett’s “Die a happy man”, and the day after we got engaged we played this song over and over and kept saying “yup last night was hands down one of the best nights that I’ve had no doubt.” Over the last few months, Nick would play this song before bed.
I am so grateful that I never held back how I felt about Nick and he was never afraid to tell me how he felt, because although this is so tragic and my heart breaks, I know that Nick died a happy man.
P.S even if you don’t love country music, have a listen to some of these songs that I have shared because they share a story of mine and Nick’s last week together.