I drove back to Calgary yesterday, and it was emotional, to say the least. I was home in Medicine Hat for just under two weeks, and I knew going back to Calgary was inevitable. Medicine Hat is home to me, and Calgary is, well, it was a place I decided to venture out to in hopes to find something more.
I met Nick right after I moved to Calgary, something more happened much faster than I ever expected. My whole drive home I was thinking about the day, I moved to Calgary. I was 27 years old, I owned my own house (and a rental property), had a pretty established career, an amazing family, and tons of friends; I decided to pack my shit and take a chance. I was terrified, but so excited.
My entire Calgary experience has involved Nick. Calgary has never been home for me, or for Nick, but we were together, and that was comforting enough for both of us in this big city. We knew we wouldn’t be here forever, and we wanted to find a “home” somewhere together, but for now, as long as we had each other, it felt okay.
Driving back yesterday, by myself, was far more painful than I expected. Most times when I am driving back, it’s either with Nick, or I am excited because I am going to get to see him after being away. This time, I wasn’t going to get to see him. This time, I was going to be walking into an empty house, and it hit me. It was like I was driving into Calgary for the very first time. I was terrified.
I met up with a girl yesterday for dinner who knew Nick very well. She loved Nick, and so did her family. She and I shared stories of Nick and talked about how both of our families adored him. This was all Nick ever wanted. I could tell in the way she spoke about her memories of Nick, she genuinely loved him and appreciated all things about him. Hearing her talk about Nick, made me so happy.
She told me about a day shortly after Nick died; she described it as a pretty bad day. She was driving through B.C and decided to stop in Quartz to take a breath, have a cigar, and say hello to Nick. For those who may not know, Quartz was where Nick died. She said three snowmobilers were staging up nearby, and they just kept looking over at her. One of them eventually walked over and asked her if she was lost. She told the guy, no I am not lost, my friend died here recently, and I just wanted to stop and say hello. “The firefighter?” he asked. (Some people thought he was a firefighter because of the media, but he was a fire mechanic with CFD, which is also super cool) She replied, “ya.” The guy said, “we just finished having a beer for him, we didn’t know him, but he was one of us.” She said, “well Nick preferred twisted teas.” The guy said “next time we will be sure to have a twisted tea,” he then went on to say, “I thought you were lost, but you are exactly where you should be.”
These stories absolutely touch my heart. So many things in our lives impact others and sometimes we don’t even realize it. The thought of three strangers staging up to go sledding and taking a small moment to say, “hey lets have a beer for that snowmobiler who died here,” that snowmobiler being my Nick; makes me feel so proud of people.
Today was a very rough day for me. I had a dream about Nick last night. We were laying in bed all day. Hugging, kissing, and just loving one another. I sat up and looked at the time, and it was 3:30 pm. I told Nick the time, and he jumped up out of bed. Nick always hated wasting the days away. Nick went into the bathroom which was when I woke up. I can’t even describe in words how much it hurt to wake up thinking Nick was in the bathroom and realizing, he wasn’t. That set the tone for my day.
By 2 pm and almost two boxes of kleenex down I knew I needed to do something to pull myself out of the dark day I was having. I thought what is the one thing that always cheers me up? Well duh, Ellen Degeneres. I started watching youtube videos of the Ellen show and guess what? I may have laughed a little.
One of the interviews I came across was with Charlie Puth. You may be asking, “who is Charlie Puth?” Sorry Charlie Puth if for some crazy random weird way you somehow ever read this blog, I have to admit, I didn’t know who you were. For those of you who also don’t know Charlie Puth, he is the person who wrote the song “See you again.” So of course after I watched this Ellen interview there were other related videos of Charlie Puth and this amazing song. I came across a video of Ryan Seacrest interviewing Charlie Puth about the making of this song.
Now for those of you who know me know that I have always loved music, and it feeds my soul in both good and bad times. Nick very much knew this and sometimes I felt sorry for him when I found a song that just hit my heart. I would either make him listen to it 60 million times, and I mean “really” listen to it, or I would try to learn it on the piano.
Listening to Charlie Puth explain to Ryan Seacrest about the making of this song made me love and appreciate this song even more. He was asked to write a song for the end of Fast and the Furious and said it would be a tribute to Paul Walker. In this interview, he said he didn’t know Paul Walker personally, but he had a friend who died in a car accident and he was able to channel that energy to write this song. Charlie Puth talked about getting shivers when he first heard himself sing the chorus that he had just come up with. He said it took him ten minutes to write the song. Just simply knowing this fact about this song makes me hear and feel this song more than I ever did before. The one thing Charlie Puth didn’t explain in this interview but I read in another interview was that his friend that had died told him he was going to have a number one single some day. He went on to say, every time he performs this song, he moves over on the piano bench so his friend’s spirit can sit next to him.
I am tearing up while I type this because hearing an artist talk about how a number one hit that he wrote came from such a painful experience, brings me hope. Not to mention, this song was one that Nick could barely listen to because it made him too emotional to think about Paul Walker’s death. I can still hear him saying, “turn it off, turn it off.” Nick, if you are listening, when I hear this song it makes me feel excited. Excited to share my journey with you when I see you again. I don’t know what my journey is going to look like yet, but I promise you, I will tell you everything.
So I go back to how sometimes things in our life impact others and we don’t even know it. This song and the story behind it made my dark day a little less scary. I can assure you, Charlie Puth is not aware of that. I felt less alone, and I was reminded that there is pain all over the world and that sometimes beautiful things can come out of our worst experiences. This song is a perfect example of this.
So tonight I will go to bed feeling somewhat okay. I don’t know if I will have dreams or nightmares, and tomorrow might be just as dark. I will embrace every feeling I have through this journey because like I have said before, all of this pain is a result of how much I loved my sweet Nick. I know that when I see him again, he will hug me, and he will say, Babe, I am so proud you.
Ps. the picture I attached to this blog is one that will always remind of the last time I saw Nick. As he was driving away from our house, he looked out the window just like this picture, and he waved. I remember thinking that was just like out of a movie. I didn’t realize it at the time but my heart knew at that moment I wasn’t going to see him again.