I had thought this day would never happen. My fingers can barely pick at the jumble of letters I must try to arrange into thoughts and words.
Today is Nick’s birthday.
Late afternoon on Tues, September 14, after a few months of struggle, Nick lost the battle. He left peacefully holding our hands, but – oh it’s going to be so hard. We all were there. Our hospital gowns were sodden. I kept calling his name. I so miss him already.
Chemotherapy wiped out his immune system leaving him with an infection that could not be eradicated and the Lymphoma was just too extensive- and all those shared stories and memories are now mine alone. How will I tell them Nick, without your unique perspective and crazy accent? I’m angry at God and the universe, I want to rewind the tape. I want to hold you again. I want you to call my name.
Nick was born in Athens Greece. He started out in the merchant marine in his late teens and then moved to Canada. After much hardship of working as a janitor, he went to cooking school. The rest is history. His restaurant became a great gathering place for many years and everyone loved his cuisine from kebabs to pizza, He had a Celtic soul because he loved the Emerald Isle and the misty highlands of Scotland. He made a mean Irish stew with soda bread and Bailey’ s cheesecake. Everyone loved his fabulous meals, his deadpan jokes and warmth- and oh the stories!
I really thought he’d pull through this and we’d be together traveling for many more years. He was my life through good and bad and his humour kept us going. I bet a lot of people didn’t know he was a drummer and played in a band long ago which is why he enjoyed my brother Dean’s music. He loved my mom and dad and at every celebration his touch was in Mom’s kitchen (with her permission of course!)
His music was eclectic, from Opera to rock, and traditional Greek and Celtic music. Our travels were wonderful whether to the misty Isles or to Mexico or to Peter and Becky’s place in Penticton, not to mention our fossil runs to Courtney.
I kept begging him to fight and after a few days in ICU he wanted to come home. The last words he heard from me before they intubated him and placed him in a coma. were- don’t worry, I’m right here and then we both said, I love you. . And now he isn’t here or maybe he is behind me, or in the garden. The veil feels very thin. I can’t imagine the rest of my life right now.
You squeezed my hand as I spoke to you and you left quietly with a tear and a sigh. You are off traveling again but for now I cannot go and so my darling
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. Till we meet again God Speed, a chuisle mo chroí and Agapemou,
Hold those you love close, every day!
-Wait! We are still driving the coast of Kerry and stopping at Paddy O’ She’s Pub for refreshment and music before heading on. Or you might find us at Greyfriars Bobby’s pub in Edinburgh. How Nick loved that story!