My little brother Nick was a true beauty. He was kind and caring, especially towards his wife, in which he had found his heart’s soul mate, and his two incredibly amazing kids.
As I went through all of the photos to prepare the slideshow for today, the one thing that struck me the most was the deep and pure love in his eyes when he looked at Charissa or Grayson or Sefryn. Nick was incredibly blessed to have found such a loving and supportive partner that he meshed so perfectly with and then to have these children who make me wish that my own will be anything near as phenomenal.
I have many good friends, but Nick was my best. Of course, as brothers, we did not always see eye to eye. But that was mostly because he was 2 inches shorter than me! We shared so many life experiences. Growing up on an isolated farm, for better or worse, you are in it together. And our favourite things to get in were firstly playing in the nice cool grain bins that were pretty much a thousand times better than a plain old sandbox – unless of course they were filled with itchy barley, and secondly running the water hose into the garden until it became the proper consistency for mud wrestling.
We also loved to snowboard together, and would spend hours hiking up and down the little hills around our farm trying to perfect the tiny little jumps we’d do – though of course we were both convinced they were world class at the time. Yes, we both shared a deep passion for board sports, which began with snowboarding around 1990 and then progressed to wakeboarding and longboarding. Nick and I spent many hours together on ski trips, or ripping around Pasqua Lake in a sketchy old boat. It was a true testament to the fact it does not take money to be happy. I swear those calm summer evenings on that lake, wakeboarding on the glassy water and drinking a few beer, were the best time of our lives until we met our spouses. Of course, hiking into Fish Bowl at Fernie and snowboarding virgin powder while jumping off bent over pine trees is a close second.
What I realise in hindsight is that I would always think about how much I loved wakeboarding or snowboarding, but in reality, what really I loved were those times with my brother.
I had no idea that losing Nick would leave me feeling so incredibly broken. Or what a significant role he played in our family. I do not know how we will go on, but I do know that I care deeply for his wife Charissa, his children Sefryn and Grayson, and for my mother Jeanne and father Rod. I love my family.
The sad fact is, the song is true – you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. And I didn’t know that Nick was such a huge part of my heart, until that part disappeared. I will always love him and cherish the many, many wonderful memories. And I will do everything in my power to provide the love and support for Charissa, Grayson and Sefryn that I know he would have done for my wife, Sarah, had this situation been reversed.
Good-bye Nick. I love you more than words can express.