Nicki’s Grandpa died about 20 minutes ago. He has been battling prostate cancer for the past several years but died at home among friends and family.
When Nicki and I started dating it was kicked off with the standard stuff: attraction. typically the guy is more attracted to the girl and pursues. Nicki facilitated this whole process by actively running away and thought for a period of time I might be a serial killer…great story for later. As time went by however I knew there was something different about Nicki. She had this interesting balance of stubborness, humility, intelligence and humor that was unique and played a big part in me falling in love with her. I thought to myself “Where does a girl like this come from?” Those of you in the know will realize the literal answer “Red Bluff” is both ironic and inadequate. When I met Nicki’s Dad, Gary i understood better why Nicki is who she is. Gary has many of Nicki’s traits and is one of the most solid Men I’ve ever met. Unfortunately I never met Nicki’s mom, Candy, but I’ve heard stories and seen old family video. She was a trickster with a never ending stream of sarcasm, questions and snappy quips. I was seeing more of where my wife came from. When I met the rest of Nicki’s HUGE family however I was again confused. Although all of these people are unique in every sense of the word, they all had a theme of kindness, humility and humor. Again the question was raised “Where do these people come from?” Finally I met Nicki’s Grandpa, Joe and I finally understood. This Man’s influence was why this was a Great Family.
My greeting and parting with Joe were always the same: A warm hand shake, firm hug and a SINCERE question of “How are YOU? What’s new?”
We were able to spend some time with Joe a few weeks ago. He had the full Hospice kit in his living room including hospital bed and support gear. I showed him some of Nicki’s photos from the Crossfit games and he was quite impressed. I told him “Your Grand Daughter kicks ass!” to which he laughed and agreed. He had a list of questions about our business, what we were up to. He mentioned our recent piece in a national magazine. He showed more interest in ME and what I was doing than I’ve ever received from my family…all while essentially waiting to die. It’s amazing the impact certain people can have on your life.
Joe, you will be dearly missed.