Seven is the world's favorite number. 7 days of the week, 7 colors in the rainbow, 7 continents, 7 seas and even 7 notes on a music scale. The world loves 7. I do not.
“Fearless” Nicholas ended his battle with leukemia and all of its complications today, unfortunately for us, it is not the ending we had all prayed and hoped for. Nicholas was able to remain comfortable throughout this last fight. His lung disease, however, progressed at a very rapid pace. He was not able to overcome his Graft vs Host disease. Finally, finally he will not suffer anymore. We that loved him and knew him so well understand his abundant love for life and for living. He taught us so much. We are such better people for having his bright light in our lives! We pray that God’s peace and love is with all of you. We are truly blessed for every day we had Nicholas with us. Nicholas now walks a path beside Jesus- He is victorious after all.
I wrote this 7 years ago...in some ways I feel as if I was more positive and accepting at that point in time than I am today. It's difficult to show positivity and cheer today. Today, on this day now for 6 years I have allowed myself to do nothing more than just be. I don't make big plans, I did for a few years, but it was difficult and it filled us with trepidation. I don't engage in a lot of activity, I don't place myself in any type of social situation, I don't allow myself to feel obligated to anyone or anything and I do so guilt-free. June 29 belongs to Nicholas.
Every day of the year I remember my Nicholas, but on the 29th of June I pause from existing in a parallel universe where I walk in the past with Nick and the present/future with the rest of my family and I allow myself the freedom to put him first above all other responsibilities. Although those who haven't walked in my shoes may be quick to question my choices, rather than feel the need to explain, I simply hold them away at a safe distance. No one will have the power to deny me this time to be Nicholas' mom.
The past 7 years have brought some tremendous changes our way. The oldest of our clan finished high school, went to college, technical school and entered the working world. Feeling unfulfilled he joined the armed forces. He also married the love of his life. Child #3 finished middle school, ventured to a brand new high school to search for peace of mind and solace of the heart, graduated and moved through a successful first year of college. Child #4 closed out the Kovaleski years in elementary school, middle school and is now eagerly embracing his senior year. The younger two have surpassed the age Nicholas lived to be. All 3 have turned 16, learned to drive and gotten their driver's licenses. We've had proms, graduations, recitals, religious sacraments, school musicals, band and chorus concerts, holidays and birthday parties and of course a marriage all without their brother beside them.
That doesn't even take into account the day-to-day interactions we've missed, the bickering we didn't miss, but wish we had had, the being here and being with us that we took for granted and assumed we'd have. The loss is too big. Not only was Nicholas' life taken from us, but the present and future for each of us was stolen to some degree. We are getting used to the day to day missing Nick, but those special moments are still difficult to handle. We still look at 3 children where 4 used to be.
Thank God for child #1, #3 and #4. Every moment of every day that they depended on us to continue to be their parent and BE present. THAT was our saving GRACE. THEY gave us purpose. “The most precious gift we can offer (our children) is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
Lucky number 7 is not so lucky in this case. It's just 7. 7 too many. We are thankful for the grace and blessings God has given us during these 7 years, however; if we could have our Nicky with us, we'd much prefer that instead.
I hope you're keeping an eye on us, Nicholas and that we are making you proud...