Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy Birthday!

20 years ago today, tonight actually, Nick was born! What a journey he has been through and what a journey he has yet to come!

While he is out skiing today up at Deer Valley (he said he had to work but I'm thinking not too much), I wanted to take some time to praise his latest achievements.

He has signed up for triatholon training up at the U of U second semester and has done swimming and cycling this week. His description of the swimming class prompted some serious belly laughs as he was so exhausted at the end of class, he had to float toward the steps of the pool and roll out. Turns out the below-the-knee board shorts are not the best to wear for swimming laps. Here come the Speedos! YouTube posting to follow - jk, Nick :) We bought him some new protein that has a whoppin 1,500 calories per shake! He is finally back to pre-"C" weight!

I recently gave a talk in our church about the power of prayer. So many people state they have prayed for Nick and are happy for his remission, but rarely do people know just how miraculous Nick's healing is. What a blessing to see how prayers said throughout the world can impact someone. Nick was invited to speak last weekend and he did a fantastic job. His topic was persevering through trials. When he was preparing his talk, he would write a few paragraphs and ask me to read it. I honestly thought he was writing what he felt people wanted to hear.

He had everyone’s undivided attention from the very beginning. His voice began to shake after the first paragraph. After the second paragraph, he paused for about 20 seconds, trying to regain his composure, but his tears poured out for the remaining talk, especially when he talked about spirituality and when giving thanks to those that helped him. As Nick was at the podium, halfway through he was thanking each family member by name, and said “Mom,” at the beginning of the list, and then again at the end, but he couldn’t speak anymore and finally gave up and said, “Mom, I love you.” As tears streamed and I was about to burst into open sobs, Lee made this very loud and odd noise as he was trying to stifle his own emotions, and thus lightened up our row and uncontrollable giggles surfaced. Nick got chuckles when he said, “Go Utes” and every time he said “Calculus”, which is definately a trial in and of itself.

Then the next speaker got up and he was also emotional for the first 10 minutes of his talk. He also expressed his profound gratitude for Nick’s influence in his life. I could’ve hugged him when he stated, “It doesn’t matter what religion or faith you come from, all prayers are heard and we are all here to help one another…”

At home, we talked about our feelings as we listened to Nick. Carly said, “Nick, did you know you were going to get emotional? We could’ve used a head up, buddy!” Nick said he knew he was in trouble the first time he said the word “cancer”. It was downhill after that. Even after he sat down, he continued to let the tears roll. He said he needed to go outside and just release it while it had momentum. My goodness, we laughed hard as he replayed his feelings with animation.

This is significant as Nick only cried once with me during this entire ordeal, and that was when he was at his absolute lowest point - feeding tube in his nose, bleeding sores in his mouth and throat from the chemo, severe mucusitis from the radiation, weight at 124 pounds, couldn't eat, swallow, speak and barely walk. I had checked on him as he slept on the couch, too weak to go to his own bed. As I passed by, he whispered for me, asking if I would pray with him. He has had so much to let go since then. He was able to purge many of those feelings inside and began to heal his soul, too. It was a very profound moment for me, helping me, too, release some of the lingering fear that is never quite gone.

With joy and gratitude that my baby boy is healthy and happy,
His 20th year of life is going to be a great one!


Lori said...

Nick.. I hope you had the best birthday. Skiing for the day sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate..
Lori, Shawn, Ashley and Ryan

akparamedic said...

Oh man, just reading about it had me bawling. Happy Birthday Nick, you da man!


Obsessedwithlife said...

Happy belated bday! and congrats on the speech!

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Lori and Nick,
I would have enjoyed hearing both of your testimonies. If Nick gave his talk on Sunday - January 11th - Stan and I were sitting on the Temple Mount steps in Jerusalem enjoying a church service led by our own Pastor Don. I often wonder why God loves us - so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross. Especially when I see "Out of the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and speaking evil of others" Matthew 15:19 in our world, community, home, ourselves. Then I read this latest posting, see the words "Mom, I love you" and rejoice with God. We humans can shine.
May God bless Nick and all those who he loves in the coming year.
In Christ's love, aunt Chris