So, here's the deal. I kept meaning to write about something else. I intended to write about the vegan cauliflower-pear-turmeric soup I drastically adapted the other day, the sudden frigid weather and its effect on our garden, or thoughts about art matters. I meant to move on. But in a way, following the obituary I posted last time with any of these other mundane things seemed so superficial that I felt ...paralyzed by it.
Yesterday, on a cold grey day with a little sleet and slush and a warning not to travel if you didn't have to, we drove to Grand Prairie to attend the "Celebration Service" for Nicholas, a bright, vibrant 14 year old whose life ended so unexpectedly. The place was packed. Absolutely filled with people of all ages, but most notably with so many kids, adolescents at that funny in-between age, looking like kids and looking like young men and young women. So young, and they don't realize how young, how new and unformed.
It was a wonderful, and completely non-conventional, service. We were impressed by how nicely the service respected the differing beliefs of all the family and people involved; it was very well done. We all were moved, and moved to tears and to laughter, by the comments and the pictures and short videos appearing on the two screens.
There was no doubt that this boy was loved.
We heard stories and memories of this delightful child from family, teachers and from his young friends and class and teammates. The service really focused on the life of Nicholas Scroggs. However, one of the most moving things in the service was when the man who struck the boy on the highway came up to speak at the request of the family. I so applaud and am in such awe of the spirit and ...I don't know...acceptance and generosity of the Scroggs family in being able to accept this person (who is hurting and questioning too) and wanting him to speak at the service for their child. Really, this absolutely blows me away. What he read at the service were thoughts and questions from a post on his blog.
This afternoon, I picked up my youngest child, 11, at school after choir practice. I was looking at her as we were planning what needed to get done this evening, and opening the Christmas cards from friends and family that I had saved for her to help open. And I was thinking of what Pastor Bart said yesterday and in his blog, about seeing Nick running across the highway, glorious, perfect, an athlete, in those last seconds.
I hope the extended family and loving friends can find comfort in how truly extraordinary their child was and was seen and appreciated by everyone around him, by how many came out that cold day to honor and remember him. And by the thoughts and tributes and memories of all the people who stepped up that icy day to pay tribute to Nicholas.