Today we received a card and letter from friends. The card and letter filled my eyes with tears but also brought a smile to my face. Thank you, Dan, for sharing your memory of Nate. I’d like to share the letter with you all so you see another little piece of this little boy we loved.
Justin & Katie
I wanted to take a moment to express my deepest sympathy for the two of you. Since the death of Nate I’ve been finding myself welling up at the very moment a thought about that little boy enters in. although words cannot adequately convey it, my heart just breaks for the two of you and for what memories and ties your children had to Nate as well. But while I can’t begin to imagine your anguish, and the myriad of life changes, I just wanted to take a moment and share how Nate impacted my life and household in the very brief time that we knew each other.
Sitting in Justin’s office one day I mentioned a plumbing problem and, per usual, he told me not to hire a plumber but that he would come over and take care of the issue. So, on the appointed day, when the knock on our front door signaled his arrival, little did I know that my day was about to be brightened by the presence of a little spitfire named “Nater-Tater.” LOL. I specifically remember beaming at him through the screen door, because while Justin was carrying his 50lb tool bag, clearly, CLEARLY it became obvious that Nate was carrying the more important tool bag – his! And he wanted to make sure that I knew that at our greeting that day! (I’m chuckling now as I relive that memory). And from that moment until the moment the job was complete Nathan did not leave his father’s side. It made a lasting impression on me for several reasons. First, because it was obvious by his wanting to be around his Dad that Nate was being raised in a good home and in a proper way. It was overwhelmingly obvious that he was loved AND that he loved the man (and by extension his mommy) who was raising him. I watched as Justin poured out not only his patience at teaching his son about working and helping others, but underneath that patience I could vividly see the love between a father & son.
The second impression that has really struck a strong chord in me was the somewhat funny exchange that Nate & I had that day. And as I’ve thought about this quick exchange over the past week or so, ESPECIALLY after now knowing the type of little guy that he was, it has brought some laughter to me in the midst of the pain I feel over his death. Let me explain this little exchange we had: it occurred while the three of us were in the bathroom working on the plumbing. Justin had asked Nathan to hand him a tool but needed to describe what it looked like because it was inside the tool bag and wasn’t a “normal” tool. I happened to be right next to the tool bag at the time and saw the tool, but in the time that Nate was given the instruction, to the time his little hand entered that bag, HE SHOT ME A LOOK that conveyed, “Hey man, don’t you even THINK about touching that bag. My dad told ME to get that tool, not YOU!” Hahahaha. It really was THAT strong of a look… I’ll be honest: I was a little intimidated at that moment!!! LOL… Seriously, though, as I recalled that moment and had a laugh to myself, I couldn’t help but think how that tiny moment shone a light on a little boy with a HUGE personality. So when Justin was giving the eulogy and spoke of Nate’s “bigness,” my mind couldn’t help but be transported for a moment back into the bathroom that day and the look on that boy’s face = priceless!
I just would like the two of you to know how utterly inspiring both Nathan’s life as well as his death have been to not only my family, but I know other people’s as well. We aren’t provided the exact amount of days that God allows each person – great or small, and we aren’t given answers most of the time when the hardest of circumstances like this arise, we’re only given hope and reassurance of our eternal future. I’m not writing anything that the two of you don’t know already. So I will end this letter by saying my continued prayers for your family is that as you continue anchoring yourself onto our
Savior – who IS our only hope in this broken world, that your days be filled with not only peace & comfort, but the assurance that joy will be yours once more, fully restored. Nate brought me joy on the day we spent together, and I felt truly blessed to have known him.
Nate helping Daddy build our garden 2 years ago.