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There Was Once A Boy

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There was once a boy.

He was happy and a joy to be around.

He had blondish hair and a smile that was like sunshine.

He loved to play outside.

He was the apple of his mama’s eye.

He adored his mama.

He would run in the grass, and she did her best to catch him.

He was fast.

Sometimes he ran too far ahead of her.

She would say, “Nick, don’t run that far ahead. Stay where I can see you.”

The little boy became a young man.

He was a joy to be around.

He had blondish hair and a smile that was like sunshine.

He still loved to play outside.

Soccer had captured his heart, and there was no stopping him.

He loved his dog and Florida State football.

He was still the apple of his mama’s eye.

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He loved his mama, but naturally, he began to push boundaries.

He was smart as a whip.

Sometimes he found himself bored in school because his mind was always racing ahead.

He was well-liked by his classmates.

He was a handsome young man with many friends.

In high school, he especially loved his Spanish class.

“Come on, Miss. Silva,” he’d say when he did not do his homework.

“Nick, I can’t give you points if you don’t do the work.”

He would flash his big, friendly smile. “Please, Miss. Silva, help me out.”

He soaked up everything about my Spanish class, and his mind was always running.

“How do I say ______ in Spanish, Miss. Silva?”

He wanted to live in Mexico or Spain.

He didn’t always do his homework.

He always told me that he could pass the test without doing his homework.

He was right.

He was in love with the Spanish language.

When his brother was getting married in Mexico, he was thrilled.

“Miss. Silva, I get to go to Mexico! I cannot wait!”

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I remember when he graduated.

He brought me a note.

“Miss. Silva, I am sorry for interrupting your class so much.”

The note was long, but that line, in particular, stood out.

“Nick, you interrupted my class so much because your mind was always ahead. You’re always running somewhere ahead. Remember, you have to slow down, moments are fleeting.”

That was my advice to a high school graduating senior.

He gave me a sly smile, “I know, Miss. Silva. I know. I’ll come by and visit you, OK?”

I gave him a hug and never saw him again.

Life took me to Texas, and he started college.

He remained the apple of his mama’s eye.

He would run in the grass, and she did her best to catch him.

He was fast.

Sometimes he ran too far ahead of her.

She would say, “Nick, don’t run that far ahead. Stay where I can see you.”

Two years later, I was scrolling Facebook on a cold day in January.

I saw a status update, “RIP Nick.”

My heart sank in a million pieces.

“It cannot be.”

I told my husband, “I think one of my former students died in a car accident.”

What else could it be?

I called another former student that was his friend.

“Hi. What happened to Nick?”

I bellowed a scream from deep within my soul.

My husband came running in as I crashed to the floor.

“No, please, no.” The sobs came in waves.

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The boy with a smile like sunshine was gone.

I could envision his smile.

His over the top confidence.

His “swagger” as they say.

He was gone, and I did not understand it.

He had everything going for him.

He also had inner demons.

Turmoil that no one could understand.

Heartache that no one could reach.

No one saw it coming.

No one could see it coming.

We assumed the boy with the golden smile was fine.

He will forever be the apple of his mama’s eye.

He adored his mama.

He would run in the grass, and she did her best to catch him.

He was fast.

Sometimes he ran too far ahead of her.

She would say, “Nick, don’t run that far ahead. Stay where I can see you.”

This time, he kept running, and he did not stop.

She sees him now in her dreams.

In memory of Nicholas “Nick” Condon.

January 15, 1993 – January 23, 2012.

If you knew Nick, you know that he would want to help others that find themselves lost. Nick was always willing to help someone in need. Please share this in his memory. Let's raise awareness about mental health, spread kindness and give grace in his memory.

If you know someone that needs help, Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones: the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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