Last week we held the Nick book launch party in Duvall. We felt great excitement as we prepared to gather with our friends to recognize that my newest book, “Our Time To Dance,” was now available for purchase. We arrived at the venue about 45 minutes before the start time to ready the room. Nick sat near the front of the room at the table we set up for him to be able to sign books when people arrived.
He was so excited. We had helped him over the previous week. We got him a marker that was a little thicker so it was easier to hold, in his favorite color, purple of course. He kept looking at the clock and then queried “When the people be here?” “Who is coming here?”
Finally I heard him exclaim, “Look they here, someone is here!” Sure enough people started to arrive ahead of our starting time. Right away, I noticed a man quickly making a bee-line for the front of the room. Suddenly he stopped. He quickly turned around and looked back at the couple trying to keep up with him. Gesturing towards Nick, he seemed to be asking them to hurry up. Then he continued with his fast walking towards Nick. As he got closer, I noticed that he was doing the same kind of rhythmic finger and hand movements that Nick does when he is excited. I asked Nick who the man was. “From my school.” was the reply.
Almost at the same moment, the woman following him, said, “Michael, please wait for us.” He stopped and waited. And from his body language I could tell that he wanted to come ahead to see Nick. They walked up together. Michael’s parents Jane and Lou introduced themselves to me. While we were talking, I noticed Michael was gesturing towards Nick, and towards the books on the table, touching his moms arm and then back towards Nick, all the while, repeating “Ni, Ni, Ni.” His mom Jane noticed and said, “Oh sorry Michael, you want a book, don’t you?” He nodded and said, “Ni, Ni” pointing to Nick and then to the book cover with Nick’s picture on it. Rocking from side to side, he was waiting, not very patiently waiting, but waiting as we were talking. I handed Jane a signed copy of the book and Michael moved closer, still rocking back and forth. Jane then asked, “Oh, do you want to hold it?” “Yea, Ni, Ni,” was the response and he moved even closer.
As Jane handed Michael the book, he hugged it to his chest, then brought it up in front of his face, looking at the cover and at Nick sitting there, then hugged it close again.
The rest of the evening Michael kept showing everyone he saw that his friend Nick was on the cover of the book. He was so obviously excited, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Michael’s animated loving response toward his friend Nick was so moving and eloquent. Words would have been superfluous.
Having a true friend is a great blessing and although Nick and his friends are not able to say how they feel about one another, it is obvious to anyone who takes the time to notice. They are aware of each others feelings, they are excited for successes and comfort each other when times are hard. I have learned much by observing them. Let’s all commit to look at our friends through the lens of pure love and loyalty. Every person needs that.
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