Today marks the day, 32 years ago, that the Earth shined a little brighter. Woodland Park Hospital had welcomed many babies before this day, but none as special or beautiful as Nicole Marie Waggy.
Her childhood may have been turbulent. She was raised in different homes, by various family members. There wasn't any consistent structure. Scars were formed. In the physical sense just like any other rough and tumble kid growing up in Estacada. But there were other scars...deep ones. Children can and do suffer trauma during their upbringing no matter what. You can't shelter them from absolutely everything. Even wrapping them in bubble wrap won't save them.
She always had a smile. She never let you see her wear down. Her spirit unwavering. You may ask me how I would know because I met her around her 21st birthday. There are home movies from her childhood. She didn't have a lot, but she made the most of it. Her smile only faded when "Nicole face" came out (Ironically, you'll see it when you say "Nicole").
I can see the love that was inside her. Love for animals, friends, family, anything. She could take the smallest bit of love she received (she was short-changed often) and multiply in ten-fold the amount she dished out. It's her most amazing quality by far. Some people take love and horde it. They never give it back. They don't care how much you love. She's witnessed it first hand.
She still finds herself on the short end of the stick to this day. She's the first one to step up when her friends and family need help. Even if she can't physically or financially lend a hand, she always has your back. She's always there with a kind word or helpful advice. Something as little as a text to see how you're doing if she hasn't talked to you in awhile. She's not appreciated like she should be. Even by me. I've taken her for granted too often. Not anymore. I refuse to not give her the love she so greatly deserves. The love she has been denied too often in the past.
She's a fantastic mother. She wants so much for Hayden. I roll my eyes sometimes because I think she's spoiling him for no reason. She isn't. She wants for him everything she was never afforded the option to have. She doesn't want him to have to manufacture love the way she had to. She wants him to know we've got his back like she has everyone else's. She's already beaming with pride in what lies ahead with our newest addition. Planning the details of the nursery, inch by inch. I am happy that my kids were and are being born to such a warm, loving and caring mother.
She's a terrific wife. She looks past my faults (there are many) and loves me unconditionally. Suffering through ESPN binges, Golden Girls marathons and my other annoying habits are among the few things she has to deal with on a daily basis. She always makes sure Hayden and I look our best before we step out the front door. She's my biggest cheerleader, even when I don't stand a chance. She has my back. Always.
She's a tremendous friend. She's thrown parties. Baby showers, engagement parties, birthday extravaganzas She doesn't ask for much in return. She loves seeing her friends smile. Happiness makes everything worthwhile for her. She could live off of making people happy. Now I've been behind the scenes and been involved in planning these parties. It becomes a priority for her. Her goal is to make you feel as loved as possible on your special day. No stone is left unturned.
Today isn't just a day to just remember someone exists. I'm a firm believer in telling people how you feel while you still can. We lost an awesome friend and family member who had some of the same cards dealt to her as Nikki did. All we have now is regret. For not spending more time together. For not telling her how we feel. For not trying to make her feel more loved. I'm not making the same mistake twice. You shouldn't either. What are you waiting for?
So I am going to make sure she knows how much I love her. I'm going to make sure everyone knows how much I love my wife. I'm not trying to suck up or make other people gag at our mushiness. Tell her everyday, no matter what. Kiss her no matter what. I love you Nicole Marie Dexheimer, and I always will.