Audubon High School Class of 2015
The memories we’ve shared,
the times we’ve had together,
They will stay with us always -
Goodbye is not forever.
Two weeks ago my family and I sat through the Audubon High School commencement ceremonies. Normally this would be one of a parent’s proudest moments. But for us it was a day of sadness, a day of what could have been. For this is the year which should have been Nicki’s graduation had he not succumbed to Tay-Sachs Disease before he had the opportunity to even start school.
Graduation is a milestone event for parents. We look back and celebrate all of our children’s accomplishments. As well, we look forward to our child’s future. The world is theirs to change. Certainly Nick had a tremendous impact on all who came into his world. He taught lessons like:
Life is short; seize the day.
Enjoy the beauty of the simple things:
a breeze in your hair, birds singing, simple touch.
Love with all you have-with no expectations in return.
Forgive and reconstruct broken relationships.
Although his life was complete in 3 short years, having accomplished all he came to accomplish, we found ourselves grieving 2 things that day as we sat in the stands. First we grieved that he was not known. Many who filled the stands that day did not realize there was a beautiful soul that should be filling one of those chairs on the floor. Secondly we longed for him to have an impact on the future, a purpose, significance beyond those 3 short years.
That longing is what has brought us to write this letter. We are asking you to help us celebrate Nick’s memory and greatness. We are also seeking your support to help us make a significant impact on the future in his honor. You see we are not the only parents in this situation. We have personally known 161 other children who will not graduate due to Tay-Sachs or other related diseases. We are in dire need of funding for research. Join us in a monetary gift to National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases in honor of Nickolas. Together we will fight to cure these diseases until they no longer steal the futures of our children.
The Du Valls,
Joel, Rhonda, Samie, Nicki, and Teddy