- by Mom

He came into our lives
On that hot day in June
The fourth of our children
Who left us too soon.

Nate was a charmer,
His curls made you smile,
He followed his siblings
Rode his Big Wheel awhile.

Nathan was four
And Brian was one
Brought Bri to the doctor
To check him out some.

I asked that physician
To look at Nate, too,
Something was fishy,
We didn’t have a clue.

While up at Pine Beach
On days it was cool
Nate swam in the water
Like some heated pool.

While Mom sat there freezing
And didn’t understand
Nate’s body was telling him
The water was grand.

Then a series of tests
Showed something was wrong
Nate’s thyroid gland
Was simply too strong.

Then four days before surgery
The Doc said let’s see.
Something else is amiss.
What else can it be?

His blood sugar levels
Were really too high,
Insulin was the solution,
Then they thought they would try

To take out his thyroid
In hopes that that way
Everything would turn out.
Nathan would be ok.

The surgical doctors
Said Nathan was prime
To go home that weekend
To play—he was fine.

But then those who’d studied
His charts said that he
Should stay for awhile
Because they could see

That he was in trouble
His blood count was too high
With Daddy beside him
To listen and try

To figure it out
Oh, what really was wrong?
Mom’s at St. Pius
The bazaar was too long.

Then Sunday morning
Doc Zimmerman said,
My man is a sick guy,
Our lives changed for good.

Shots and blood testing
Became commonplace
Life was sure topsy-turvy,
But Nathan did face

With courage and patience
He handled it well.
Much better than lots of us
Could, I can tell.

Marshall gave him a lion
For courage he said,
And now we’ve got lots of them
To remind us instead.

So all of us managed
To help him see how
This new way of living
Was part of us now.

One day Nate decided
He wanted some gum
So he rode down the street
On his Big Wheel for some.

And came back all smiling
We didn’t even know
That he’d gone a long way.
Twas a sign of the future
Is all I can say.

We’d gone to Duluth
It was cold as could be
But it was spring
And we’d promised that day
That we’d go down to the Lake
To look at the bay.

Park Point was our target
Ten of us all piled in
And set out that cold day
To have us some fun.

Who can say how it happened.
We’d only been there awhile.
When as usual the cold got to us
And we decided to file
Back into the van.

With so many of us
No one bothered to count
That would have been
Too big of a fuss.

Mike and Kelly and Mom
Had joined us that day
So we headed back to town,
Talking all the way.

When all of a sudden
When we stopped at a light
Someone came a knockin’
At John’s door on the right.

How’d Nathan get out there
John asked as he put
His hand on the door
And just opened it
To let Nate get in
How could this be?

The man in that Volkswagen
Gave me a ride
You left me behind
When I tried to hide.

Do you mean to say
That we’d traveled five miles
Without realizing
That our darling fourth child
Had been left behind
In that park by the bay?

My mom started laughing
So hard that she cried
Cuz otherwise I’m sure
That I would have died
From my most embarrassing job as a mom
We were certainly glad
That that man came along.

But then again we know
That like everything else,
Nate’s life had been planned
By Someone who had
More of a notion
Of what makes us glad.

For Nathan was always
Happy it happened.
Cuz he wrote it up often,
He told others about it.

From various angles
As he aged and matured,
And you can be certain
There were lesson he’d learned.

When it came to sports
Nathan tried and succeeded
But not in the usually sense
Like his brothers, indeed.

He hated ice skating,
Soccer was ok,
But when it came to baseball
He showed us the way.

Pool was exciting,
He liked playing the drums,
He kept himself busy,
Life wasn’t hum-drum.

Waterskiing at Pine Beach,
Gave us a thrill,
Cuz he went round the Lake,
With his butt down and chilled.

As a freshman in college
He chose MSU,
But decided that Mad Town
Was where he should go.

It didn’t work out
So he came home for awhile
And had decided to go back
To Lacrosse in the fall.

He had several jobs
Even tried IBM.
Then he went back to Hunt Drug
Where they knew and liked him.

The week that he died
Nobody could guess.
Life went on as usual,
Nothing seemed amiss.

That Friday he walked
With John on his route,
I can still see him smiling
As he walked through the yards.

He came home from work
To watch the TV.
The Bulls in the playoffs
He wanted to see.

John had been gone
All week on a trip.
And came home quite tired
And ready to sit.

Early the next day
We went to watch Brian
Who was paying the drums
At John Marshall Stadium.

We had a few chores,
Got home around noon.
Nathan was gone.
We did all we could do.

Kev got there first.
Then slowly the rest.
How could this have happened?
Does God really know best?

The next days were awful!
How can you say
Goodbye to your loved one?
Oh Lord, help me pray.

The singing was lovely.
Some tributes were funny.
But most who were there
Were moved by the numbers

Of people who came
To pay their respects,
And to give to Nathan
Their last regrets.

And so this was the end
Of his life as we knew it.
But I’m sure he’s above us
And watching us all.

As we think in our minds
What would he be doing
If he was still with us,
If he’d stayed behind.

But God needed him
To lead and to guide
The rest of us here
On our journey of life.

So we miss you, dear Nathan.
We wish you were here
To watch all of us growing
And living each year.