When Nick asked me to be his best man, my heart jumped with excitement. I remember my skin tingling, tears building up in my eyes. I was so proud. It didn’t last all that long though; as he then proceeded to tell me that I was going to be CO-Best man with Dr. C over there… But in all honesty, I cannot be happier to be sharing the podium with Dr. C, as it’s such an honor to be here together in front of you all.
You know, growing up, for a long time, being the older brother. I thought I was the more mature one, I was the leader, that I knew what was right . . . Well, I am going to tell you a story about how that worked out.
As many of you know I had some troubled teenage years, always rebellious and constantly at odds with any authority. This attitude, to my own detriment, persisted into my early 20’s. Then, one day while working in financial sales I realized that I hated what I was doing. I hated being the person I was; knowing that I could be better.
In a vulnerable moment I remember sitting down with Nick and asking him, with obvious unease in my voice. “I think I am going to go back to school to be an engineer, like you. What do you think?” You know what his answer was?
He looked up at me, his eyes steady, confident, and honest. “You can do it. Be prepared for a lot of work Andy, but you can do it. Here; take my calculator, it is pre-programmed with a ton of useful stuff, algorithms, and games.” Probably considered cheating in today’s classrooms. . . Without hesitation he was already trying to do more to help.
Looking back, switching places, I don’t think I would have been so supportive… I mean, my highest level of completed math at that point was the eighth grade…
With those words, I set out, and I pursued my education. Turns out Nick’s impact on my success wasn’t done yet. Engineering school is grueling, amongst the highest dropout rate of any program. There were days, at least once a week, where I had to pull an all-nighter in order to complete a lab or prepare for a test. Impossible moments I called them. That’s when you feel deep inside that you can’t succeed here, that the amount of work in front of you is more than your capable of. That it is impossible to move forward. Impossible moments.
That’s when I would look down, turn over the calculator that Nick leant me, and I would look at his name still etched into the back. “Nick B.”
Just like that, I would muster up the spirit, the commitment, to continue to reach deep in my well of capability; to do whatever it took to move forward. Like a lead car in a blizzard, steady, heavy, keeping me on track, and breaking the impossible moment. Nick did that for me. I can remember thinking, “There is a path through this storm, I just have to follow Nick.”
That’s when I realized that all this time, I may be the older brother in years, but I certainly was not the wisest, most mature, nor the leader. It was always you, Nick.
This story is only a slice of all the amazing stories about Nick. I’m sure those who know him, have experienced and can share their own inspiring stories. At its root, it gives me great confidence in anything Nick does. I know, Nick, you’re an amazing brother, son, friend, and father. And, without any doubt you will be an amazing husband, with your incredible woman, Em. Together, you two can achieve anything.
-Andy, New Hampshire