October used to be a fun month, it has now become one I do not look forward to. October is the month of our wedding anniversary, Halloween, and it was my favorite month. I love the fall. Since Nicole’s death I now do not look forward to this month at all. It just seems to come upon me without a warning. I become more emotional, anxious, and sad. It has been five years this month that we got a knock on the door at 5 a.m. “Mrs. Hill, do you have a daughter Nicole Hill? I am sorry; there was a fire in her apartment. She didn’t make it.” In my mind I could just hear those words, she didn’t make it. Shock set in, I yelled to my husband and my children awoke also. We all began to cry.
No, No! My son was eleven years old and my daughter was eighteen. My oldest daughter, Nicole was twenty-three years old. She was a disabled adult and out on her own, only for six weeks. Nicole was so proud of herself and so were we all.
She had set some goals for herself after she had graduated from Cape Cod Community College. 1)To get out on her own, 2) to get a job, 3)to get married to the love of her life. Those were the first three. She accomplished the first two. The third one was suppose to happen on July 30th 2008.
Why do these things happen? Steve and I worked so hard to get her to where she was in her life. We sacrificed so much. Married for two years we had our baby girl in 1983. She was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect of the spine. We were told she would be severely disabled, physically and mentally. She proved otherwise. She was a very determined baby girl, she was going to be here on this earth and she was meant to be here for a reason. We spent many years of hospitalizations and surgeries. Close calls were few. We almost lost her in 1997 from an infection after her spinal surgery. But, she made it through that also!
The first time Steve and I went away was eight years after Nicole was born. It was our ten year anniversary. We went away over night. We had a nurse that stayed overnight with Nicole and our second daughter Kate, she was four years old.
Nicole was in a wheelchair for mobility, we did try some walking with braces but, it just didn’t work out. Her upper body was just too weak for the challenge of walking a long distance. We gave her the choice of trying longer or to just go to the wheelchair. She chose the wheelchair. She used a manual wheelchair until she was sixteen years old. She then began using an electric chair at the special school she went to. It made it easier for her to get around the campus of the school. At home she would use her manual and at school she would use the electric.
I know Nicole touched many people in her short life here on earth and she will always be remembered for her loving hugs, her humor, and her compassion for others.
Now that Nicole is gone life is very different. I never realized how much time she took up in my life. I felt so lost without her. Learning to move forward is hard, but we have no choice. There are two other children in our lives. A lot of things have changed in five years, I am now working day shift full time, our daughter has moved out on her own and is working full time, and our son is a senior in high school. We try and keep busy in our life, but when this month comes along it just happens. We will get through it. Life isn’t the same; it has changed in many ways. You never get over the death of a child. There is never closure, life is just different. We have many fun and happy memories of Nicole and that is what we remember. There are so many great memories!
We love and miss you Nicole … Love you always and forever …