Friday, April 16, 2010

*Nate's story + Kim*

So this is where the story starts...

In 2002 I moved into a condo on Universtiy Ave. in Provo Utah. I LOVED it. I was so excited about where it was and found out quickly that I loved the new church ward I was in. It was a family ward and I got a temporary calling as a teacher for the young adults...which I was. :) I walked in the first day of class to find a guy already in there with his feet kicked up on another chair looking terribly bored already. That guy or shall I say BOY was, Nate Larson. Each week he came to class with his smart alec attitude and each week I came with a quick wit. Those two mixed together made Nate and I fast friends. :) We started to hang out and I was quickly introduced to Nate's some what exotic world. First off, his "Pimp pad." Let me give you a quick run down of that. Bright red walls, a huge wood bed with LEPPARD PRINT sheets, pillows, and comforter! There were sculptures (a metal pineapple) every where, large candles, and some Japanese art. And of course he had all the electronics a man could hope for. The whole place was spotless and by the look on his smug face he took much pride in it. I couldn't bring myself to say anything other than, "Nice pad! Not bad for a guy!" And really without that nerdy comforter and was kinda kool. One thing is was him. Every little detail was a piece of who he was. He was an artist, an inventor, a historian, a designer, an entrepreneur, an adventuer, a buisness man, an animal lover and hunter (I have never understood how those go together), a smart alec, a lover of life and very much a good and kind person. We spent a lot of time hangin' in the pimp pad while he told me of his journeys and experiences with his travels (which were many), running around with all sorts of things he had planned for us to do, and we spent alot of time laughing. Most of the time him laughing at me over many things including how his beliefs that I thought he was so "CUTE" He would say, "You think I'm sooo cute! You like me sooo much!" I always rolled my eyes and told him that he was full of himself and that he had no idea whether I liked him or not. But he was convinced that I thought he was the cats meow. He loved to "get my goat" and tease me. I can see him rubbing his hands together and laughing every time he "got me" or made me blush. Stinker!
Me and my family agree that taking him to Mexico was the best idea EVER. He was SO funny. I can't count how many memories I have from that trip. It will never be forgotten. He had an infectious smile and laugh that were very appreciated by me. I really felt led to him at that time in my life. As I was struggling through all my depression and health, he was a bright light.

Now, one thing that has been asked of me many times over the last couple of weeks has been, "Was Nate your boyfriend?" The answer to that is no (kind of :) Nate and I DID date in 2002...but it was apparent that we were more friends than anything. I moved to Lehi in 2004 and we lost touch. But a few years later we connected again, and this is where part 2 of the story comes in.

In 2007 he called me and with MUCH emotion he apoligized for not understanding my illness or feeling that he had not been compassionate enough during the time we had spent together. He said, "Kim, I don't know how you've done it. I HAD no idea how much you suffered...but I do now. I never understood it, I didn't get it! You're an angel for what you have gone through! I then found out about his horrible kidney stones, depression, anxiety, and many of the things I suffered. For the first time in my life, someone only next to God, REALLY understood. I felt it with each word he said. So many of my dear friends have done their VERY best to love me, support me, be there, and understand. It's just hard for people. The battle of depression itself is so dark and so brutal, that only few survive and that is a FACT. Now...let me back up. Nate had kidney stones! If you know anything about these, you will know that when you pass one the pain is compared to a woman giving child birth without a drop of pain medication. Our family knew someone else who suffered these and I can tell you that what is involved is hell itself. With Nate, the pain was so great that it often caused him to vomit, scream in pain, roll around holding his stomache and beg to die. Now, imagine over 4 years, he passed over FIFTY stones! FIFTY!!!!! That could kill most men/woman in itself. It shows what a mighty man he was in enduring that! My heart went out to him as I learned of these things as his did to mine. I knew nothing of that kind of pain...but I knew pain. My migraines were also a slice of hell.

Nate and I began talking on the phone almost every month or every other month for over 3 years. He became one of my closest friends. He confided in me many things along with his hopes of getting better, his desires for the future, offering me his service/friendship, inventions to help others in this world, and trying to understand what he was suppose to learn from all this and wondering where God was. We hardly saw each other in person because of our struggles...but I always knew he loved me and was there for me, and vice versa. We encouraged each other through phone calls, emails, and texts to keep going. To be honest I didn't think he would live as long as he did. His pain was unspeakable and I was always worried about him. I did everything in my own power to help him and love him.

In April 2009 Nate called in tears and told me that his older sister, Natalie had taken her life. We cried and cried together, he already felt he himself was on death row and I believe this was one more thing that took him to his own end. He loved her, he loved his family, but he was in darkness. I'm sure you can imagine that many drugs are given to patients with kidney stones in order to help them with pain management. Nate also tried a rediculous amount of other remedies that everyone and their dog recommended...but nothing worked. He of course became medically dependent and then completely addicted to opiates. I believe in modern medication but I have seen the effects of the addiction and their evil side effects. I have to take meds for migraines, depression, and anxiety. If you even miss a few days you feel HORRIBLE. I didn't have to go through the exact things like he did, but I never judged him and I NEVER will. The addiction turned him into someone he wasn't. If you knew him like I did, he was a fighter and I believe he stayed alive as long as his mind and body could handle. With this kind of pain/illness/addiction, people have to learn to seperate the person from the illness. Just like this quote. "Mental Illness creates an interference and chaos that conflicts with the core of the REAL person." Depression IS a form of mental illness. There are different degrees of course. The blues are not in the same category as clinical depression. Despite what most people believe it is a disease and it is as serious as ANY other one. Then top it off with physical pain (which actually accompanies deppresion as well) and you lose all clarity. I myself have fought these moments of zero clarity and total darkness. I have had to fight like a lion to keep myself alive too. This is one of the reasons we were so close. Very few understand that level of darkness. Nate's pure heart would never hurt anyone purposely.

On April 4th, Easter Sunday, I received a telephone call from his sister Clixie. Nate was in the hospital. He shot himself and he was brain dead. He had become a casualtie to the terrible epidemic that is suicide. This is my second personal friend I have lost to this. We last talked on the 24th of March. He was trying so hard to fight the darkness but he was living in his own private hell...a Liberty Jail of sorts...and I knew he wouldn't make it much longer if the Lord did not intervene. And with all of my heart I believe the Lord welcomed Nate into his arms with NO judgement and wiped away all his tears and comforted him over every moment of pain. If there is anyone who judges him or calls him selfish...I am bold enough to say that you should humble yourself and pray that God will help you understand. In NO WAY do I encourage suicide, we have to find a way to stop it and give people with no hope, HOPE! (I will help anyone fight against it!)...BUT nor do I judge those who have commited it. Judgement is Gods and I know my God...I know my Savior...I know them well. Their mercy is great and understanding far beyond ours. The Lord loves him in a way that is so precious. I have felt Nate near me the last couple weeks. He has even played a few pranks on me. :) His sister posted a photo of him that I had never seen and he had longer hair. And I admit that my heart skipped a beat when I saw it. And as clear as if he was sitting next to me I heard "You think I'm soooo cute! You like that long hair don't you?" :) hahah And then I heard that genuine laughter that I hadn't heard in years. I said out loud, "Um hello! I am mourning over you! Do you mind?!!!" And then I laughed a little...and then I cried. And in my minds eye, I saw him with tears in his eyes and I felt that he was giving me a moment of comedy relief that I SO needed, and he was crying for me and with me. He was mindful of my pain...always had been.

I had the opportunity to speak at his funeral and bare testimony of who he was and that God is making "All things NEW" for him. (Revelations 20:4-5) He is going to do a mighty work on the other side to help save people who suffer these horrible battles and once again help the string of suicides that are so pervasive these days. He WILL be a force for good beyond the veil. I love him dearly and miss him terribly. I have cried every day since his passing. Like I said, he was the only friend who truly understood me and my pain in such an acute way. We didn't walk in each others shoes...but we wore the same brand.

There is a good chance I will add more to this later, fix my billion typos, and add some photoz. But for now...this is our story, this is a piece of Nate's story.

Nate, "If I had a friend upon this've been that friend to me." Miss you, Nate the Snake. ;)

Ps. Nate often called me an angel when we talked on the phone. That was really special to me...he was mine as well. But even more special was that after the funeral his family and people who didn't really know me in person, came up to me and told me that he always said that I was his angel. :)

Pss. Out of all the songs that make me think of him, this is the one that most fits. "You don't know me...and you don't even don't know me...and you don't wear my chains." (Nate, I knew you..and I CARED!)