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  • 9 Lessons from an Angel

9 Lessons from an Angel

*Photo pilfered from an amazing friend of the Floyd's Facebook page because it's perfect

I've had my fingers on the keyboard for 17 minutes.

I want the perfect beginning because anything less is not enough. I'm trying to put into words inexplicable thoughts and feelings and Henry's simultaneously asking me how to wash a plate and it's hopefully understandable, therefore, that nothing poetic is coming. So I'm just going to let my thoughts flow and pray that it's coherent.

Time is Relative

There are people you can know your whole life and yet never really know. And there are people you can know for a short time who will impact the trajectory of your thoughts and your actions for the rest of your life. Nick, you and your family are the latter.  

Being Alive Isn't the Same as Living

Some people live to be 105 but never really live. Nick really lived. He took nothing---and no one---for granted. He lived every moment. Every experience. Every trip. Every thank you. Every card. Every zoo light. Every scoop of sorbet. Every glazed donut. Every moment with a hand on his hand. Every wish. Every everything.

Listening is Valuable

Nick was always listening. He is still listening. I'm sure of it. 

Your Friends Are a Window into Your Soul

If you want to know who a person is at his core, look at the people who surround him during his darkest hour. For Nick, there is Nathan, who was---at one point---photographed wearing hot pink stretch pants and a hot pink shirt (I trust that won't happen again, but I'm afraid it might). There is Maddie, who is quiet and peaceful (and tolerant of Nathan!). There is Zach, who was at Nick's side right after being released from the hospital from having his left arm and shoulder amputated. There are his siblings and cousins and other friends who didn't shy (or run) away in fear from what was happening but instead jumped in and did whatever was necessary for their friend. There is his girl, and I don't have to meet her to know what a beautiful spirit she is.

This circle of Nick's has caused me to wonder: Of the people who surround each of us, which of them would continue to surround us in our darkest hour? For these people are the purest reflection of what we have put into the world. As we enter a new year, I'm taking stock of those people in my own life. Who would be there? Who has been there? Who lifts me up? Who accepts me for me? Who is a reflection of the type of person I aspire to be? Those who don't fit into any of these categories---who don't make me better, don't have my own best self in mind, don't make me proud when I see their attitudes and approaches and values staring back at me in the mirror---they will be graciously left in the album known as "People I Liked At One Point for Some Reason But Who Will Stay in 2014." And I certainly wish them well because I believe that's what Nick would suggest that we do. 

God Moments Happen

I know this because I had one with Nick. It's not possible for me to describe it. I don't even need to. It was 3 minutes of peace and love and God and the deepest understanding that we are all connected. And I'm forever blessed by it.

Attitude is Everything

Good or bad can be found in any situation. No matter how badly he felt, Nick found the good. When he was frustrated, he was frustrated, of course. But he expressed it and moved forward. He never let it take over. Frustration wasn't his overriding emotion---not by a long shot. He is the epitome of grace under fire. 

Be Love

Enough said.

Angels Are Everywhere

The most amazing people came forward---by the tens of thousands---to support Nick and his family in whatever way they could. Each of these people believes that where there's a will, there's a way. That where there is great love, anything is possible. That the answer is not "No" but instead "How?"

Dragons were delivered from all corners of the globe (does a globe have corners?). An 8-year-old girl gladly awoke early to buy donuts not for herself but for Nick, and she'd never met him. An amazing couple happened to be in London at the precise moment he found his dream leather jacket---in London! And they carried it onto the plane with them as the priceless item that it is so as to not let it out of their sight for one second before it got to him. Tattoos were drawn in Sharpie. And then in ink. Perfect strangers dropped food anonymously at the doorstep. People who might not otherwise have met began relationships that will undoubtedly continue for years to come.

Nick brought people together. Period.  

You Can't Stop the Waves, but You Can Learn How to Surf

And my God did Nick ever surf. Both metaphorically and literally. If he can do it mere weeks after major surgery, feeling like garbage, I can do it. Costa Rica, I'm coming. And Nick, if you could just drop a string down from Heaven to which I can hold on so I don't end up looking like an idiot, I'd so greatly appreciate it.

I'm so blessed to be able to call you My Friend, Nicholas. In such a short time, you opened my heart and made it better. I use the word "is" when I describe you. Not "was." Because your spirit will be here with us forever. Your lessons will be here forever. You are forever teaching and touching and amazing so many. 

May you spread the wings you've always had that simply couldn't be seen here on Earth.

And may you spend forever and a day surfing the sky on your very own dragon. 

All my love,

  • Author avatar
    Elizabeth Lyons

Comments on this post ( 49 )

  • Jan 21, 2015

    Liz, You have a beautiful gift of writing. Thank you for sharing, It really tugged at my heart reading this for I miss Nick so much (I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person just on fb). He is forever in my heart…

    — Annette

  • Jan 20, 2015

    I never met Nick personally but I had known people who were very close to him. I’ve followed him and his army on Facebook for the past year and I can’t tell you how much he has inspired me. He has created a legacy, and it’s up to each and everyone of us who he has touched to carry out his legacy and create our own. We must be the very best we can be each and everyday!

    — Robert McKenna

  • Jan 20, 2015

    so beautifully said and all so true, Nick did it all, and did it epically. He will forever be in our hearts.#ProudToBeInNick’sArmy

    — Tessa

  • Jan 20, 2015


    — katrina martinez

  • Jan 20, 2015

    As I watched your journey and suffering I knew the outcome to this heartbreaking life you lived, but I also new what lied ahead of you as you crossed over to our Heavenly Father.
    When I was in my 20’s I was involved in a horrible accident to which my heart stopped, what I experienced was a peaceful flow of calm and most importantly the LOVE I can only describe as being a grain of sand in the endless massive universe to which their is no end. This love is nothing what we experience here on earth, it’s a overwhelming peace, calm, warm, unimaginal feeling, it’s like all my pain and surrfering never exsisted,
    I experienced a bit more but I’ll stop here… Just know that Nick is pain free, healthy and doing the things he loved when he walked his path here on earth. He is loved by thousands and his memory shall live on!

    — Cha Wison

  • Jan 20, 2015

    Amazing. Beautiful. Brought back some of the memories. Thank you. Missing Nick and still praying for him and his family.

    — Debbie Wagner

  • Jan 20, 2015

    Thank you for this. Beautifully said! He was a true living angel here to touch everyone who was blessed enough to come across his story.

    — peggy crislip

  • Jan 20, 2015

    Simply beautiful!!

    — Deanna Ramm

  • Jan 20, 2015

    The most spot on beautiful thing Ive ever read

    — diane barrett

  • Jan 20, 2015

    Absolutely beautiful

    — casey

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Nick continues to touch us, through your words and actions and those of his army. Thank you for sharing.

    — Tristan

  • Jan 19, 2015

    One word to describe this-Perfect

    — Christina

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your heart so eloquently. I never met Nick but I too feel a profound shift in the trajectory of my life because of the months I spent reading Tracy, Jazzy , Julie, & Nathan’s post on the Epic site.
    I am a different parent, wife, employee and friend because of the Floyd family.
    Nick’s life was love.
    Love given and love received. Love projected globally and winding it’s way back magnified.
    I am so glad I stopped on the post that popped up on my fb page. The random occurance that I took a moment to pause, read and be forever changed.
    It was an honor to pray for Nick and I continue to feel blessed to pray for his family and the friends who stood by his side.
    I am also grateful for eloquent writers like you and Tracy who are able to soften hearts by sharing yours your own.
    May God bless you.
    Gratefully Yours,

    — Holly

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Simply…thank you for your beautiful words about a beautiful person <3

    — Kiara

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Missing Nick …. But know he is surfing high in the sky!! ❤❤❤???

    — Amy McGuire

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Beautiful tribute for as beautiful Angel Micklefy an impression on so many where is picture of necklace?

    — Eleanor Zemlock

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Nick and his family have touched so many, people. (In a good way).
    I know that when we all get to Heaven, we will meet….
    thank you for continuing to share….

    — shirley

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Beautifully written about a young man who showed so many of us how to live life to the fullest, to love without limits, to laugh with child like joy. I joined Nick’s Army to pray for him and his family, to offer support.

    What I didn’t know was that I would fall in love with Nick and all his loved one’s, that I would look forward to each day to see what Nick and his pals, and family were doing. I did not even see it when my link to God became stronger, at the time I didn’t see it, but I do now. I was brought to a closer relationship with our Father because we came together as one to pray for Nick, Nathan, Zach. As well as the Floyd family and Jazzy, Maddie and so many others.

    Thank you Nick for being you and sharing your love with us all, and thank you Elizabeth for capturing Nick perfectly with your written memories! <3

    — Deborah

  • Jan 19, 2015
    So beautiful ….

    — Meg Clark Ganz

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Beautiful !!

    — Lisa Starkey

  • Jan 19, 2015

    I love your words and believe them to be right on. The world has so many good and wonderful people, there is no point in spending time with those who aren’t. May you come across and know many more wonderful loving people.

    — Carolyn

  • Jan 19, 2015

    Beautifully expressed with loving thoughts and words. Nick had a special mission here on earth , although it was short.,yet I will always feel he was a gift from God to spread the true meaning of LOVE. He carried out his mission and then went home to be with the Lord. Thank you Nick for being a loving teacher.

    — Linda Page

  • Jan 19, 2015

    So inspiring as always! You still talk as if he is still with you, I believe he is, I believe he never left, your heart, your mind, and your living is all about this wonderful kid named Nick, who has left us all so inspired, so feeling emotional, so wanting to know him! Nick opened up my eyes, every day was a blessing for him, he knew he had been gifted one more day, his mission to make it through Christmas so he could present his gifts to his loved ones, each receiving a build a bear recording with his voice in it, how thoughtful! Nick was not just another person on my internet, he was an angel, someone I held up high on a pedestal, never wanting him to leave us, but I knew down deep, the day was going to come to say good-bye, to sit alone and read your post, that he had gone to heaven on such a beautiful peaceful day! I cried, I didn’t even know Nick, but I felt I did, every time a post came up, I had to stop what I was doing and read it, like when we saw all his cyst that had grown on his back! I cried! No child should have to live like that, but Nick was like a soldier who was going through a battle field, he never let it get the best of him, and his artilary was his mom, she gave him all the wisdom and love to carry on, to fight, even though down deep she was hurting and she knew her days were limited with her little soldier, she never let him down! I will never forget Nick, I have talked about this warrior to everyone I know, I will carry him deep in my heart forever, and his courage will give me strength! God bless Nick and his wonderful family, thanks for sharing this journey with me, I have learned, I have cried, I have laughed and I have been inspired! Hugs to you mom, you’re a saint in my book!

    — Rhonda

  • Jan 19, 2015

    “Being alive isn’t the same as living.”
    Very powerful words. I needed to hear that right now.
    I only knew Nick from his page but I feel like he taught me so much. Thanks ❤️

    — Wendy Van Sipe

  • Jan 19, 2015

    You have said what so many of us feel and don’t know how to say. Thank you

    — Patricia Ott

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