Samaritan’s Corner: “Thanks Nicholas, My 2020 Needed You”

Cary, NC — Welcome To Samaritan’s Corner. Let’s Talk!

Hi Nicholas. My name is Jimi Clemons. I’m one of your mom’s many friends from the YMCA. Your mom Fran is stinking awesome by the way! You and I never had a chance to meet, unfortunately, at least not in person. But God is a redeemer of time, and after sitting down with your mom for nearly two hours talking about you, I realized my time had come.

Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work in you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Nicholas, I read this scripture and immediately thought of you. I know you’re up in the presence of God enjoying eternal life, but I need to talk to you for a minute, it won’t take long I promise.

A Message 2 Years in the Making

I approached Fran in 2018 about me writing an article about you. She wasn’t quite ready to do the unpacking that would be required to do this article at that time, and I understood that. But I was willing to patiently wait because I knew that there was something so very special that I had to get to.

Fast forward to 2020. About a month ago, my wife and I saw Fran walking and stopped to chat. We had not seen her in months because we have a little situation down here that has tried to break us. But, because God is bigger than our circumstances, our divine appointment was met.

She reminded me that she hadn’t forgotten me as far as doing the article. And I said, “Just let me know, because our 2020 could use something beautiful.” I guess, in this case, beautiful was that comfortable place she had been searching for because a week later we sat down and talked.

I asked her for something beautiful and she gave me you.

Healing Waits on the Other Side

A photo of Nicholas Miracola about 4 months prior to his passing.

There’s a lot that I could say about you, but instead I’d like to say it to you.

Nicholas, your life was my lesson, and your mom was the teacher that taught it to me. I walked away a better man, a better husband and a better father. After you died in 2000, your Dad and Mom had a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of crying days. They leaned on each other to do it all.

She taught me that there is no friend, no job, no amount of success or money that could ever take the place of my wife’s love for me. She taught me that my marriage is not fifty/fifty it’s one hundred/one hundred. When your mom wasn’t one hundred percent, your awesome dad Joe had his one hundred percent to get them through, and vice versa.

She reminded me that the only way out is through. I learned that grieving, talking, crying, a great support group and praying are what gets you through to the other side where healing is waiting. Nicholas, a lot of people leave the praying part out because the loss of a child can create some serious animosity towards God. But, that mom of yours never even felt like she had a right to be angry with God.

Being Alive Doesn’t Mean You’re Living

She believes that the good, the bad, the sad and the celebration are all part of her journey. She believes that deciding what will and will not happen on the journey isn’t an option. She taught me that journeys are walked out, not rearranged. That eliminated so many of the fears I had about my son making the same mistakes I made. It freed me, Nicholas.

There aren’t any little moments anymore. Every moment with Kassidy is one of the biggest and most precious moments of my life. I no longer stress about what I can’t control. In that hour and forty-minute conversation, I saw what the other side of through looks like.

Nicholas, your mom has healed. She said it, and I could see it.

Do they still have their moments? Of course. They’re human, they love you, and they’re your parents. They should have those moments. But they have never allowed those moments to have them. They didn’t allow their devastation to be their final destination. They looked ahead and decided they wanted to give life to the world.

They didn’t think having more children was a set up for more potential sadness, they only saw it as giving the world more beautiful solutions. That lesson, for me, confirmed that being alive doesn’t mean you’re living, it just confirms that you exist. Your sweet parents decided to live!

You’d Be Proud of Your Family, Nicholas

Nicholas, for a few years of my childhood there was quite a bit of domestic violence in the house. I said house because that’s what it was, a house not a home. No matter how much money a person spends on a house, only love can make it home. My friend Jerry lived down the street, and his family was my saving grace. It was a place where I could go to exhale, not live in fear and just be a kid.

Kids have to be taught how to love, share and be kind to people — they’re not born with it. Your siblings are handing out all three to anybody that comes along. Your oldest brother Anthony, your younger brother Dominic and your sister Christina are like God’s gate keepers.

Your mom said the house is always occupied with their friends. God is using Anthony, Dominic and Christina to invite friends in to simply be loved. They’re doing for their friends what my friend Jerry did for me. I’m not saying their friends are going through what I went through. But, I can assure you that one day one of their friends will thank them for giving them a resting place to be loved.

These kids hanging out at your parent’s home is so much more than just hanging out eating the best Italian food in town. There’s a special love that comes with each and every invite they extend. I recognize it when I see it. Your siblings are pretty incredible across the board.

The parents and siblings of the late Nicholas Miracola. From left: Joe, Anthony, Fran, Christina and Dominic.

Anthony is a filmmaker, photographer, writer and a pretty serious athlete. Dominic is in college, a great musician and he’s got skills in the kitchen. Christina is already exercising her entrepreneur aspirations, making and designing some of the most incredible skateboards. And that’s just one of the many talents that God has given her. She’s creating a little bit of everything.

While they have their different strengths, the one thing they all have in common, Nicholas, is love for people.

They’re so busy loving the hearts of people that they never even notice the color of their skin. They only see the craftsmanship of God. They have become three individual brigades that provide access to beautiful, just like you did for me. Amy and I love your Miracola family. Your parents gave the world three beautiful gifts that it would need. But your dad and mom gave me you. And why? Because Nicholas, my 2020 needed you.

12 Years on Earth, An Eternity of Blessings

The lessons I’ve learned from you, your parents and your siblings will outlive my time here on earth. You guys have given me a generational gift.

Luke 12:48 says, “To whom much is given much is required.”

Your family, whether they know it or not, are giving what’s required of them. Amy and I are having conversations that we’ve never had because of you. It’s no wonder that your parents still celebrate your birthday every year to this day. This world only had you for 12 years, but you’ll have us forever. We will live on with you Nicholas. You just make life worth living.

And let me warn you — if some strange woman rolls up on you hugs you, and never wants to let you go, that’s my grandmother. She’s the greatest human being I’ve ever known. Tell her I made it and I’m doing pretty good down here.

Well, Nicholas, I appreciate the time. Sorry I got a little long-winded, but your work here is worth talking about. God is taking good care of your family, so you just enjoy heaven and all that comes with it. I love you Nicholas.

Revelations 21:4 says, “God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All of these things are gone forever.”

Rest well my friend.

Nicholas Joseph Miracola

September 15, 1988- May 14, 2000

Samaritan’s Corner on CaryCitizen is written by Jimi Clemons, a Cary resident, community advocate, and Chaplain for the Cary Police Department.  Photos courtesy of Fran Miracola.

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1 reply
  1. Jay Segre
    Jay Segre says:

    Overwhelmingly, beautiful written story. Blessings to the family for sharing their experience. They are truly an inspiration!

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