On this day in 2009, those who knew Nikki Tene Harris suffered a massive blow as we learned of her passing from an undisclosed illness. Nikki’s passing devastated an entire blog community that was at a loss for the words we’d so frequently posted on a daily basis. Nikki’s passing was a catastrophic event tantamount to those that cause the interruption to the regularly schedule programming.
In response to my brother-friend over at The Brown Blogger, who posted his memories, I’m posting what initially started as my comment to his post.
Hugs my brother-friend. I, too, share your loss. Nikki and I became fast friends once we connected through blogging. We began talking offline via email affirming the connection we’d established through our respective blogs was indeed real and viable. Nikki and I would exchange daily emails, which later grew into instant message conversations where we’d exchange information on just about everything. I’d tease her about her insatiable appetite for football and how rigorously prepared for her fantasy football drafts while she’d tease me about my written ability to convey thoughts through poem and prose yet shy away from any attention or focus being put on me. She handled that much better than me anyway…lol! Nikki was very much a rock star. 🙂
Our friendship graduated to the proverbial ‘next level’ where we exchanged phone numbers and began calling each other. The kinship was beautiful, genuine, and kindred in many ways. Nikki and I shared some very personal and painful stories with each and through those shared moments saw each other to the top of the life experience mountain. I was humbled by Nikki’s tenacity, strength, and talent and she encouraged me to be the same; to tap into that inner beauty of strength she said I possessed. I respected Nikki. I was amused by her and in many ways looked up to her.
I looked forward to our meeting in person when she was supposed to go to New York. We were like children waiting on Christmas Eve for the big event. When it didn’t happen, I was saddened. I pressed Nikki to tell me why she didn’t make it and why she’d been so evasive as to when she thought we’d meet up. She gave what I accepted as valid reasons for her not going to New York until she slipped up one day when I said her voice didn’t sound right. She’d been telling me it was from this and that, but the excuses ran thin and she finally confided.
I knew when Nikki was getting ill and like, you was asked not to repeat it. I knew the emotional conflicts that existed between our respective mutual friend. Nikki didn’t judge him for it, nor did she treat me differently as a result of it. It was what it was she explained and that was that.
I hated withholding information not just from him, but everyone; however, I had to respect Nikki’s decision and I didn’t press for any more information that she was willing to give. I would check in via phone, email, or text to get or give some encouragement or inspiration. Looking back, it’s funny how she could turn the attention away from herself without you even knowing it was now on you. Nikki was an artful dodger indeed.
As the illness worsened, I remained in fervent prayer for Nikki. She knew, I, too, was dealing with my own health issues and asked me to focus on my health as it was equally traumatic. Sadly, I’m still here and she’s not. My illness wasn’t misdiagnosed and my heart hurt in so many ways when I learned Nikki passed. I refused to accept it. I refused to believe that Nikki was taken from us. As much as I’d have like to, I couldn’t attend the services, but I sent a card to the family. I also wrote poem of sorts to her using the titles to Maxwell songs in order to convey my feelings. I’m fortunate that my old blog is still online and I found the link to what I posted Lyrically Speaking: My Dedication to Anika “Nikki” Harris. While it was widely received, I still felt it wasn’t enough. I felt Nikki deserved so much more.
Last night was a full moon and as it shined so brightly through my bedroom window, I got out of bed to stare at it and remember Nikki as she always loved the moon. I felt that for just a little while we were talking; sharing a moment as we’d done so many times before. It was no coincidence that the full moon happened on the eve and anniversary of Nikki’s passing. God makes no mistakes! I remembered Nikki this past Sunday as my boyfriend was preparing for his Fantasy Football Draft.
Nikki may no longer be with us here on earth; in the flesh, but she remains with each of us. Nikki remains that strong, vibrant, feisty spirit that we came to know and love. I don’t shout her out every anniversary, but I do think of her. Remembering her this year is of major significance to me because I’m closing out my 44th year and it’s a time of reflection, closure, and preparation. Nikki and I always talked about how I celebrate my birthday as the New Year and not so much traditionally on January 1st. She’s with me right now; I know she is. She’s the angel that showed up in the clouds as I came into work today; just as much as she was the moon that put me to bed last night.
I loved Nikki Harris like a sister and I miss her and while I may not know why God does the things he does, I will accept He had a reason and I thank Him for having blessed my life with her.
That is all!