I can’t say I was Nick’s best friend or that we were even close friends. What I can say is that Nick made an impact on my life. This is something that at this time, so many people are feeling. Nick was always the kid who was smiling, and he, unlike so many, reached and strived as hard as he could for his goals. Needless to say, .
I had a few classes with Nick and also had the opportunity to work on projects together. It seems so long ago, but the memories will always remain. Nick was intelligent, he just wasn’t the type to sit still in a classroom, he had bigger things to pursue, like his dreams of BMX. He had a smile that could light up anyone’s day, mood or even the darkest room. It was his smile that always made you feel like no matter what happened, what grade you received or what problem you were facing, everything would be okay.
He was one of the nicest and most caring people you would ever meet. Opposite of so many teens today, Nick gave everyone a chance. He had one of the most incredible and up tempo personalities I’ve ever met. This made him one of the most memorable people. Nick had talent beyond belief. There wasn’t a second in time that Nick wasn’t on his bike. He would practice and practice until it was perfect and even then, would find something to perfect. Daylight to daybreak Nick rode his bike, even up to his very last day.
I can’t imagine what his close friends and family feel like at this time. We do all share a common ground: grief. It’s no longer about who was friends with whom for longer, but rather respect and the aspect of coming together as a community. The words “Live Fast – Ride Faster...Rest easy Nick” is beautifully written on a light blue wristband. The West Essex Regional High School organized a balloon release at last week's home .
The balloon release was moving for all. The sight of so many wonderful colors rising in the air at once symbolized perfectly the emotions and memories from the past involving Nick. In each balloon was a card that had a picture of Nick on his bike and under it said, “Dear Nick…” with a place to write a memory, a thought or a goodbye.
I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to write on mine, but I know what it would have said:
“Dear Nick, Although we weren’t best friends, nor did we talk often, you changed my life and so many others with your uplifting personality and radiant smile. I can only hope that I will live my life to the fullest as you did and follow my dreams with the persistence you possessed. For now, it’s just a see you soon, cause I know we will meet again.”
Live Fast, Ride Faster ... Rest Easy Nick.
The writer is a senior at West Essex High School and former classmate of Nicholas Sabina. Sabina, 17, and a close friend both died earlier this month when they were struck by an unscheduled N.J. Transit train crossing Route 46 in Wayne.