A conversation with Sam Nichols

From Sam’s father Eric:

Good Morning to You All!

What a great weekend! I’m sure you all had the opportunity to pay tribute to your Mom or A Mom somewhere…we had a BBQ at my house and I had the grill honors…My Sisters and Brother’s wives all did the side items and it came together very nicely…The grandkids did the desserts and the Fruit Pizza, the Orange Juice Cake, and the Chocolate Frosted Brownies are enough to tempt anyone off their diet…Ha! We had some very special guests as Erin was in town to honor her Mother and Grandmothers and we were able to have Tony, Julie, and Erin have Sam praying with Eric May 10 Kentfieldlunch with us…It is sooooo good that Erin takes the short weekend away from Sam’s side; not just because it’s Mother’s Day, but because she needs the occasional distraction to refresh her mind and spirit with thoughts and feelings of other things…She spends much of her time telling about God’s goodness to Her and Sam, and of Sam’s progress, to friends and relatives she hasn’t seen in a while. She does it willingly and almost as a duty; and as I sat and observed I spoke a silent blessing on her for her faithfulness. (She also keeps in touch with the nurse’s desk and knows up to the minute where Sam is at all times)…Julie, (Erin’s Mom) brought us gifts even though it was Mother’s Day…She brought Donny and I, T-shirts with Sam’s picture in his dress blues on the front and back; and the text that reads “Please Pray for Our Recovering Iraqi Veteran”; and on the back the web link prayforSam.com , which leads to his blog…What an incredible sweet thing to do…A walking advertisement for soliciting prayer for Sam…Kudos Julie…

I had the distinct pleasure of visiting with Sam on Saturday and he looks so good. (Please see the photos attached from that visit)…I got there maybe an hour or so after Erin left and he was watching the discovery channel (one of his favorites)…he loves the animal stories and regular features like World’s Dirtiest Jobs, etc…When he saw me he gives his usual wave hello; and when I ask him for a hug and a kiss, he lifts his right arm all the way up as if to say, Get over here…He wraps his arm around my back and pats my back, as I kiss his cheek…I say I love you, Sam; and he says so distinctly, I love you too…Sam’s Mother and I raised the boys to show affection freely and rarely do we see each other or even speak on the phone, that we don’t remind each other of our love. This isn’t that unique, I’m sure; but when they would see me with their friends when they were teenagers and still give me a hug and a kiss is quite remarkable, I think…At any rate, he was talkative when I arrived so we had quite a conversation; discussing his Mom and Brothers, the presidential campaigns, and of course some prayer time together…One of the pictures is he holding my hand and praying the Lord’s Prayer…He repeats what I say and sometimes I can see he is frustrated because he can’t form the words I just said…I don’t see that as a problem, as I know adults that can’t Sam laughing at TV show May 10 Kentfieldsay the word aluminum or film….BUT he does a masterful job in my opinion, and he is glad to have said it when we are done…We can have an even more in depth conversation since Erin has taught him some other ways to answer. It is not just yes or no anymore, as we all know that there even degrees to yes or no…When he doesn’t know or just can’t remember he throws up his hand, all five fingers fully extended, in a gesture that emphasizes, “I don’t know”; and he is good at using it…he even uses his eyebrows and maybe a shoulder shrug to underscore it. After an hour or so of conversation and prayer; I believe he is fatigued and wants to rest. He is non conversational at this point although does acknowledge a CNA he hasn’t seen in a month by saying his name…A loud and froggy Michael…He seems restless and will occasionally utter some words I’m not sure of, but tries to watch t.v…While he is watching, (and I am watching him) he begins to laugh…I’m astounded and excited…It is sort of like heh, heh, heh-heh-heh, heh…it is loud and he seems to be smiling while he is laughing…I whip out my phone and am able to capture it for you to see…(The second picture)…I look to see what was so funny on the set and I have to do a double take…There is a documentary about the Alcoa Company building a processing plant in Iceland and their challenges there…What? So I’m still not sure what was so funny, but it was
so good to hear him laugh…

I know Erin has said that there was a test to see if he could swallow well enough, and that maybe it will determine if he can safely begin eating and drinking something. I’m not exactly sure of the results of that test so I’ll wait till next time to report on that, or maybe Tony or Erin will touch on that in the blog…

Thank you all again for your continued prayers…Scripture says that the prayers of the righteous avail much and that God seeks an opportunity to implement his word so that it will not return to him void…It is on that word that I take as promise of his healing for Sam and it is obviously not going to return to him as empty; but see Sam and Erin fully restored and even better than before…
Much Love which brings Hope, which creates Faith and we all know that it is Faith which God honors….



4 Responses to A conversation with Sam Nichols

  1. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hey there Sam, Erin, The Nichols & Neria Families,

    WOW what a post. To have a conversation with Sam – to see him laugh – must be the greatest gift on the planet. And the pictures are awesome! Even though they are still photos you can see the animation coming out of Sam. It can’t help but to warm one’s heart and make one smile. The one with Sam holding your hand Eric was just, I’m not sure of the words. “Beautiful” will suffice in absence of anything more brilliant.

    I hope you’re feeling great this week Sam and we’re all waiting on the results of the “swallow test”! I hope you passed with flying colors and can finally begin to eat some yummy vittles again.

    God bless you Sam, Erin and everyone. Thoughts, prayers, support and loads of Angel hugs come your way every single day. He is taking great care of Sam, healing him slowly but steadily and surely. “but see Sam and Erin fully restored and even better than before…” are powerful – and true – words. Hugs to you all.

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

  2. julie says:

    Oh my goodness. What a lovely, encouraging update! Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful steps of progress Sam is making. Also, thank you for sharing a glimpse of the incredible bond of your family…the strength, courage, faith and hope. I’m hoping Sam will be able to taste yummy things soon!….Big angel hugs and love to Sam, Erin and all of your family!!

    julie morelli
    Soldiers’ Angels

  3. Barbara Sosman says:

    Each time I receive one of these emails I feel my heart in my throat… sometimes it’s fear that something has gone wrong, but almost always the news is good, telling of Sam’s improvement and how your family holds together with the strenght you all have and with God in your lives.

    Many people have said that in order to comprehend this war our nation is in that we should all “know” one soldier (at least). As a member of a non-military family, I have relied on meeting troops in Bangor, Maine, as they pass through on their way to deployment, or return home to the shores of the US. But Sam Nichols is my special soldier, someone I’ve never met, but whose well-being I hold in my heart, and in my prayers. God bless you all.

  4. Carol Calloway says:

    I so admire the great faith shown by both the Nichols and Neria family. My prayers are daily with you all and for Sam’s complete recovery. Erin is an excellent example of what a Christian wife should be. May God bless you all and give you strength through the intercessory prayers of all your prayer partners all over the world.

    Sam is a fine young man and I want some day to personaly say “Thank you, Sam”.

    I had 5 of my 7 brothers in the Military: 3 in World War II and 1 didn’t make it home, another one died in Korea on Pork Chop Hill, and the youngest one died in Vietnam. He was a fellow Marine, Sam. I am very proud of my brothers and the sacrifices they made for our country. Thus, I hold dear to my heart all of the GI’s serving our country now and in the future.

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