A little over 3 years ago I met a dude that I admire, look up to, and want to be when I grow up. Let me take you back to those moments.

I had recently started a job at a vibrant community and was anxious to start making connections. At the time I sat in cubicles and was literally drinking from the figurative fire hose. This dude was calm, cool, and collected. He was wise but not pretentious. He was for people and he seemed to constantly be looking for ways to add value to others. I listened intently to the way he communicated. I found him to be patient in delivery and intelligent beyond the common man. He spewed knowledge like a database, recalling things with ease, never out of turn, never late, and always in the appropriate cadence. I thought if I could get some of that dudes time I would end up being better off for it.

I was not wrong. A thousand coffees, a million text messages, emails, and a myriad of shared resources and time later I am better because of him.

He will always have a place at my table. He will always be someone I look up to and follow as closely as I possibly can.

He gives like few do. This week he leaves for California with his incredible family. I know the void that lingers at our table, in our space, and at many coffee shops that I frequent. No one can fill that void. And that is ok.

I am grateful for him and know that there was a purpose in the depth of friendship we lived for the last 3 years.

Nick, this is not contrite when I say this...

You are a hero to me. Thanks a million for teaching me. I value you.

Have fun in Cali.

P.S. Here is a picture of the guys from the table last night