The last couple of days have been pretty tough for both the Mormon community and the BP community. We’ve lost a man who was so much more than just a Border Patrol Agent. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news (and their coverage of this heinous crime was so short that you would have missed it if you blinked), Nick Ivie was shot and killed during the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 2, 2012. It’s so strange to see people carrying on with their lives when those who knew Nick are devastated and still shuffling through their days.
Although attempting to quantify a relationship with someone isn’t really possible through words, I’d like to talk about what I know of Nick Ivie and share how we were blessed by God to have him and his family in our lives.
I first met Nick while we attended EMT classes together in late 2009. From the first time we spoke, I deeply respected his calm and quiet manner. I knew that he was a good man to have around and I could stand to learn alot from him. I, myself, am a bit of a loudmouth at times and have, more times than I can count, stuck my foot in my mouth. Nick, on the other hand, was such a nice guy and carried himself so assuredly and honorably that I never heard him say a derogatory word about anyone. Even last year, when he was dealing with a situation at work, he just shook his head and expressed frustration with the situation but no animosity towards the individual. The other side of the coin is that I can’t imagine anyone having a harsh word about Nick either. He had that ability to make people like him; after your first conversation, you couldn’t help but be drawn to him.
I kept in touch with Nick after our initial training and when my wife, son and I moved into the same housing development as his family, we made plans to get our families together for dinner. We broke bread (literally, as his wife Christy made homemade bread for us at that first dinner with their bread machine) several times, back and forth between our houses. Nick and I discovered we would be attending one of the Tucson trainings together during that time, and he offered to drive us. I don’t remember the entire conversation, but I remember enjoying the drive, talking about our families, and sharing some laughs.
Being in such close proximity to each other in that development, both my wife and I were bound to see Nick and Christy several times a week. Each and every time, it was Nick and Christy together. We would see them at the pool or out walking together while pushing their youngest in her stroller. One of the last times we saw them before moving away, Nick had brought their new puppy dog by our house to show her off, bringing his little girl as well.
I must admit I regret not talking to Nick as much after we moved away last year. The last time we saw each other in person was earlier this year at a training exercise in Tucson. It was great to see him again, and we talked for a few minutes before partnering up for the training scenarios. During our lunch break, we met up at the Golden Corral and talked a bit more.
The oddest thing is that I had been thinking of him just last week and wondered how he was doing. The moment slipped into the back of my mind and I never sent him a text message or called him. Oh how I wish I would have. I know it would not have changed the events of Tuesday morning, but I would have liked to let him know he was appreciated and we still wanted to meet up with him and Christy in Tucson eventually.
The irony of my my last blog post is not lost on me. When it comes time for me to go home, I want my last activities to involve those people who love me and the people I love. Nick’s last night before work was spent playing with his kids and enjoying the company of his wife. I don’t think any family man would deny this as an ideal evening.
I’m so glad that I was given the opportunity to meet this Man of Godly ambitions . Although we were carrying on a relationship with God in slightly different ways, Nick made it more than obvious that he loved his wife and daughters, his faith and church, and his job. There was never a doubt that Nick was a rock in his Mormon faith. During our dinners together, he would lead us in prayer before eating. This was at a time when I was not all that interested in cultivating my relationship with God.
Anyone who had interactions with Nick, in any way, has a huge hole in their heart right now. There is no possible way we can ever make up for the loss of Nick. I’ve talked to other coworkers of ours and his classmates in the last couple of days and it amazes me the impact Nick has had on his community, his church congregation, his family, and his friends. You couldn’t have asked for a better father/husband/son/brother/friend.
If you knew Nick, I challenge you to be a better husband. To be a better father. To be a better man.
Nick, my life was enriched by knowing you, even though it was only for a short while. It’s obvious that you are deeply loved by a ton of people and I’m honored to have called you a friend. I can only strive to become the kind of man you were through both prayer and an ongoing conscious effort to better myself. I miss you, man. If you get the opportunity, look up my little sister when you’ve entered in.
Christy, if you get the chance to read this once everything has settled down and you are moving forward with your life, please know one thing; you have a countless number of people ready at a moment’s notice to help you and the girls up when you most need it. Please feel free to call Marcia and I any time of day or night. Your family is the most important lifeline you have, but just know you have an extended family out here waiting with arms wide open.