Thursday, July 05, 2007

Let It Be

Nathan James Aughenbaugh -- 1980 - 2007. He died because of the cruelty and malice of others. He died unnecessarily.

Beside his casket, surrounded by the people responsible for his death, I made him a promise: "We'll make this right."

And we will.

Nathan, when I knew him best, was a happy kid who loved rollerskating and off-roading in his entirely illegal Bronco; Listening to music and taking road trips; being with his friends and flirting with Angela. He loved life, and almost always had a smile on his face.

Never was he ever suicidal. Ever.

Soon, you'll all know why Nathan did what he did. But that's not what I'm here to do right now.

Right now, I want Nathan remembered for the true person he was: A giving friend, happy and full of life, who wanted nothing more than for people to be like him and just chill out and enjoy the ride. If there was anything he could do to make his friends feel better, it was done. All he wanted in return was the same kindness and positive vibes; Negativity was never his thing.

Back in the summers of 1994 and 1995, Nathan, Angela and I would jump in the Escort and put his cassette single copy of Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" into the tape deck, and we'd drive around endlessly, listening to all 15 minutes of the song, over and over, just to kill time before we went to the skating rink. By the time 1996 rolled around, I'm sure all of us could rap along to any version of that song without missing a beat, all thanks to knowing each and every part of the whole song from memory. All because of Nathan.

Nathan loved kids, and his influence is no more evident than on the kids of our friend Nikki. Those kids will endlessly pick flowers and give them to Mom and her friends. All because of Nathan. Because he loved to follow the old addage "stop and smell the [flowers]." There is creativity alive in Angela's daughter, thanks in great part to Nathan and his love of imatination. Several of the drawings hanging on Angela's apartment walls have Nathan's influence in them.

Angela and I have big plans in the works, and I'll have a huge announcement of the positive variety very soon. In the meantime, though, I ask all of you to remember Nathan for who he truely was. Keep him in your hearts and memories. Every life he touched was brightened.

It's just so goddamned sad that he had to suffer so much...

Vaya con dios, hermano...


Anonymous said...

hey eric... my name is Khristen... i was Nathans best friend all thru high school and thru our time togeather at Edinboro Univ. I just oud out about Nathan's Death due to the fact I have moved away... I am disgusted and like you know that this wasn't my nathan and he would never have done this without someone pushing him.... I ust hope and pray that he is somewhere better then this cruel world

lebebedejive said...

Hi Eric,
I knew Nathan when he lived in Vancouver, Canada. He lived with me for a number of months and when he went back to Clearfield I had the opportunity to go out and visit central PA. He even took me to his favorite roller rink ...
The way you described him.. that was exactly Nathan. I don't know how many nights I would walk into the living room and just catch him sitting next to a speaker, listening to music, and singing some old Rock tune...
He loved to write letters because he could never find access to the internet out in PA. It is amazing how I still have those old letters that he would scribble on tiny pieces of paper and stuff them into envelopes that he covered in stickers and odd things from the newspaper.
Over the 6 years that I knew him, I saw him go through both his ups and downs...but he always told me that he was doing better, and that he was still smiling.
My best thoughts of Nathan is when I would take him out.. whether it be the times we hung out in Vancouver, during some festival in Montreal, or in the dead of winter in Toronto... he could always strike up a conversation with anyone.. that is what was so great about Nathan.. his ability to enjoy the moment.
I knew that he was going to school in Altoona (even went to see him in 2003)... and I knew he wasn't the best at communicating so me not speaking to him over a couple of months wasn't such a big deal. We live in two different countries.. it made sense. But by accident I tried to see if he was on facebook.. and instead I found his obituary online.
I haven't had a chance to say goodbye and I have no idea where his final resting place is. If you could let me know, or if anyone could please let me know.. that would be greatly appreciated. Nathan is truly missed.


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