I’m back at my desk after a relaxing 3-day weekend in Key West catching up on industry news. I spent Monday watching Nicky Hayden’s memorial service, which was livestreamed on Facebook and viewed by over a million people from St. Stephen Cathedral Church in Owensboro, Kentucky.
My tears started falling once the priest started his Homily talking about Nicky as a world champion, a hero and a winner, sure, but he was also as a giver, a listener, determined, driven, goal-oriented, loyal, funny, witty, grounded – everything anyone wants to be.
The priest said, first and foremost, he wanted to concentrate on Nicky as a gift from God.
“As we often say about a gift, we are called to do many things with the gifts that God gives us … three things – We are to take care of the gift that God gives us. Secondly, we are to share the gift that God gives us, and third, the unthinkable, we have to give back to God the gift that He gave us, because in the end, everything belongs to God.”
Father Tony thanked the family for willingly sharing their precious gift – Nicky – with so many people: “The world is a better place for you sharing the gift of Nicky with so many people.”
Memorial Day will always have a different meaning for me now. Along with the short list of those I know personally who served in the armed forces, I will always remember Nicky on this day especially; if I ever happen to forget about him, I will never forget the words he shared with me many years ago in his Ask Nicky advice column that shaped my life, “transformed my inner self” and will always remain in my heart:
“…motivation shouldn’t be something you have to find. You’ve got to have it inside.” – Nicky Hayden
I will remain grateful for the gift of Nicky’s life, as will his millions of faces across the world. RIP, Kentucky Kid. “Let’s get it,” as Nicky would say. ✌
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