Tuesday, August 3, 2010

live passionately....life is short.

In honor of a great friend, Nate Henn, who will never be forgotten.
We all miss & love you!!

Nate, having a great time as always, at our wedding:

Let me say that when I go to heaven one day, I hope that people here on Earth have as many nice & heartfelt things to say as we have to say about our good friend, Nate Henn. Nate was a 25 year old humanitarian who left this Earth far before any of us expected it. I guess that's why our name's not God. Nate had a strong, loving spirit that filled rooms as soon as he entered. He had a contagious smile & laugh that left people feeling better, by just being around him.

Nate grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. He attended Concord High School, where I had the pleasure of becoming a very close friend to him. There was a large group of us that could frequently be found hanging out together, just laughing and being ourselves. In college & into adulthood, Nate & I kept in touch. We didn't talk as much as in high school, of course, but both of us knew that we could always make a phone call. And when we met up on school breaks & my trips home, things picked up exactly where they left off.

I'm not exactly sure where the passion inside of Nate was lit for Invisible Children, but it was obvious to me, and most likely anyone who approached the topic with him, that he had his heart 100% into this adventure. Invisible Children, as I've learned more about it since his death, is a not-for-profit organization involved in ending the use of children as soldiers in Uganda. Nate had worked with IC for 18 months without pay, doing what he was passionate about. Then came the opportunity for Nate to visit with some of the children he had worked so hard for & he raised money toward his trip. He was to stay with his aunt & uncle who were missionaries there in Uganda. As many know, the World Cup was in the final games while he was there. He, innocently, went to watch the final game of the World Cup with some of the children that he was there visiting. That night, his life would be ended due to a terrorist bombing at the rugby field where he was watching the game. His life here on Earth is over, but his eternal life with the God he believed so strongly in...that life, is just beginning.

Nate had just found out on my birthday (days before he died) that I was pregnant since he was constantly traveling. He wished me a happy birthday & told me that we would catch back up when he got home from Uganda. Well, unfortunately that phone call won't get to happen. I won't get to see Nate meet Kinsley Anne for the first time with his big smile & loving arms. But, I take such comfort in knowing that he was exactly where he wanted to be when his last moments came. He died living a passionate and meaningful life..a life that I know led him to hear "well done good & faithful servant...well done" at the doors of heaven. And isn't that what we all long to have said about us one day?

Nate and his older brother who dressed up to embarrass him on prom night before pictures!

Below was written by another friend of mine & one of Nate's close friends, Devin Garcia:

I don’t think there’s been a person who has met Nate that didn’t instantly like him. Likewise, I don’t think there exists a person who has met Nate who hasn’t been deeply effected by him. Nate was in a class of the best kind of people. He was universally loved and he loved universally.

I was roommates with Nate our freshman year at the University of Delaware. I observed how he interacted with new people and was awed on numerous occasions by his ability to almost instantaneously connect with people he’d never met. Nate’s ability to connect with people is the reason why so very few people who met Nate remained strangers to him. I suspect it was this natural ability to connect with people on the deepest human levels that inspired Nate to devote his life to alleviating the suffering of others.

Although I moved away after our freshman year, I always thought of Nate as my best friend. He would occasionally write to me, genuinely interested in how my life was going and excited for what was coming up for me. I never felt that I deserved his interest but I always wanted it. Hearing Nate get excited for me helped me realize all that I had going good in my life. Nate had the rare, subtle quality of being able to inspire people to be better simply by giving his attention to them.

You get selfish with people like Nate; because he gives so much and because what he gives is so worthwhile you want it all for yourself. Luckily, what Nate had to give… his time, his friendship, his love… he gave of so abundantly and so freely that it was never in short supply for the many people who sought it out.

We have all certainly lost a great deal because Nate was so rare and so valuable. My heart and prayers go out to his family as they have lost the most. My heart and prayers go out to Nate as well. Nate, you will be remembered as being compassionate, loyal, ridiculously friendly, funny, honest, energetic… and on and on. You are one of a kind Nate. I love you, we all love you.

Nate is 2nd to the left..along with everyone who rode in our limo!
You can read the article about Nate's funeral here that took place last weekend in Delaware. Hundreds gathered and spoke about Nate. There are videos on the same website if you want to watch clips of his siblings/mom/preacher speak of Nate.


Ashley said...

Well said, Jen. We love and miss you Nate!

ritcoxie said...

Well written! Kinsley has an angel watching over her! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It was also wondering that you posted Mr. Gracias thoughts!

Good luck with the next few months you must be so excited!



This isn't "Good-bye", it is "See you soon"!

Theresa said...

Just stopping by from the Blog Hop! You two seem just perfect for each other and like sooo much fun! Congratulations on your pregnancy! From the looks of your blog, you will be great parents!!