In memory of Nicole Claire Lindeman, ‘20

During the 2019-2020 school year, Nicole and I were seniors. It was the week before school started, and she had a bunch of Link Crew events to work. I had nothing. So, my days consisted of waiting for Nicole to get back from school, so we could hang out. On one of those days, I was having a particularly hard time, so I called Nicole. She told me she couldn’t leave yet, but as soon as she was done, she would come and pick me up. I knew this was going to be the answer, but I was still sad to have to wait. Although I do not remember saying anything, she must have heard it in my voice because, within the next few seconds, she was telling me I could come join her at school, and then we could do something afterward.

So, that’s exactly what I did. I got in my car and drove over to NDB and pretended to be on Link Crew for the rest of the day. After, we left in her car. She turned on the music all the way up and drove us to her house for a quick stop and check-in with her parents before leaving again, just for a drive. We ended up in a parking garage in downtown San Carlos, having a dance party.

This is one of my favorite memories with Nicole. Not because it was a great day and we did great things, but because it was a bad day that was turned around by being with Nicole and doing exactly what we always did: Go to school, drive around and have a dance party.

Nicole could turn my whole day around with a smile because she knew me. She really knew me. That was just the type of person she was: Someone who loved deeply and showed it.

Earlier this month, I spoke at Nicole’s funeral. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. And, when it was over, all I wanted to do was call Nicole, so she could listen, then tell me she’s on her way to pick me up because we’re going on a drive. So, my worst day could be a little bit better.

But, that can’t happen.

Now, all we have left are stories and memories. I feel very lucky to have quite a few of them, but I still wish I had more. I wish I had one more memory of her laughing to the sound of her own singing voice. Because that is just how bad it was.

One more memory of her bonding with a stranger about being gluten-free. It didn’t matter if we were in the middle of the aisle at Lucky’s, she was stopping to chat.

One more memory of her asking for a hug with a big smile on her face, her arms outstretched and, if anyone took too long to give the hug, the smile would fade into a mocking pout.

One more memory of her calling me to debrief Sunday’s episode of “Euphoria.” Even though we would text all throughout the episode, a call the next morning was still essential.

One more memory of her dancing around her kitchen. The wooden spoon in hand as a microphone was my most favorite touch.

One more memory of her pretending to help her parents load the car – One time, she proclaimed starting the car would be the biggest help, so she climbed in and then blasted the air in attempt to dry her wet clothes from a day on the river.

I just want one more. And, if you knew Nicole, you would, too.

Because she was beautiful and kind. She was welcoming and passionate. But, above everything she was, she was a friend and a sister to nearly everyone she came across.