NSU Writers: Half but Still a Whole

By Mitchell Garcia, NSU Student


How is it that you’re so happy and you’re paralyzed? This is a question Nic gets often. He makes it clear he wasn’t born this way, nor does he see it as a curse, but a blessing. This is also the same question when I see him. Today was different as he sat on the seat next to me. Today he looked different for some reason. I guess it was because he was wearing an unusual color. Today he wasn’t in black. Also, his real name is not Nic. People only call him that because they’re too lazy to say his name, which is Nicholas Remo.

Nic was born March 31, 1981 in Natchitoches. “Life was very basic compared to what I’ve been introduced to, and exposed to in the world,” Nic said.

He was raised on farm land, working hard most of the time. His parents taught him to work for what you want in life. He learned to do a lot of things in his youth: hunting, dealing with cattle, welding, and planting. He went to school but didn’t find it appealing. After graduating he didn’t want to study any more so he stopped.

He was interested in the Army but instead he joined the Navy.

“I was thinking of joining the USA Army because my father and brother were in the Army but the Navy came to me with a better offer. They sold me better dreams, so I signed with them,” Nic explained.

However, he didn’t stay with the Navy. He was offered a bet, that if he lost, he was to join the Marines. “I guess I misjudged this guy,” Nic stated. “He was short and chubby so I thought I could do more pull ups than him. I was wrong. I finished at around seven or eight. This guy just kept going and he was smiling all the time.” Nic laughed as he said this. “I was very angry when I lost because I felt like I played myself but I was a man of my word, and that’s how I ended up in the Marines.”

“It made me grow up really fast. You learn a lot about how to be a leader and how to follow instructions. With my background, I advanced quickly. I was 21-years-old and I had a E5 rank, which was half-way through the ranks,” Nic said. He got married at 19 to live up to the Marine standard life style and later had a child out of the marriage in the Philippines. This was the type of lifestyle Nic lived while in the Marines.

What is still up to this day, a blur to Nic, was a life changing accident. This accident took place late September or early October in the year 2008. The car was taken away from the scene of the accident but they didn’t find him at the time. He was found eight hours after, so no one knows how it happened or who was involved.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and seeing a lot of people. I tried to register what had happened. I was there over a month. I tried to stay positive about the situation, thinking about the fact that I’m still alive.” Nic explained.

Most of the time in the hospital he was on medication for his pain, which badgered him the most. With the doctor’s permission, after a month out of the hospital, he started drinking as an excuse to relieve the pain.

Nic said, “I realized I was going down the same road that I was before the accident: drinking, smoking, trying to get lots of girls, late night partying, and trying to be the high light everywhere I went. Then, I felt like God was telling me that I needed to change.”

He slowly lost his friends that he used to party with. Some of them started talking negatively about him, and others would come back and tell him about it. He never really cared what they had to say.

Although he has changed, the past is still like a memory from yesterday. Nic said, “When you make a lot of mistakes in life, the past tends to come back to haunt you.”

He lives his life happy with his disability. He lives his life very comfortably. Nic said, “I have a contented state of mind, so what people say about me, weather it’s a compliment or not, doesn’t really bother me.” This is one reason why Nic is happy although he is paralyzed. The other is having God in his life. Nic said, “God completes me, he make me feel whole.”

Source: Remo, Nicholas. Personal Interview. October 02, 2017.