Monday, June 10, 2019

If There Are Looms in Heaven....

Then this dear man is already seated and throwing a shuttle....

Rev Wayne Nicholson (Padre Wayne) July 31st 1948- June 10th 2019
I first met Wayne on a social media group called Ravelry, and in particular, a forum called Warped Weavers. We simply started chatting and sharing our love for weaving.  He called himself an (over) eager novice and had asked for some advise on a draft and we took off as friends.  He had that way of drawing you in and next thing you knew, you were enjoying life with him.

In 2014, he and his spouse Harry were taking a summer sabbatical from their parish in Mt Pleasant, Michigan and coming out to the PNW or Pacific Northwest, and he declared that they intended to come up island and visit us.  We were thrilled that they would take such a large detour to come and see us. I was waiting on both hip and knee replacements so with that understanding of my limited capabilities it was on!

We had a marvellous time with them: visited The Loom at Whippletree Junction south of Duncan, and also Leola's Studio. Yarn purchases made at each stop of course.    Dinner at the Rock Cod Cafe in Cowichan Bay and a walk on the Maritime pier after dinner.  (I also heard that visits in Victoria included Knotty by Nature and BeeHive)

It turned out to be a very special time for them as they had married while in Port Townsend !  We were part of their honeymoon tour...

They came back again the following summer and we had another few days of visiting and sharing. Wayne discovered the joys of the 20+ tie up assist on my loom (which he subsequently bought with Harry's urging and loved it) 

We each had a loom or wheel to play with and had a great time and wonderful conversation.     In 2016 we moved here to Campbell River and so we missed their annual visit, but in 2017 we were all set to host them again. It was not to be as Wayne had forgotten his passport in his locked car in Detroit and so issues crossing the border prevented the visit from happening.   This past summer in 2018, Wayne retired and they moved from Michigan to their new home in Bay St Louis on the Gulf Coast.

They were in their car when it was struck from behind at a high rate of speed on June 3rd. Broken bones for both, but Wayne soon was in a coma and then the prayers started flowing in for a miracle.  His wounds were too great and he was taken off of life support today.  

What has happened is what I like to think of as the "Wayne effect"..... people are discovering just how many lives these two people touched. On Ravelry or FaceBook, everyone has a story to tell and share with others.  Wayne helping others as they grieve, or in poor health and / or hospitalized, feeding the homeless,  sermons of hope and love,  and so much more. He was a supporter of women and marched proudly with a pink pussy hat, marched for BLM (Black Lives Matter), LGBTQ rights.......he was all about people simply being who they are and being equal.  

In the weaving world: he always had an encouraging comment, suggestion or willing to share. Many weavers have a towel he gifted them or hot pads (I have some too). He and I did sample exchanges  and so there was always one for me and one for Wayne with every project that came off my loom.

Padre Wayne would so flustered by all the attention and prayers sent his way in these past few days.  His husband Harry will be healing and grieving.... but hopefully all the love sent his way will help ease the pain.

Harry wearing one of Wayne's scarves at Notre Dame Cathedral
Wayne was a great support when my father was dying in 2015. It took seven months and there was a lot to deal with, and Wayne helped me along the inevitable way.  He was also quick with support as I had my joint replacement challenges, and again when Bruce dealt with his bladder cancer last year.  He literally shared his compassion everywhere and if you weren't religious, not a biblical word passed his lips. He was one of those very special people who can reach everyone with empathy.  

We would use FaceTime and walk around showing each other what was on the loom and catch up on news and plans.  Ah, they had such plans......    

I'm sure that someone will finish his project on the loom for him. I know if I lived closer, I would would do that for him.... as he would have done for me.

Rest easy my friend.


Unknown said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like a wonderful friendship with common loves all around.

Jean said...

I can't believe he's gone. I never met him in person, but had many interactions with him via Ravelry. He will be sorely missed.

onwardb said...

Susan, thank you so much for this remembrance of this remarkable human being. What a lovely, lovely man. I am sadden that we have lost this sweet soul. That he touched so many of us through his online presence is truly a testament to how powerful kindness can be. How blessed you are that you shared such a deep friendship with him. Thanks again for sharing.

diag said...

Thank you for the beautiful story of Padre Wayne.

lorrwill said...

What a lovely tribute. Condolences for your loss. He sounds like a lovely man who enriched many lives.