(Photo by Wyatt Olson)
Nick Ciampi is the reason Craig and I are Still Married.
Some people come into your life and stir the pot, rearrange things a little bit. Some people arrive bearing gifts that turn your whole world completely on its ear. Nick Ciampi stepped into my life -- with his guitar and his grin -- and changed everything.
Since I was a kid, I'd written songs. But I never had the courage to sing them for an audience until Nick -- singer, songwriter, motivational guru -- told me I had to.
"Just do it," he said.
"But I'm afraid"
"Do it anyway."
"I don't want to." I lied.
"You HAVE to."
So I did - because he held my trembling hand every step of the way and because I believed him.
Nick shared his gifts with Craig -- and told Craig that he should learn to play bass guitar, and Nick explained to us (patiently) what a bass actually was and gave Craig his first lessons. Nick helped me find a whole new voice - in more ways than one - and he encouraged our kids to play piano, mandolin and to write music.
There was a moment shortly after I met Nick, when we were talking about songwriting, and it dawned on me that my life was rapidly moving in an entirely new and frightening direction, and there was absolutely no turning back. I was stepping off into the great unknown because I believed in this long-haired, guitar-playing, hippie Saint Nick. I believed in him because he shared his gifts so generously - his time, his patience, his experience and his passionate commitment to music.
Happy Birthday, Nick - heartfelt thanks to you for all you've brought to our lives.