Mad for…Nick

There is no substitute for hard work. –Thomas A. Edison

Typically, I don’t write about folks from the same family in such close proximity to one another, but the family I have focused on this week seems to celebrate just a plethora of birthdays in the month of May! The above photo I featured just a couple of days ago, on the occasion of Alli Andriole’s “Sweet 16”. Today, I want to honor her older brother, Nick, who is pictured at left, because today is his 21st birthday! Happy Birthday, Nick Pat!!

Nicholas Patrick Andriole, who I affectionately call “Nick Pat” is older brother to Jake and Alli and the son of Rich and Janet. When he was in grade school, he and my son, who is also named Nick, became the best of friends. They spent countless hours together…and his mom declared fairly early on that she refused to call her own son by his last name. So, to differentiate between the two, she informed us all that they would be henceforth referred to as “Nick Pat” and Nick Fred”. It stuck. To this day, that’s how I usually refer to both of them!

Nick Pat is a amazing young man who is filled with compassion for others. The good Lord also graced him with an extra large helping of integrity. HOWEVER, this handsome young man has one quality which defines him for me. He is THE HARDEST WORKER EVER. This kid’s work ethic puts the rest of us to shame. He’s humble, unassuming and with not a shred of the scourge of entitlement with which many young people seem to be afflicted.

Despite the adversity of learning challenges stemming from his dyslexia diagnosis in grade school, this kid continued to achieve both academically and athletically. He’s a talented baseball player who attends the University of Dayton. I don’t know exactly what he plans to do with his degree when he finishes it up next year, but he would make an incredible teacher and coach to young people. I read a great quote this week, which was attributed to Rick Warren who said, “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” I absolutely adore the uplifting message and believe with all my heart that Nick Pat will spend his life in service to the Lord by witnessing to young people in some capacity and reaching many who need to see the loveliness of his example. His strength of character, as well as his own experiences in the classroom and on the ball field will be a beacon of light for others. That’s how it’s going to go down, I’m not even a little unsure.

This young man is strong, loyal and he is a gentleman. He’s faithful, integrity-filled and unflinchingly honest. As he continues to mature, his positive “can-do” attitude and stunning work ethic will take him far. Young man, I am speaking for the entire Thieme clan when I say that we wish you nothing but success and happiness. Your enthusiasm and sunshine have long been a blessing to me personally and to my entire family. We love you, Nick Pat! Happy 21st Birthday, kid. Stop in for a hug when you get home, okay? The drinks are on the house!!

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