Nathaniel James Miller
It was February 18, 1988 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and what Nathaniel James Miller really wanted was to just sleep in a little longer. But he could tell something was going on, and he didn’t like missing out on things, so he took one last stretch and went to put some faces to the voices he had been hearing: Mama and Daddy. Nathan liked Debbie and Andy the first time he ever met them. Liking everybody would become a defining theme of Nathan’s life. But his absolute favorites were his little brother Josh, little sis Hannah, and baby brother Christopher John-John. Bub always loved them all well, especially when they were all together—more noise, more laughter, more fun. Nathan always took particular delight in the wisdom and company of his elders, like Great Grandpa Chuck and Great Grandma Lila and Great Grandpa George and Great Grandma Wynema and Grandpa Mo and Grandma Connie and Papa Earl and Nana Beverly. He loved telling them everything he could think of, as fast as he could say it, his whole face just one big smile, asking a million questions about whatever it was they were doing and asking if he could do it too, until either he was exhausted or they were. When Nate discovered the outdoors, he was endlessly fascinated with everything there was to look at and explore and ask questions about and climb on top of and touch and poke with sticks and flip over and see what was underneath and get stung by. In particular, he cherished time around the campfire at Roman Nose, laughing with his siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles. If you asked Nate his favorite animal, he’d say they’re all great. But if you insisted he had to pick, he’d say dogs, then smile and add… “the uglier and smellier, the better.” Loving the unloveable is another recurring theme of Nathan’s life. Take Rocky, for example, a scruff whose limited interests included rolling in filth and ruining beds. And of course there was Nate’s beloved Hurley. When Nathan’s friend discovered the neglected, abused pit bull, his teeth shattered from trying to chew himself free, Nathan cut Hurley’s chain and saved his life. From that day on, the gratitude and unconditional love visible in Hurley’s eyes never faded. In the all-too-brief time they shared together, it became clear they had saved each other. Hurley was family, and family was important to Nathan. He looked forward to the times he got to spend with his siblings, his dad, and their family: Missy, Aaron, Daren, and Collin. He also appreciated his mom’s husband Gerald, happy that their marriage meant he had more sisters, in Gennifer, Lex, and Amanda. It was when Nate moved to Louisiana that he met his “other mother,” Ann Kinchen, and his mentor, father figure, and instant best buddy Russell Kinchen. Nate loved talking shop and eating burgers and working hard at fixing cars with Russell. Although they only had a short time with each other, Nate was deeply grateful for it. As Russell was saying goodbye, Nathan promised he’d do all he could to take care of Ann. They talked about everything, laughing and crying, sometimes late into the night. Ann taught Nate to cook, and he made a point of telling her every day how much he loved and appreciated her. Russell’s dog Gus adopted Nate as his own, following him everywhere. Nate was a sucker for Gus, babying him and sharing people food with him. Fortunately, the three of them were also blessed to have an entire extended family they could count on: hanging out with Sydnie, setting up computers for Mrs. Vickie’s school, bringing Chuck back to the house to jam on Pink Floyd, cutting Larry’s hair, visiting with Kalina and doing whatever he could for her, fixing a computer or just taking out the trash. Another theme of Nathan’s life was not having enough time. None of us were ready to let you go. We miss your smile. The world would be a much nicer place if the rest of us had your curiosity, your superpower of seeing the wonder and the good in every living thing. Hopefully you and Grandpa Chuck are enjoying a smoke somewhere, walking together across the top of a river, working your trotlines and pulling out mudcats and channelcats. You left too soon, Bub. We will always miss you. We will always love you. Private family services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, May 15th. We will be live streaming this service in an effort to accommodate those people that wish to attend but feel they should not due to the health environment. To watch the service CLICK HERE to go to our YouTube page. Then click on ‘Videos’ then ‘Live Streams’.