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  • Writer's pictureRoxie Daggett

How to Identify a Superhero

One of my favorite stories about Nathanael takes place on a gray fall afternoon in Tacoma, Washington circa 2003. N and I were engaged and he visited me for lunch at Jennie Reed Elementary School where I worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. I don't remember our lunch date, but I do remember what happened after N stepped out of my classroom. He told me that as he was walking down the dim hallway back to his car (the Cadillac he dubbed White Lightning, pictured below), he came in step with a cute, African-American first, or maybe, second grader. If you've ever taken a walk with N you can easily picture his long, graceful stride as he headed down a quiet space where rooms full of wild children were made to learn in an orderly fashion. The two strangers marched silently on across the sticky linoleum floor when the little guy opened up the conversation.

"Hey, Spiderman," he said casually without even looking up at N.

Nathanael, true to his unruffled nature, continued walking while giving one of his matter-of-fact responses: "Is that a complement?"

His young admirer looked up at him with slight irritation: "NO--IT'S A SUPERHERO!"

Maybe it was the sandy brown hair and glasses on the tall white guy, or perhaps it was his big black Oakley shoes with the white web stitching that inspired the comment. Or maybe this young fellow simply knew with his smart, kid's intuition that he was in the presence of a real life superhero. No matter the situation, N maintained a very calm, sweet yet commanding presence and everyone who met him knew there was something very special about him. He was a bit unearthly and there have been more than one of us who wondered if we were in the presence of an angel. But I can assure you, as his wife, that he was a human being... just an extra super special one. His enduring smile, the hallmark of his being, radiated each and every day through the pain that would have caused most of us to turn rude and bitter. The physical suffering he endured for many years, which finally ended his young life on June 16, 2015, was immense, but his attitude was BEYOND heroic. This website and blog are dedicated to celebrating the stories, lessons and gifts that Nathanael Daggett left for all of us-- ones that I know he would love to have shared.

There is a Guest Book on this site if you'd like to add your own memory, story, poem or whatever inspiration you chose to honor N. We'd love to hear from you!

This site also includes N's life story highlighting special and important parts of his history that made him the incredible person he was. And there is also a Resources page that focuses on health information gleaned by our family over the years that will hopefully help people understand more about Lyme disease, the immune system and other issues.

There is no doubt that Nathanael Daggett is a SUPERHERO to many of us and this site is a place to celebrate the many gifts he continues to give.

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