OKC Bombing Anniversary: How a daughter shares love of sports with father she never met
Nicole Flick doesn’t quite understand her daughter's love of sports.
Flick was never a sports person. She absolutely watches her kids — when loved ones are on the field or the court, she wouldn’t miss that — but she doesn’t understand sitting down and spending hours watching a random football game or golf tournament on TV.
That’s what her daughter, Kylie, does all the time.
Just like her dad.
“She is so much like him,” Nicole marveled, “to have not ever known him.”
Scott Williams died in the bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Exactly three months later, July 19, 1995, Nicole gave birth to Kylie.
The pain of losing Scott remains for Nicole, and on the 25th anniversary of that horrific tragedy, she admits she still struggles, still doesn’t understand. She says she probably never will comprehend why Scott, who was making a delivery to the daycare at the Murrah Building, had to die that day.
“But he left me with the most amazing gift,” Nicole said through tears, “and I really don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t had her.
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“She gave me a reason to exist again.”
Kylie still motivates her mom.
Born with special needs, Kylie has been diagnosed by multiple doctors over the years, but never have come to the same conclusion. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is about the only consistent thread running through her medical records.
“She’s just not a textbook case,” Nicole said.
Even though Kylie lives with Nicole and husband, Tim — Nicole remarried when Kylie was about 8 and had two more children, both boys — Kylie has a big personality. She never meets a stranger, loves making friends and always has a story to tell.
She takes after her dad.
Scott connected with people, and lots of times, that happened through sports. Growing up in Tuttle, he played just about everything. Baseball. Basketball. Golf.
But baseball had his heart.
Scott grew up in the 1970s and 80s when sports weren't broadcast everywhere all the time. But WGN showed the Chicago Cubs, and that hooked him. He could even imitate legendary announcer Harry Caray.
Ryne Sandberg was Scott’s favorite Cub. Since Scott played middle infield — he was the starting shortstop on Tuttle High School’s state championship team in 1988 — he just loved the slick-fielding second baseman.
When Scott and Nicole found out they were pregnant, Scott even wanted to name the baby Ryne if it was a boy. Nicole wasn’t so sure, so they finally settled on Ryan.
A few months later, they found out they were having a girl.
Nicole knows Scott would’ve been a great girl dad.
He would’ve loved the way Kylie loves sports, too.
Scott was set on becoming a coach. After playing college baseball at Rose State College and the University of Central Oklahoma, he spent a year as a grad assistant at UCO while finishing up his teaching degree. He was an assistant at Edmond North High School and for one of Edmond’s American Legion summer teams.
He loved working with kids and wanted to do it for the rest of his life.
When Nicole and Scott found out they were going to become parents, she wanted to stay home with the baby and he worried about making ends meet on a teacher’s salary. So, he got a job as a sales rep for food distributor Wm. E. Davis.
The America’s Kids day care center at the Murrah Building was one of his clients.
Losing Scott caused pain that Nicole never imagined.
But having Kylie caused joy in equal measure.
“She was my reason to get up in the mornings again,” Nicole said. “Gave me a reason to get up and face the day and move on and continue on with life.”
That hasn’t changed as Kylie has grown. Because of her special needs, there are difficult days, times when Kylie wants to wear shorts in the dead of winter or a sweater in the heat of summer. There are moods and impulses that her mother just doesn’t understand.
Then again, Nicole doesn’t understand Kylie’s interest in sports either, but Nicole is so grateful for it.
It gives her a glimpse into the past. She can see Scott in Kylie.
A few years back, Nicole took Kylie with her on a visit to a work friend’s house. The woman’s husband was watching a golf tournament on TV, and when Nicole and her friend went into another room, Kylie sat down to watch the tournament with him.
The next day, Nicole’s co-worker said her husband was in awe of Kylie.
“He could not believe how much she knew,” the woman said. “She was talking about the golfers.”
“Yeah,” she told her co-worker, “Kylie didn’t learn that from me.”
Nicole Flick is so glad Kylie learned it from the father she never knew.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 405-475-4125 or email@example.com. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK or follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok.