Nate says he understands where Jenny, Steve and Lincoln are coming from when they say they're afraid of losing Jake's memory. In 2004, Nate and his partner, Fernando, were on vacation in Thailand when the devastating tsunami hit. Nate survived, but Fernando did not. "One of the reasons why your story was very touching to me was that I lost my partner very dear to me very suddenly, and it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that people aren't things. They're just not," he says.
Nate says he held onto a voice mail Fernando had left on his cell phone for a year after his death. Not knowing his phone would automatically erase messages that were a year old, Nate was shocked to find it was gone when he went to listen to it on New Year's 2006. "It forced me to realize that, that wasn't Fernando, as sad as it was," Nate says.
Helping Jenny, Steve and Lincoln will be a moving experience for everyone, Nate says. "This is a monumental day for you and for you and for you, and likely for us, because we're here to help represent the future and honor the past. And that's really what we're here to do."
To start, Peter asks each person to name one item that they most associate with Jake. For Jenny, it's the Big Bird doll that kept him company when he was sick. Lincoln remembers beating Jake at Harry Potter board games, and Steve says he still remembers the way Jake would organize and reorganize the contents of a small peach box. "Each of you has identified something at the top of the pile in terms of something that really has strong, positive things about Jake, and that's got to be the focus today."