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On July 19th, my family woke up to devastating news. My parents, Alex and Kim Nardelli, were informed their first born child had passed away on the evening of July 18th. My sister, Nikki Selba (formerly Nikki Nardelli), was found in her bed where she had died in her sleep at only 40 years old.
Nikki was known as a person who would drop everything to help anyone in need. She was all about her family and friends and always making sure they were taken care of. When she was around there was no such thing as an empty cup or plate. All she wanted was for everyone to be happy and have a good time.
Nikki was also the mother to her 3 Labrador retriever furbabies named Cooper, Tucker, and Ray. They were like her children and she made sure that she let you know that she loved them as much as a parent loved their children. Cooper, Tucker, and Ray are still looking for their mommy.
My sister was an extremely hard worker and a strong female leader. She got her first job waiting tables in a local diner at the age of 16 which paved the road to what would turn into a pretty impressive 25 year career in the restaurant business. She climbed the ladder quickly in this industry and her strive for absolute perfection made her the perfect "fixer" for restaurants that were doing poorly. She was also recognized for being able to see the potential in people even when they didn't know it was there. She would find a way to pull that potential out to the surface and show people they could do things they never thought possible and its unbelievable how many lives she was able to change by doing so. The past two weeks proved just that with so many people saying things like, "Nikki pushed me to be better that I thought I could be and really pulled me out of my shell" and "Nikki taught me how to be a woman in a position of power and be respected." My sister brought out the best in people and changed the direction of so many lives.
In March, the Covid-19 pandemic struck at the worst possible time for Nikki. It had already been a rough few months for her while attempting to reach the next level in her endless climb to the top of the restaurant management ladder. Covid-19 put everything on hold and left Nikki without any income forcing her to deplete her savings. To add insult to injury, she began to experience shortness of breath and started feeling dizzy at times. My sister, Nikki Selba-Nardelli, had tested POSITIVE FOR COVID-19!
My sister already had underlying illness and a weakened immune system so the Corona Virus was not only the worst thing to happen to her career, but was now the worst thing to happen to her health as well. The very thing that destroyed her career that she had so passionately built from the bottom, would be the same thing that ended her time on this earth so early.
My parents were now forced to do the unthinkable, make funeral arrangements for their daughter. Something no parent should ever have to do. As the reality of losing their daughter sunk in, my parents realized just how expensive a funeral can be. They were forced to to dive into their retirement funds to cover the cost of the funeral expenses. My mother, Kim, is already retired and on a fixed income. My father, Alex, is only 18 months away from retirement. This all could not have come at a worse time and is the last thing my sister would have wanted. That was the type of person my sister was. She would do anything for anyone in need and want nothing in return. She would take care of everyone around her but would not want anyone to worry about her. She was selfless and had a huge heart.
Any donation, no matter the size, would most certainly help my parents tremendously. Losing a child is already more than difficult without the financial hardship that comes with the loss of a family member. Please find it in your hearts to help in anyway you can. My family thanks you with all their heart.
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