In 1985, a fortune teller in Hong Kong looked at Mercedes Cana’s palm and told her she would marry a European. She dismissed the prediction as impossible because her boyfriend was from the Philippines, just like she was.
But four years later, she found herself in New York, newly single and working as a nanny. That’s when a friend set her up with a guy named Nik, a handsome electrician who was polite and funny. And he was originally from Greece.
The two were engaged six months later, although it would take them six years to get married. “Nik like to do things right so we waited to do it in the right order -- marriage, house, then kids,” she said.
They had trouble with the last part. A first round of in-vitro fertilization was fruitless; a second resulted in a miscarriage.They had given up but then, two years later, Mercedes got pregnant naturally and gave birth to Nicole, now 10. “I was 42 and Nik was 50,” she recalled, “so the doctors told me I wouldn’t get pregnant. She is our miracle.”
Mercedes said Nicole is bright, friendly and cares about others, just like her dad. Nik was very close to his daughter, never missing a school play or recital. “When I think of his legacy and all of the things he did in his life, his daughter was his greatest achievement,” she said.
This collision happened on April 8, 2014 near Remsen Avenue and Glenwood Avenue in Brooklyn. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.