******* My Story *******

AS TOLD BY .... BUCKS' MESSAGE BOARD

Homebody * cn1466@coastalnet.com
This is Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 12:03:09 (3PM EST. )

Just received a message from Gypsy telling us that her son Eric was killed last night. Thought this the place to let all know.

EZ1 * kenge@earthlink.net Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 12:28:42
Gypsy... Knowing the futility of words at a time like this I would still wish to extend my prayers and thoughts to you and yours. Ken (EZ1)

GAVIN (Turtie), South Africa * gshoole@aztec.co.za
Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 12:32:11
To Gypsy and family; Homebody told us the sad news. We are with you in this hour, and send you much love.

Sandy * djsmith@sat.net Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 15:29:32
GYPSY-- To you and your family, Know my prayers are with you. May God Bless and keep you. Much Love from--Sandy

E.T. Lynn Lanala * :lanalal@up.net
Date:Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 15:38:07
Comments: To Gypsi and her family..my heart is sore today for your loss. After just going through something like this I know some of what you are feeling. All of us are holding you in our prayers. God comfort you and keep your family.

Bugsy aka Show Low bugsy@hooked.net
Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 15:45:19
GYPSI...Words simply cannot express ones feelings at a time like this, Your friends on 50+ share your grief. My prayers and those of the rest of our little society are all with you and your family. I have lost a son also and understand the emptiness and pain.

Homebody * cn1466@coastalnet.com Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 15:45:23
Sandyyy and Luna have sent flowers to Gypsy. All who want to contribute to the flowers should leave their e-mail address.

Riff * earl@goodnet.com Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 16:06:58
I want to extend my sincerest sympathy to you and your family on this terrible loss.

Cassie LionsBay BC (Cheryl) * cheryls@vkool.com
Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 16:10:05
To Nina and her family: There are no words that will help to make your pain go away. Just feel the warmth of the tears that are shed for you today and know that we are there, beside you.

SILLY FILLY * zani2u@theriver.com
Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 16:21:53
We have a member who has lost a loved one... our GYPSY Please email her with your own words to express your condolences on behalf of yourself and all the members of the 50 + family !

HAPPY from Longview Washington carola@kalama.com
Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 16:49:04
Gypsy....... May you be feeling our arms around you at this time....we all care and feel your loss....there are no words we can really say, but know you are in our prayers and our hearts! As you need help to get through the days ahead, please turn to all of us to support you and love you! May you be blessed and comforted by the love of 50+...... ~Happy

SoCalGal Laura Hewson Email:hbird@koan.com
Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 16:55:27
Gypsie, I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am to hear about the loss of your son. My Love and Prayers are with you and your family. Your son will be sorely missed. Now he sits at the side of God. All our love, The Hewson Family

Bill Dawes * Email:wmdawes@colorpro.com Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 17:10:27
Gypsys'son, Eric, has been killed in an accident. She(Nina Baker) lives in xxxxxxxxxxxx Her e-mail address is nbaker@shentel.net

Clipped by Buck,  from the 50+CHAT PAGES
>From Gypsi's Biography listed in membership information:

Home: The beautiful Shenandoah Valley, nestled gently amidst the 
National Forests and Blue Ridge
Marital status: Single? Married? *(presently) both and neither!*
Birthday: July 6,1943 - place, Chicago Illinois
Children: Three.  Two daughters -- Cathy, 37 Jeanne, 35 (and expecting again) and a son, Eric, a double major (English and Philosophy), will be graduating from Ferrum college in a few weeks, then going on to Post-Grad school to get his Masters' Degree.
Grandchildren: 8 & 1/3 - (Jeanne is expecting again) 
ages ranging from 16 down through minus-5months
Occupation: Full-time "Mommy" grandmommy to one of my grandchildren,  Brandi. 
*Writer, 
*Owner of "Foods for Body & Soul" 
(
a Natural Foods and Christian Book Store
*Friendships* 
*Herbologist, 
*Homemaker, 
*Family Nurturer
* Hobbies, interests: *Reading, *Music, *Theatre and *Movies, *Tropical fish, *Sewing and needlework.*Art (
sketching, painting, photography), *Loving and nurturing people, pets, plants...etc. *Homemaking, *cooking & baking, *Serving my Creator &`Feeding His Sheep'
Activities: **Computer! *Raising our precious Brandi *Writing 
* A Practicing `medicine woman'
(
alternative healing remedies and methodologies
Pets: One 17 year-old miniature- long-haired-daschund, now blinded as consequence of glaucoma (two years now) - "Buffy" who is VERY attached to her "MOMMY" and her "sister Brandi"
I want: To be content and fulfilled in each new day .... 
loving as long as I live - and living as well as I love....
I wish: That everyone could be the same as above. 
Other: It is my prayer for each and every soul to be content in knowing, 
as they lay down to sleep each night, 
that their day was truly "Well spent" (invested)... *SMILE*.
I hope: That our group will grow in strength and numbers and 
that the good of what we are here together will spread 
in ever increasing circles, out into all the world...forever.

~

Charlie: For us who mourn with Nina... "Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Carole: she clipped from the paper yesterday: "We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn,  to grow, to love and then we return Home" So tragic though when those who go "Home" are so young

CAROLE in the hills cwaller@spider.lloyd.com
Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 19:21:48
Comments: Gypsi, Please know I am just one of dozens of your cyber friends keeping you in my thoughts and prayers at this time. God Bless You and your family during this time of trouble! {{{{{}}}}} to all, Carole

Marge (Roux) Lindskog - roolind@csn.net Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 19:23:37
My mom died two weeks ago. I have learned that even though there may be nothing others can do for you, just knowing that others care and are is a comfort. Gypsi - there is a wave of caring and comfort surrounding you from 50+

Louise - lcstarr@azstarnet.com Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 19:42:15
Sincere condolences for your loss....many understand your pain and hold you in our thoughts.

jteems (Jack Teems) - jtreems@hills.net Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 20:08:11
Gypsi, you know you have our thoughts and prayers and we feel, in some small way, your tragic loss. We are your cyberspace family and you have our support. God Bless!

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 21:57:36
Goodbye letter to my Eric My Dear Son, Eric;
They tell me, you are dead. I know that is not so. You are not dead so long as I live and breath - for you are with me now as ever you were born into this world. Even before then - you were with me. Wherever eyes may read these words, (but not limited to that finite realm) - your soul and mine are now conversing inside of me and outside - far off from me - and everywhere in this universe and beyond - we speak..... I am listening here. I am crying out here. I am here. And you are here with me - but at the same time - you are in a realm I have no way of entering. You were here in this one with me - and here you will remain... and you, my most precious, precious son - you have taken me where it is you have gone. I will meet you there. One day. I know not when. I know not the when or the how of it...but I will come too. Here - all around me - tiny seeds of you are scattered - planted within the hearts and minds of those whom you called friends. Those seeds will grow and you will be everywhere -spread out and on through eternity - you will be taken by them....... I will see you. I see you now - the entire span of your 22 years...... it is playing on like an eternal video going on and on in the background of my shattered life and being. 22 springs. 22 summers, 22 falls, winters, 22 birthdays. 22 of each and every holiday except this Easter...... those numbered only 21. And this Mothers' Day will come - without you. Yet, you will be here in your new residence that none can see or feel except me. And so - this is not good-bye - but hello. Hello to our new internal proximity where we are one and you have become one to and with the many others who carry you with them now. Those of them that are gathering to say a common farewell to you.... are now the vehicle by which you are going to go out from this mothers' heart and this small town in which you were born, into places and circumstances unknown to any of us now... situations that you in your most special and uncommon way, will have touched and in the touching - will have forever lay the mark of your passage amongst us.... And so it is that these words have come from my heart as a memorial and a tribute to the greatest investment I have ever made, or will make of myself. Dead, they say?.... no - never...... I see you in every eye looking back at me now. I feel you in the common sorrow and memories we are sharing together in the wake of your transcendence....... Your Mom & mother

GYPSY :gypsy@shentel.net Tuesday - 2/Apr/96 - 22:34:49
Thank you all so much for these loving messages to me here. At the request of many of you, my dear friends - I feel it appropriate to allow my `real' address to be put here..... <excerpted> ..You are all giving me SUCH strength, Thank you so much! Love to you all, Your GYPSY,(Nina)

SILLY FILLY (LaJuan Holden) - :zani2u@theriver.com
Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 6:26:08
GYPSY, My heart and prayers go out to you on your loss! May GOD fold you in his arms and soothe the hurt! This was a Poem I wrote for my husband and now want to share with you in remembrance of your son . It was "originally" titled
TO MY BELOVED
When the last particles of earth are pushed against my grave 
And all but you are gone 
My voice will whisper in the wind
Letting you know that I'm still watching on.   
If a breeze brushes your cheek I will be the wind, 
If you smell a blossom I will be the fragrance, 
Should you despair I will be your strength, 
Should you cry I will be your tears. 
My love so vast and great for you Can never be silenced by death
Until you and I are together again I will be your every breath.
LaJuan \'72

MMM (Marge in Texas) - marge.mitchell@polaris.dhs.state.tx.us
Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 6:53:48
Gypsi/Nina....... I am so sorry about your loss. My prayers, thoughts and love are with you and your family. My heart is heavy for you. Remember this: Hold on to Jesus; He is holding on to you. You're never alone, and we share your pain.     Love and strength to you........Marge

Name:Sandyyy310 sma218@en.com Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 7:07:12
Gypsi, I wish I could take all the pain from you, but I only have my prayers and friendship to offer. My heart goes out to you and your family. We all love you here in 50+chat, hope you can feel it! Love,Sandy

Obsessed (Sandy) sandradavies@ntr.net Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 7:45:44
Dear Gypsy, My heart is heavy with your loss. I was so overwhelmed with emotion - and inspired at the same time - when I read your letter to your son. You are a very strong and loving mother. Your son must be so proud of you. It was heartening to read that you donated his organs. That gives me hope for my son, Kyle, should he ever need a heart... I hope more people do this. In the midst of tragedy, so much good can be done. God bless you, dear Gypsy. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Sandy (Obsessed)

bluegill/Bonnie Jean (BJ) Eddy eddyb@com.msu.edu
Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 7:51:04
Gypsi, may God's love and our prayers see you through this terrible time. You are surrounded with love. - bj

Jazzi - adufseth@luminet.net wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 9:22:02
Comments: Gypsy.... I am so sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your son Eric. I cannot say that I fully understand the pain you are feeling, but as a Mother of three I am feeling some of your pain today. May the Lord give you strength, and may you find a peace in that strength that will enable you to keep your son alive in your heart forever. May you also find strength in all the people around you who care about you and will be there for you whenever you need them. That thought makes your very own words in your Bio have much more meaning now..."That our group will grow in strength and numbers and that the good of what we are together will spread in ever increasing circles, out into all the world...forever. "

PatnKatz - PatnKatz@aol.com Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 13:12:49
Gypsy, I wanted you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. I am a newcomer to the 50+ group and have been on a few times with you. Just reading the sentiments of the people in your time of loss makes be realize what a very special group this is and what a very special person you are. You have obviously touched many lives support is there for you---use it as there are many people willing to help. ..........Patsy

BEV - luna@qn.net Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 14:57:26
Comments: Gypsy , you are so right in your letter to Eric. This life is just a stopping place for the eternal one, where we will be together for eternity. It is Easter, He died on the cross that we may have eternal life. Eric is with the Lord now and he must be a wonderful person for the Lord to want him. Obviously he had performed his task here and you will all be together again for eternity. HE IS RISEN!!! - I love you and hurt for you and which I could hold you, but God has you in His powerful arms. We never know why, but we know He does not make mistakes.

JILL (BANKER) HAUSSLER sdavis@csb.cambridge.ne.us
Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 16:56:16
My thoughts and prayers are with you also. May you and your family know and feel the love of The Lord in your time of need.

Shirley (Granny) Davis - sdavis@csb.cambridge.ne.us
Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 17:41:51
Dear Nina (Gypsy) I know that words will not really help at a time of immense lost but hopefully you can draw strength from knowing that so many of your chat friends and thinking about you and praying for you. Maybe you can some how feel the many arms of friendship that are around you at this time, and in some small measure make your pain a little easier to bear. May God be with you.
Shirley (Granny) Davis

DanainWashington (Dana) danac@erols.com Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 18:53:38
Comments: Dear Gypsy, My prayers are with you in the tragic loss of your son, Eric. I can't imagine the pain you are having to bear. Maybe this is not the time to speak of comfort, which is what I want for you, but it has to come after a lot of pain -- and the pain continues even with the comfort. Hold on to your dear son. I think our dear ones stay with us in a very real way. God blessed you with Eric, and God will, in some way, continue that blessing. With love, Dana

jean sandel/arova - jerasa@clan.TartanNET.ns.ca
Thursday - 4/Apr/96 - 11:53:13
I need Gypsi's tel. no.

Patches - jcoulter@flash.net Wednesday - 3/Apr/96 - 22:04:45
Comments: Gypsi~ Blessed be the God...who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

PAX +50 Chat - staylor@direct.ca Thursday - 4/Apr/96 - 15:41:58
Gypsy I was so very sorry to hear of the loss of your son Eric, my thoughts and prayers go out to you at this time if the love of friends can help, you are surrounded

num (Kathy B) - kathyb@betty.bigeasy.com
Date:Thursday - 4/Apr/96 - 12:01:15
Gypsy, I have just learned of the news of the loss you have had. There are no words adequate that can be expressed at such a time. I am thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.

"GYPSY" - gypsy@shentel.net Thursday - 4/Apr/96 - 18:27:54
To my DEAR dear friends; I went this afternoon to pick up Eric (ashes) and keep him here with me at home until the memorial service at 3 tomorrow afternoon. When there - I saw the most incredibly beautiful basket sent by the group. I don't know how something like that was arranged or shared among you - but what a bright and shining moment that was in my day! You are all SO wonderful. So supportive and strengthening that I (for once) simply cannot find words expressive enough to tell you what it meant to me! We truly are a most wonderful family here - and I thank God for each and every one to you! I have never experienced anything as devastating as this - and here I find an interwoven combination of love from all over the world right here in my mail and even on this board! What a timely and priceless support this is to me right now! I will be back `with' you all as soon as possible. I feel the darkness of depression moving in like a smothering dark fog in which I could lose my way - and then here I find all these bright and shining stars of love shining through it! I love and thank you all, Your GYPSY, (Nina)

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Friday - 5/Apr/96 - 5:47:38
I know by the phone calls and continued messages - that you are all with me in this time, and so I thought that I would share with you, a bit from my journal as my way of keeping you informed as to my state of mind/condition. It was all I could do just to write that - I have nothing left to make a small note or letter now - so offer you this sharing from my journal.

******************************

Dear Me..... ` Friday, April 5, 1996
I know you are doubting -
here in these early hours of morning and mourning - that you can go on. It feels like you want to stand still and hold onto your little boy. Remember how the stages arrived and the `letting go' thresholds had to be crossed? This is but another one. You can do it. Yes - I know. When you awoke this morning, the meekie-wrapped box there inside the covers and even a bit on your little blue satin pillow where your head lay... (Buffy having lain on the other side of him with her head resting on him all throughout the night as though she KNEW that her "brother" lay inside) - and felt that the whole box was very warm from the `cuddling'..... there was a desire to KEEP him. Well, there is no real keeping of him in our power, and I well know that, - but to keep the warmth in him and to draw the comfort of that presence of his remains - forever. Yet - I would not wish that he should remain a sterile compilation of ashes locked up forever within a black box.... No - my wish is that he should live on in our hearts and to do that - we must not cling to black boxes with hidden-from-view contents. Those remains are a concentrated source of elements which will be eagerly taken up into the majestic trees which grow in that inaccessible terrain - wild and undisturbed. Made in accessible by the rock formations among which they grow. There he will be a part of a rare thing on this earth- for there are few places which man does not covet from it! This place will not ever - until the Lord returns - never be raped or ravaged by man. This is a quiet place of peace and tranquility to which I offer what Eric has yet to give away... There will be no desecration. And I - I know that I too will join him there one day. What a wonder that a son should come from a mother and then the mother shall one day return and join the son in a unity of common particles within trees, shrubs and flowers there.... It comforts me. I also must BEWARE lest it entice me too....... I almost feel that already. You my Abba, have walked with me through the shadow of death so many times that I would be hard pressed to number them. I feel Your Almighty Presence ever-the-more when I am weak like this....
Later...  As I went to the front door..... ( I keep doing that almost as if to see if you, Eric, won't be pulling up in the driveway again after all) I saw two white plastic wrapped bundles there in the grass - the 200 papers which we purchased to give away to your friends today - the issue with the "by Nina", biography published in it. I can no longer give you anything except by giving to them - and so I will. A few feet away, the sight of our very first Daffodil of the Spring opened to this days' sunrise - greeted my eyes too. A gift for me given - I truly believe, in honor of the day and a farewell to Eric too. I shall take it with us, I think, and place it upon the memorial table with his other things.....

*********

The hour draws close, and with each passing minute and each step I take - it is a wonder to me how much of all of you is pouring into and around me in support. Again - I love you all and will be back when able. Your GYPSY, (Nina)

*******

grandmum - nmanning@bak2.lightspeed.net Saturday - 6/Apr/96 - 13:31:34
Gypsy: What a strong woman you are. My heart if filled with love and sympathy for you and yours at this time. I can only say that my love and big *warm hugs* go out to you at this time. Please hold HIM close to you now for HE alone can help you through this time. My love, always, grandmum

grinsalot - Sandy Grant - sgrant1@ix.netcom.com
Saturday - 6/Apr/96 - 12:15:11
Gypsi - One more person who holds you in her heart. God bless.

Squaw - areuter@usit.net Saturday - 6/Apr/96 - 21:26:14
Gypsi, Just want you to know that you are still in our hearts and prayers. The Lord will support and give you the strength to get through the days ahead. He will lead and direct your path. We will be waiting for you to return to us. Love, Ann

"GYPSY" - gypsy@shentel.net Sunday - 7/Apr/96 - 17:29:20
Hello all my wonderful, wonderful friends. Just wanted to check in with you all and let you know that tomorrow we will be on the road to Erics' college where there will be a large memorial service which will include candle lighting ceremony and testimonials from friends and faculty. We have arranged to video-tape this one in order to share it with those who will not be able to attend. I am weary and numb at times, overwhelmed with the loss at others - but always - always - there are the continuing messages from you when I check my mail in the quiet, lonely hours of sleeplessness in the night... Thank you for being here and for loving me so much and giving me the extra support that has made it possible to do all that I have had to do in these days. With love and a grateful heart,giving thanks to God always for you all..... Your Gypsy

SoCalGal - hbird@koan.com Tuesday - 9/Apr/96 - 7:50:40
GYPSY, I was thinking of you today. I hope your hanging in there. You and your family are in my prayers. Until we meet again, all our Love, The Hewson Family.

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Tuesday - 9/Apr/96 - 9:40:03
Friends...have have come here to try and join in a conversation - but cannot. I find that I am still feeling as though I am in another dimension and everything else is a dream - when really - the reverse is true. For it is I who am in a kind of dream-state, a nightmare from which I cannot yet escape. I try. I really do. But both worlds are too painful right now and I am feeling utterly weak and unable to move on yet. Your many, many contacts, love and prayers are so supportive and soothing for me - and they have stirred me to communicate least this little bit. We went to Ferrum yesterday for the candlelight memorial service which was beautiful. Many fellow students and faculty spoke testimonials. The chaplain gave the most moving eulogy which associated Eric with the author of Ecclesiastes who, like Eric himself, was a poet and thinker who pushed knowledge to it's fullest limits to discover and learn truth and then came to the realization that life is, after all, a mystery which we will never really understand but must simply address each day and live that. The lesson and example set forth is that life is more to be lived than understood. I am trying - REALLY trying - to do that. I feel crippled right now. Weak and almost unwilling to breath much less do more. It is a time and pain that I must find my way through. I cannot deny it. I cannot set it aside. For now, I must simply feel it. The wonder and beauty within it is the power of love pouring out to me.
I find it a wonder that BUCK set this bulletin board up just in time for me to use it like a stepping stone - to keep in touch with and to receive `touching' from you all during this time. It has inspired me to keep the contact and to take the first `baby-steps' out of the circle of grief and despair that surrounds me. It does truly seem that BUCKS' gift to us all, as a group, has been a most special blessing to me through this experience. I come each day as though to a rope left for me to climb up and out of this sense of futility. Sometimes I go then to a CHAT room and I stand quietly in the shadows and watch you for a few minutes - as if to reassure myself that the world still does exist and is waiting for me to return. I will.
I love you all, Your GYPSY

**********

Lucky Unicorn bparsons@netrover.com Tuesday - 9/Apr/96 - 13:40:25
GYPSY: You are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I am so pleased you are able to enter your thoughts through this wonderful channel. You are healing and we are praying for you.

Sandy from Louisiana djsmith@sat.net Tuesday - 9/Apr/96 - 12:04:39
Gypsy-- Just a note to let you know my family and I are still praying for you and keeping you in our thoughts. God will heal the pain!! Just keep the faith. We love you!

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Wednesday - 10/Apr/96 - 15:21:25
This mornings' mail brought a new pain. Eric had developed a cyber-relationship with a girl whose handle was (is) `DIVINITY'. She was attending a California university studying to be a pharmacologist or something... I'm not quite sure ... something to do with medicine. Both enjoyed each other and having long, long conversations in semi-private rooms where they would arrange to meet. They also communicated by land. A package arrived here today - forwarded from Ferrum. The package was for Eric. (how strange it is to open mail or personal things of my son - we just never did that!). Inside was a cute tin of Easter candy she had sent to him along with an Easter card. I guess, dear friends, you can imagine what this did to me.... When I composed myself - I had to think of the best way to relate the news to this young lady. It was devastating for me. I am still reluctant to send it - but have prepared a note. I hope I did it well.
****** The rest of the day has been kind of strange. I felt strange... almost like slipping in and out of consciousness. Like falling asleep with my eyes open. I'm beginning to get dizzy when I stand up. (it has been most difficult to drink - let alone eat - but I am working on it) I feel the oppressive emptiness of Erics' absence from the world with me and I push it back - fearing that they will take me to a hospital or something. I just need time to allow it to move in on me as I assimilate and adjust to the reality which came too suddenly. Life seems "beside the point" right now. So much of what I have done was a gift to Eric. (The patchwork-crazy-quilt made up of materials that I used over his first 18 years of life to make his and Rogers' clothes, a large, ultra soft afghan I knitted for him...things like that....) There was always the thought that I would be with him in the form of the many services and love gifts I invested myself in for him. Now - what does any of that mean? I cannot part with those special things, not the very special ones such as they are..... But in keeping them it almost seems a sort of tribute to a tragedy - does it not? Does tragedy deserve a tribute? NO!!!! Later... I don't have it in me to journal much today. I wasn't even feeling like I could write to you my dear friends - but then I read the messages from you today and felt I could write these words here - knowing you will forgive my depression and allow me to just say this to someone who will not put their arms around me and tell me to STOP thinking or FEELING this way! I NEED to. Not every day. Not forevermore. Maybe just for today. And so I am being really candid and open because I feel I can be here. Please, don't anyone be offended or upset with me. Don't fear for me - for I am going to be okay... I just need to be able to SAY it..... Please understand?
People call and at first - as I reach for the phone - I resent the intrusion - but then as we speak of Eric... it is comforting in one way - poignant and painful in another. I feel better afterward though. How brave and loving of those people to impose themselves on my withdrawal.... knowing that they are imposing and that I am probably going to feel a negative feeling toward them for it.... but knowing too, in their hearts - that I need to be brought out lest I get caught there and never return? God has many angels watching over me! So many of them are you. I thank Him daily for you all. Still though - I just have to say these words......
Night draws nigh and I am so `Eric-alone'
in what seems to be the loudest silence I have ever heard. The messages I found here waiting for me - the cards in the mail and e-mail (BOTH boxes) are cherished more than words can say - my dear cyber-family. I love you all, Your GYPSY

bev - luna@qn.net Wednesday - 10/Apr/96 - 20:14:53
DEAR GYPSY. I can only imagine how today must have felt to you. To have to tell someone who had grown close to Eric about the tragedy. Sometimes thing seem as though they never stop, but they will, and admire you so much for your strength. Grieve you must, the more you let it go , the better for you. I hold you up to the DEAR LORD and in my heart and prayers. You are ever on my mind. Take care Dear one, and if you ever want to talk to me thru Email. I am here for you..... Love and Peace, Luna

SoCalGal - hbird@koan.com Wednesday - 10/Apr/96 - 22:01:31
Dearest GYPSY and Family, My heart breaks for you. Being not very old, I think what a very lucky young man Eric was to have such a loving and devoted mother as you. Your words make me cry for your sorrow. I rush to my kids beds and kiss them sweetly goodnight. Whispering that an Angel watches over them. God Bless you. We your cyberfamily, love you and admire your courage.    ~   All our love, The Hewson Family

Sandy from La. - djsmith@sat.net Wednesday - 10/Apr/96 - 22:17:50
Gypsy, Take all the time you need. This is your time and you need it. We love you and keep you in our prayers every day. May God comfort you and keep you in His arms.

Squaw (Ann) - Email:Praying for you Thursday - 11/Apr/96 - 10:43:52
Gypsy, Holding you up in my prayers daily. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy was ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:4 & 5. I have learned to follow this through out my life and when I do not understand why it is the way it is, I think of that saying. You are so very strong within your self, sometimes you have to let yourself go though and trust in someone. We are all here. If for any reason I can help you, please feel free to contact me. We love you, Ann

HAPPY (Carol) - carola@kalama.com Sunday - 14/Apr/96 - 12:55:14
Hi Friends I received this email from Gypsy this morning (Sunday) and she has asked me to post it for all of you.....Here goes.....
Dear Carol; Thank you so very much for the love and hugs and all your sharing, caring attention to me. I am doing okay. It's just that this is that graduation time and there were so many plans - awards dinners (and he had earned many) and things we were planning to do together in two weeks when we went up there for 3 days.....On Monday, we went to Ferrum to the candle lighting memorial service and there at a special lake where Eric went to write and contemplate and in general enjoy the atmosphere, we scattered, from a bridge, the last little bit of his remains which I had saved for that purpose - it was a very special place to him. Until I did that, I had at least that tiny little bit of him with me and on that rainy afternoon, I set it free as I know his spirit had already been the week before.... Reason and emotions do not always agree with our feelings.... feelings are choices we make, but and emotions come from a more basic place within us and are not especially subject to thought or any effort to control them. This 'emotional state' must pass - and I, through it, for if I try to bury them, they will be buried alive and never go away. I understand this much. And, I SO appreciate people, like you and many of the others - who do not haste, criticize or push me... but simply stand close by me... loving and supporting me in the absence of my precious son who would be doing that if he could..... I am sorry that I have not posted to the bulletin board... I tried that one day and no one could get in. Doing that was so painful anyway - that it was easy to let it slip after that day. Now, in this early hour of the day, finding your letter, I am struck by the reminder that I need to do that, (at least). I SO want to return to the chat, and I will... I really will as soon as I can. I'm just not up to it yet. There are also a great many responsibilities that take up so much time and I go to bed early - somewhat weakened now by an inability to eat. Yes, I really do try - and although I have never been a drinking person - have some Sherry given to me by a dear friend who asked that I drink at least a few ounces and then try to eat at least once a day. It has helped, and it is the only time that my system will accept food at all... but at least, I have been eating for 3 days now - SOMETHING.... no matter how little. (But YUK - how I hate the Sherry!) I am here a few minutes, awaiting my son-in-law who is going to drive me back to Rockymount to go through the car before it is picked up Wednesday for scrap. There are things we need, (want) to keep.
It has been discovered that the cause of Erics' car going out of control was not the swerve he made to avoid what suddenly came into view - it was a tubular type of insulation which contains wire in it - which - in such a freakish act - got caught up in the underside & steering mechanism of his front-wheel-drive car. When I learned that - it somehow made it even WORSE.... it just seemed so impossible that such a thing could kill..... ending all our years of work, dreams and plans.... Carol - Brandi has awakened and I need to spend a few minutes with her and Bobby will be here in 15 minutes or so..... Perhaps you would post this letter to you on the message board so that others will know (and thereby be hearing from me) too? It is a 7 hour round-trip and the ordeal of facing the car again is not going to be easy for me - though I have to do it... so I know that I will be unable to leave a message there myself when I return- and I realize (though until your letter I did not realize it had been 5 days!) - that I have been negligent in my self-centered mourning. I am so sorry that I did that (stopped communicating) - even if it had only been a few lines a day! Again, I thank you for this mornings' message from you and for awakening in me the awareness of my failure to keep in contact with you all. Love, Your GYPSY (Nina)

Sheoak Josee - mitfox@axess.com Monday - 15/Apr/96 - 5:49:38
Dear Gypsi, I read your letter to Carol this morning. Every day I come to the bulletin board to see if you are here. I think about you every day. You inspire me and have taught me more in two weeks than in my whole life time. You have a right to wallow in your grief, it's the only way. Let the wave of pain wash over you then you can start healing. Don't fight it. Yes you have to eat, yes you have to sleep, yes you have to go on, but slowly, like a babys' first step. I'm not expressing myself very well. I wish you understood French then I could really tell you how I feel. We are all here, waiting for you and embracing you. Maybe we can help you smile when you come back on chat, until then, God bless you. Love Josee ( Sheoak)

*******

grandmum - :nmanning@bak2.lightspeed.net Thursday - 18/Apr/96 - 13:44:21
Gypsy: *arms around you holding you very tightly*
We miss you and hope that you will be ready soon to come back to us. We hurt for you and want to take you back into the loving fold of chat 50+. I'm sure that soon you will feel able to join us again and I await the day eagerly. The first time will be hard for you because everyone will want to welcome you back and it will remind, you once again, why you have been gone so long. But, Gypsy, this too is one of the steps you must take. I wish I was better with words, but if you could see into my heart you would know the love and friendship I offer. Please take care of yourself and come to us soon. We miss you dearly and need you to fill the room to just the right level. Much love and *biggest hugs*! Grandmum

MLC - Email:ciscokid@nternode.com Thursday - 18/Apr/96 - 17:36:59
Comments: GYPSY, I am praying that you will have strength, courage, and faith. I can only say that I watched my mothers' pain as she went through my brothers' death. I can imagine the road ahead of you from watching her road. I will pray for you each night. Don't look for answers, just look for strength. My heart aches for you, but I know that is nothing compared to the pain in your heart. You sound like a brave woman.

Bunnie - bunnie@hiline.net Thursday - 18/Apr/96 - 21:49:45
Gypsy - Today would have been my 32nd anniversary with my husband. The loss of one so close brings so many fond memories. The relationship he had with our children. The relationship we had with each other. It has been five years but the loss is as strong as the day he left. It will take you a lifetime but you will never forget. My sister lost twin boys 25 yrs ago and still celebrates their birth and death now that they are with the Lord. The only way out of the cloud is to join back in life to celebrate the one he had. It is hard, but only time makes your life again. Not easier but again to regain the life and stability. You have probably had all the advise and love you can stand, but we are here.

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Friday - 19/Apr/96 - 6:41:37
Hello to all you, my loving brothers and sisters here in our `family'. How wonderful you all are! I've managed to get pneumonia - but am using the antibiotic-time to reply to the incredible amount of cards, letters and love which filled my mailbox - and - even MORE incredibly, is STILL coming to me! PLEASE don't worry about me! and - PLEASE know that I think of you all so very often - and though you don't recognize me, for I use Erics' handle, I come and touch you all and smile a bit as I observe from a distance where I need to be for now - not quite up to the strength and speed of communicating at the keyboard in a sustained or responsive way. I respond in my heart more than words could say! Oh, how I love you all!
Thank you for always being here with the fresh `flowers' of your love posted for me to find. God bless and keep you all! {{{{}}}} and remember.... "I'm watching you!!!" ***winks***

bus36 bus@koalas.com Friday - 19/Apr/96 - 13:12:10
GYPSY - wish you all the best....see ya on the chat....dan..

SoCalGal or Hummnbird hbird@koan.com Saturday - 20/Apr/96 - 10:49:51
Gypsy, I was thing of you today! Hope your well. I'm glad you peek in on us, makes me feel watched over. *g* We love and miss you.

squaw (Ann) - Email:love to you Saturday - 20/Apr/96 - 20:39:51
Gypsy, I felt your presence tonight in chat room, as if you were there, leading us and loving us as we chatted with one another and welcomed the new ones into our family. That is what we have, just one big family filled with love for you and your family. Are you feeling better now? I hope your physical strength in improving and I am leaving your emotional strength in the hands of the Dear Lord Above. He will cuddle and soothe you better than anyone here on earth can do. Enough said, we miss you. God Bless You... Ann

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Sunday - 21/Apr/96 - 6:26:28
Hello dear friends! I am improving - how could I not(?) with all the love,support and constant caring contact with my special-cyber-family? I have moved forward a bit - sometimes, when I am there watching you - I think of a quip or a reply I would interject just like my old self. I am tempted sometimes to answer a request for help or a newbie just coming in - but I'm just not quite THAT far along yet to carry it through. But the WANTING to us pulling me closer! I have had so many requests for a copy of the personal biography-type-obituary which we put in our local newspaper, which included a current picture of Eric, Brandi and myself sitting right here at my computer station (in the corner of our dining room) - that I want to appeal to anyone who wants one to help me out by sending a SASE(one stamp is sufficient), to me, (the long-type 4.25 by 9.5), and I will send you a copy right away. I still have six or seven days of `replies' to send out (I do 8 - 10 per day)... some of which are full page letters- and I do want to give to all who want!!! The copies are easy because we have our own copy machine here and I can run off what I need each day. Thank you for wanting the picture (and bio). I feel so honored by all the personal contact and love from you all! <Address excerpted> I am also very honored in the adoption of my hope for us all as our club motto! I know it is our common hope and personal goal as individuals - but think it IS nice to state it right up front too! Thank you all for that honor! I love you...... Your GYPSY, (Nina)

SoCalGal - hbird@koan.com Tuesday - 23/Apr/96 - 4:48:21
I've only been on the web a short time, but I've meet some of the nicest and most thoughtful people. Let's all try and remember that we come here to be with friends and family. Gypsy,so nice to see you yesterday! Take Care, we're missing you!!

MLC - ciscokid@nternode.com Tuesday - 23/Apr/96 - 10:07:53
GYPSY, YOUR STRENGTH IS AMAZING!

carlanne,caracara,miranda,miracaraI - caracara@premier.net
Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 4:59:01
TO GYSPY; I didn't know you very long but you were so sweet to me I must return and tell you all my wishes go to you for whatever you want in life.    ***TO ALL IN 50+ AND50 CHAT ROOM; Thank you all for all you have done. I can't take it anymore. Please forgive me for all the hurt I have caused I am truly sorry.   I guess the whole thing in the nutshell is that I am a nut in a nutshell and I have never gotten out so I don't know how to act to you all great people. I know that I should have learned that in kindergarten how to get along with people but I didn't I stuck my nose in a book and that's where it has stayed for 46 years. I want to make this short so I'll make it thin too. You all have a good life and I wish that all of you get a great big good wish today and everyday of your life, It was nice while it lasted. Bye all and I'm ok..Sincerely Carlanne    (that's my real birth name by the way carlaanne),CaraCara, Miranda, Miracara, waboose those were all the handles I have used please forgive me again...

GYPSY -:gypsy@shentel.net Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 6:32:37
Dear Carlanne; (pretty name) I saw your message here on the board when I came in this morning and felt I needed to communicate with you. Although I have no idea whatsoever about what may have happened - I could see you were hurting and felt you had hurt others. Running away though will not help - and facing/changing whatever it is, will help you and others to grow. So I'm asking, that whatever it is that happened - go back and deal with it. Don't withdraw. Ours is a loving group which would be open and ready to work out any problem. Might I suggest that you e-mail or by message-board, ask to set up a meeting between yourself and whomever else is involved in what has happened or, if it was more public - just return to the group in chat and begin there? Don't bury it alive, for it will fester and grow and infect your life in many ways - deal with it and grow stronger. You say that you are a nut who has never come out of her shell and doesn't know how to relate to others. I'd say that if you were involved in chatting - you must have a desire to `come out' - so stay and interact with them now... Don't quit on yourself, and certainly don't quit on a group as strong and loving as our Chat 50... don't believe you'll ever find more loving, caring, willing people that with us - so "go for it" now 'caracara'..... May God bless and keep you....Love, your GYPSY (Nina)

caracara,carlanne,miranda,Miracara - caracara@premier.net
Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 6:51:20
DEAR GYSPY; I DO APPRECIATE YOUR OFFER BUT I THINK I HAVE TO HAVE THE APPROVAL OF THEN ENTIRE CHAT ROOM. I DO APPRECIATE IT BUT I CANT NOW UNLESS IT IS APPROVED BY THE ENTIRE CHAT ROOM. I AM SORRY. PLEASE FORGIVE FOR BEING LIKE THIS BUT THAT HAS TO BE THE WAY. OK AND THANK YOU DEAR GYSPY YOU ARE SWEET AND ALL MY GOOD WISHES GO TO YOU TODAY AND EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE.

Sandyyyy310 - sma218@en.com Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 8:17:21
Dear Carlanne... I just saw your message to everyone in 50 + chat and I do not know what you could have possibly done that was so terrilbe. I remember your handle and I know we never really talked, but I feel you are hurting for something that could be easily taken care of. Please let all of us help you and take your hurt go away. No one I'm sure would want you to leave us and we are always here for you. There is nothing that can't be rectified. Please, let us know what we can do to help the situation. You can email me if you would like and I could try to help the best way I can. Please again, do not leave us!! .......Love, Sandy

Elsiemay(Elsie connolly - Connolly@vaxxine.com
Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 17:22:28
I am so so for your tragedy, Gypsy. I don't think that you know me, as I'm fairly new to 50+. Please know that I will be remembering you and your family in my prayers, and may God rain His blessings down on you and give you peace. Elsiemay

SILLY FILLY - zani2u@theriver.com Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 11:38:19
TO GYPSY: Just wanted to let you know that I still think about you and we all miss you so much! Build up your strength but don't stay away for very long, the best way to heal is thru others and GOD! Let us help you heal by our Love and our Laughter .. Come back to all the Chatrooms, WE MISS YOU VERY MUCH!!

GYPSY - Email:gypsy@shentel.net Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 19:23:45
Dear, dear Friends.... Brandi, Roger (Erics' father) and I went to the 'special' place this evening. Just going back (I couldn't because of the pneumonia before now - but am much improved) was a really wonderful feeling. This is such an incredible place - so high and inaccessible... so glorious and magnificent - and seems so near to God - up and above the rest of the world! It was the best few hours I've had since the night of April 1st. The wind blew my long hair freely and I felt caressed by the elements which are now more a part of me than ever before.... now that Eric is actually a part of the place and all that is there! *** I think I told you all before - we have been going there since Eric was about three years old. As much as we have loved it there, it's much greater and more wonderful than that now! *** We ALL plan to be dispersed just as he was - so it is a sort of `home' now! *** Roger stopped to buy packages of wildflower seeds (I'd asked for a few packages - he bought about 15!) and the three of us scattered them all around over the cliffs where they fell and blew all around!!!! *** I have a glow of warmth and sense of earthly unity between myself and all things... more like the usual gypsy-like-free-spirit I was before... I just wanted to come and tell you how wonderful it feels to have returned there at last - I was SO yearning to!!! There is a deep kind of peace in my spirit and my soul now. We cried too, but it was good crying I think - because it felt cleansing and beneficial instead of that other `crushed, broken and agonizing' kind I've been doing! *** Even as I write here, I still feel a smile in my spirit! My soul feels better - less bruised and torn! I have always told how much I love these mountains - they are some of the most beautiful in the world! - But now, because Eric is part of them - I feel a part of them too - (instead of just being a `transplant' from the city of Chicago, Ill.) *** What more can I say? I was surprised to discover this feeling of having myself become a part of the mountains through Erics' becoming a part of them!!! Tonight I am wind-blown, rosy cheeked and ready to go to bed after my shower.... but wanted to share this miraculous glow which I returned with - with all of you who hurt and mourn with me too! How I wish I could send you a breath of that wonderful breeze - or a picture of the three of us smiling and happy as we scattered those seeds!!!! Good night my beloved friends... no - my beloved brothers and sisters!
Your GYPSY, (Nina)

Sandy in Louisiana - djsmith@sat.net Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 20:29:25
GYPSY-- It is so good to hear you are doing better. My family continues praying for you and your family. You are greatly missed in 50+. May God continue to heal. Love, Sandy

Sandy in Louisiana - djsmith@sat.net
Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 20:25:50
Carlanne--I don't know you, but I also read your message. Please come back and talk about what is bothering you. 50+ is full of friendly, forgiving people. If you want to talk to me, just e-mail me. Sandy
 

MsIdentity -brith@cpmt2.cyberport.net Wednesday - 24/Apr/96 - 19:58:10
Dear Gypsi! Hi! You sound sooo strong and good. May this strength continue to embrace you forever more and give you everlasting peace. I recently found out about the bulletin board. Knew the homepage was there but didn't check back since the update. Just want you to know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers, and that we miss you. Very glad that you are doing so much better, and look forward to "seeing" your smiling face soon again. You are gifted by such wisdom, strength, love and understanding. Sending you lots of positive energy, Gypsi and many hugs!

LUNA - Date:Thursday - 25/Apr/96 - 5:28:46
Dear GYPSY, Thank you for telling me about your new message. I have read it and am so happy for yoy!! God does work in mysterious and wonderful ways, and always beings good out of tragedy. I believe the more we suffer, the better we become. HIS children seem to suffer more because he is honing us., for our eternity with HIM. I love you and you are truly a wonderful person. Take care and get rest.

GYPSY - E-mail:gypsy@cental.net Thursday - 25/APR/96 - 5:51:25
My Dear Friends (family); Remember the day that I told you that I had to write to a cyber-girlfriend of Erics'? Well - there are two things about that. First, in reflecting upon all the many wonderful things that my son brought into my life - I remembered that YOU - my cyber family - are one of those gifts. Eric did some communicating at college and when he was home one weekend, he taught me to do it. So he gave you, my cyber-family - to me - (and me to you)! What a wonderful gift that was when 6 months later you all came forth to comfort and strengthen me at a time in my life when I had never needed anything more! Secondly, I thought I'd share with you, how special cyber-relationships can be! In fact - in the midst of so much - I find that you were all more united to/with me that the friends all around me here in the `real' world. In fact - I would say that our relationships here are more soul-real than the physical ones. We are united by our souls here - and our souls are what is of God.So here then, is another little bittersweet chapter of my APRIL - 1996 journal.....
Wednesday, April 10, 1996
Dear XXXXXXXXX
Although I tried, I could not think of any way to say what the enclosed copy from our local paper has related to you when you opened this letter. Your thoughtful gift was forwarded to me and arrived today from Ferrum. How Eric would have loved it! Just your thinking of him in that special way and sending a gift to him.... He was such a loving, gentle and always appreciative person all of his life. You must be such a person yourself. I am so sorry that our paths never crossed or met. I remember how he enjoyed those hours spent with you. I am a CHAT-addict myself and belong to a very special group (50+CHAT) on the net. My`cyber-family' has been giving me the daily strength to go on one day at a time. Without them - I do not think I would even have progressed to the stage of being able to respond to you. It was heartbreaking. EVERYTHING, at this point, is tragic and heartbreaking for me. Here we were at the culmination of years of hard work, self-discipline and sacrifice - and just that day had received the acceptance letter from William and Mary for him to do his 2 years of post grad.... He was everything a mother, teacher or friend could ask for.... He was the most wonderful part of my life.

GYPSI - aka WAYFs' mom
<excerpted>

Received: by viking.dvc.edu
REPLY RECEIVED FROM XXXXXXXX
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 17:04:42 -0700 (PDT) From: XXXXXXXXX;

To: Gypsy - Gypsi (WAYFs' Mom),

May God grant you the strength to carry on in this world of grief. Your compassion is overwhelming and I thank you for completing Erics' ties on earth. I will always remember his teasing nature and friendship that crossed a continent and now another space in time. Thank you for allowing Eric to live his dream and for encouraging his artistic talents. Although our paths in life may never cross again, I thank you for giving me the chance to get to know Waif. I pray that you will find some meaning left in this world. I hope those who knew him more than I will always carry a piece of him in their hearts and keep is memory alive in them. For I believe immortality is not of this earth, but in the memories of those who are left behind.
XXXXXXXX

I wanted to share this with you when it came - but the pain was too sharp and I could not. I guess that yesterday gave me enough renewal to do this - I believe it is such an affirmation of what we all are and are doing in cyber-relationships! I love you all, Your GYPSY (Nina)

CaraCara - caracara@premier.net Thursday - 25/Apr/96 - 6:40:17
Dear Gypsy: I wrote you before but but I dont see it so this is the short version. I know your pain and I feel it too. You now have a angel on your shoulder as I sometimes do thank you for writting to me I appreciate it. Love and hugs go out to you bye now take care

sheoak - mitfox@axess.com Thursday - 25/Apr/96 - 7:14:04
I have tried twice to post messages here yesterday, but nothing happened! First, to GYPSY. You are an inspiration to all of us and renew our faith in human nature. You are going through such a terrible time, yet you find it in your heart to think of others and open your arms to those who need comforting themselves. Eric must be smiling down at you and saying to all the other angels, hey guys, that's my mother, what a Lady. I think of you and your family everyday, Love and prayers, Sheoak

Sandyyyy310 - sma218@en.com Thursday - 25/Apr/96 - 10:42:35
Gypsy, " No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever." YOU have left a mark on all of us, which will last a lifetime. I wish I could be half the WOMAN you are! God bless you and hope this finds you a little more peaceful. Love,Sandy

Dingobait (Bunny Jeanne Harvey) - bearbait@sierra.net
Thursday - 25/Apr/96 - 12:31:22
TO: GYPSY ~ A MOTHER FOR HER SON (For you,Dear, (c) 1996)
I see you in the morning I pray for you at night; I see your happy, quirky grin Your dancing eyes so bright. I'm grateful for the years we had, Our understanding true; I'm sorry that you left so young, You know how I love you. Believe then in our next life When we'll together be. But now the intervening years I'll feel you here with me. **Not too good with words, but perhaps a poem written for you can convey our sympathies....**

caracara - caracara@premier.net
Thursday - 25/Apr/96 - 20:38:55
: DEAR FRIENDS OF 5O+ AND 50 CHAT: I do appreciate all you have done and I wish to THANK YOU ALL. GYPSY; COME TO THE CHAT ROOM AND I PROMISE TO SAY HI I HAVE A FORGETFUL MEMORY AND I AM LONG WINDED BUT I WILL BE SURE AND SAY HI PLEASE COME IN. I HAD A GOOD TIME THIS MORNING.

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Friday - 26/Apr/96 - 3:32:05
****How happy I was to find your message here this morning (from last night, I think - but I didn't check in). After reading what you had to say, I thought I'd send you (and the others) - along a little message I (just yesterday) wrote and asked BUCK to put in our newsletter... but you inspired me to go ahead and put it here... BUCK.....***I would like to offer this `THOUGHT" for our next newsletter if you like it and would want to include it - In light of the `events' that arise and might frighten or alarm newbies or sensitive people... We might remember that -

"WE ARE A FAMILY"
(by Nina Baker)

We're a family. Sometimes we will polish and refine each other. Did you ever see how gemstones are polished? OUCH!!! Tumbled around and around with all that grit and abrasive substance!!!! But look at the outcome! So remember when the `process' is going on - what the outcome CAN be! Let's shine each other up and be sparkling Jewels! Never run away or quit in the midst of the Process!
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you, Caracara, for doing that (not giving up). It takes every one of us to make the most brilliant crown which we will be offering our "King" when we go home, at last, to live with Him. We are a canvas that we either paint upon, our own selves, or let the Greatest Artist of all time or times do His own creating upon!
I love you because , He first loved us. He has made me and filled me with His love to do so. I will be looking forward to returning - really soon now. Welcome to you Caracara. (Didn't see your bio or `sign-up' though... *smile* - get busy girl!)

carlanne@premier.net - Friday - 26/Apr/96 - 7:27:21Comments: DearALL;Thank you so much and gypsy and Sandyyy and all I have forgotten. A GREAT BIG HUG TO ALL. i AM writting this be because I am going to do something really drastic, I am going to go to california and be there at about 3 or 5pm this evening 4/26/96 I am going with my daughter to meet her cyberboyfriend if any of you live around I believe its anaheim california(where disney land is) we are going to meet there. I would like to meet some of you but the flight is for 12:55 today and its now 9:30am so I justwanted you all to know as I wont be on the net then I dont have a laptop but I think it will be ok without my computer as they said they want to go out and I am to be a chapron but I would have liked to see at least one of you good people or maybe a phone number maybe so I cansay hi.. well I have to run now I have to pack thank you all I do appreciate all you have done. And a Great BIG HUG HUG HUG TO YOU DEAR GYPSY YOU HAVE BEEN SO KIND AND i WOULD LIKE TO CALL YOU SISTER AS WELL. THANK YOU AGAIN.

BigBand - vanstone@netrover.com Friday - 26/Apr/96 - 6:10:32
GYPSY, your strength is an inspiration to us all. You and your family are in my prayers everyday. Come back to us soon. We love you. BigBand

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Friday - 26/Apr/96 - 3:48:47
Sandy - Sheoak - What wonderful `strokes'! How nurturing to receive them from you (not just now, but all along). You are both so very caring and giving and I feel blessed to have you as sisters! Always remember though - it isn't really ME - but HIM that you are seeing. I have never felt so small and weak in my life (at least in my memory) - yet it seems I am transparent and you are all seeing The One inside and outside of me and all around me, fulfilling His one all-encompassing promise "I will be with you always". I have to say this - Eric was such a loving and protective son, that he would just SO love and appreciate you for your loving care and support of me! So thank you from him too!    ~  I love you all SO much!

Dingobait (*grin*)?!
You are new to me - but with a handle like that - I think you're going to bring on a lot of *SNCKRGGLING*, *grins*, and *ROTFLing* - I'm looking forward to it! Your beautiful poem was so appropriate for Eric that one would think that you knew us personally. How very sweet and loving of you to write and post it for me. Thank you so much! I will cherish it as a few others that have been given too. See you all soon!
Love, from your GYPSY (Nina)

GYPSY gypsy@shentel.net Wednesday - 1/May/96 - 5:34:17
I want to apologize that I don't have the `hang' of making the line breaks as they should be and my post seems to be so run-together. I also want to tell you that I AM OKAY! And I will never go anywhere ELSE for help again - but straight to you! And - to those who offered to call and even PUBLICLY gave out their own home phone number (like you dear BelleStar)... the only reason I did not use that means to communicate, was that my throat was so utterly constricted that I could not answer my phone from about 9:15 - having to let the answering machine do it - for no sound (except that of crying which forced itself out at times) would come from me.... not a word. biblio was just a phone call away and has traveled this path so closely as I, that I wanted very much to call her but couldn't for that reason. That was why I thought that chatting by keyboard would work (which it did! I had poor HOMEBODY up till about 3:30 A.M.!!!) And... in Erics' poem... he refers to his lack of words & frustration with pen and paper because he had so much writing to do in his courses that we seldom wrote letters - even though we are both writers!!! It was never that he Couldn't write!!! We both do that fluently!!!  We have all wondered if this poem might have been inspired by the many close-calls Eric had with death before April 1st... that was the eerie part... that he should have written something like this and then died at 22! Just the same time last year, he was struck by a van that ran a red light at an intersection in the same town - approximately 60 mph (there was a police car right behind them....) in exactly the same spot (on the door) where the car impacted with the tree one year later! His car was $50short of being `totaled' and therefore, it was fixed instead. Ironic. and this (poem that follows here)..... even more so....   This was printed at the end of Erics' last written column in the college newspaper ....

I've thought about this day

when your room
swarms with flowers

those fragrant fragments
from well wishers
scattered and strewn
about...

what to offer
in atonement
for my lack of
words

My frustration in
putting pen to paper

when there's nothing
in my pocket
excluding excised
memories

that currency of mind
that buys nothing
but the choicest time

already spent
with you

such simple satisfaction
from knowing
simplicity sweeter

that the blood of words

with their stain
upon this page

knowing that your
worth to me

transcends the scope of age

by Eric L. Baker
~
But I am firm in my own mind that I would not ask God to give him back to me from where he is now!   I really am going to be okay.... I love you all (and am so well loved BY you - how could I NOT be okay?)   Well, Brandi is on the school bus now and I am going back to bed to get a little more than the short 90 minutes sleep I had last night!!!!! ......C.U.Later.....

*******

Email:kathyb@betty.bigeasy.com
Date:Wednesday - 1/May/96 - 6:30:50
Comments: Gypsy, I only wish you to know that I see and
acknowledge your pain. I am only an ordinary person and have no training whatsoever in grief counseling. That said, I believe that time and yourself will help you to deal with all that you are going through.   Often things seem to get worse before a little light comes through; sadly this is unavoidable. I believe that what you are dealing with now is a part of the grieving process that one must go through to go on. I am sure that you know this, but sometimes it helps to have others validate our thoughts and feelings. If I may, and I do so humbly, may I suggest (and it only a suggestion) that you consider joining a support group in your community for parents who have lost children.   I think of you and keep you in my prayers.   I guess all I really wish is that you know that others care and are with you.
Big hug to you. Kathy (num)

BigBand vanstone@netrover.com  
Wednesday - 1/May/96 - 8:35:46
Comments: Gypsy, I am just sick to think that people would be that insensitive, and Seniors at that..they should know better. I don't know you like the others (I wasn't part of 50+ chat very long before your tragedy) but I want you to know that you have all my love and support as long as necessary. Everyone would be so happy to see you back at 50+ but it has to be in your own time. We love you and pray for you. You are a very special and strong lady, and certainly did not deserve that kind of treatment. I send you hugs and kisses and hope to get to know you better when you return to us. Love, Marion (BigBand) Ontario

BelleStar edelamater@usa.pipeline.com Wednesday - 1/May/96 - 8:38:57
TAKE CARE OF YER FRIENDS
(Dedicated to Gypsy and family)
Friend is a word that I don't throw around ~ Though it's used and abused, I still like the sound. I save it for people who've done right by me ~ And I know I can count on if ever need be. ..Some of my friends drive big limousines ...~ Own ranches and banks and visit with queens. ..And some of my friends are up to their neck, In overdue notes and can't write a check. They're singers or ropers or writers of prose ~ And others, God bless 'em, can't blow their own nose! I guess bein' friends don't have nothin' to do ~ With talent or money or knowin' who's who...It's comf'terbul feelin' when you don't have a care ~ ...'Bout choosin' your words or bein' quite fair ..'Cause friends'll just listen and let go on by ~ ...Those words you don'tmean and not bat an eye. It makes a friend happy to see your success. ~ They're proud of yer good side and forgive all the rest And that ain't so easy, all of the time. ~ Sometimes I get crazy and seem to go blind! .Yer friends just might have to take you on home ~ ..Or remind you sometime that you're not alone. ..Or ever so gently pull you back to the ground ~ ...When you think you can fly with no one around. A hug or a shake, whichever seems right ~ Is the high point of givin' I'll Tell ya tonight, All worldly riches and tributes of men ~ Can't hold a candle to the worth of a friend.     ~     by Baxter Black

Published for and by me in our local paper a year after my husband passed away. This just says it all for our wonderful **Chat group!

MsIdentity Email:brith@cyberport.net Wednesday - 1/May/96 - 9:09:52
Comments: Dear Gypsy, My own birthday symbolizes the "bridge over troubled water" so if I can in anyway connect with you on a bridge, I am willing to help somehow. I feel badly that some folks that we know in "our" chats were rude, but know that sometimes we are forced be chance to deal with people who's qualities are less than desirable. Anyway, here's that bridge over troubled water.

When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, we'll dry them all...We're on your side...when times get rough, and friends just can't be found, like a bridge over troubled waters, we will lay us down, like a bridge over troubled waters, we will lay us down. When you're down and out, when you're on the street, when evening falls sooo hard, we will comfort you...we'll take your heart when darkness comes and pain is all around, like a bridge over troubled water, we will ease your mind....like a bridge over troubled water...we'll ease your mind Sail on silver girl, sail on high your time has come to shine...see how they shine if you need a friend,....we will sail right behind...like a bridge over troubled water, we will ease your mind...like a bridge over troubled water...we will ease your mind...... love and many hugs to you GYPSY.

GYPSY gypsy@shentel.net Wednesday - 1/May/96 - 16:34:29
Elsiemae - you can always go at your own pace in our group - no apologies necessary - we take you just the way you are! (love & hugs too).....MsIdentity - thank you for the Simon & Garfunkel song - one of my all time favorites! But the words are truly TRUE of us - you are RIGHT about that! And - how sweet of you to write it all out with your heart and fingers here today to remind and assure me! Love & hugs to you. - ......"LSR" *sandy*..... So glad you knew where to go when you needed us! Don't forget... you are loved and will get all the hugs you can use!!! - ..."num" - thank you for your concerned and compassionate message - love and hugs to you too! - ....."Big Band" - I learned a lesson too.... STAY WITH MY FAMILY no matter what!!! You are so warm and caring! (even though we didn't get to know each other very well before, I sure know you now!!!! You are a warm and loving person that I feel so grateful to have as `family'! Love and hugs to you! - ..... "BelleStar" - replied to your wonderful e-mail - feel so safe and watched over by you! Thanks again!!!! Love and hugs - (hope that lawnwork is all done!!! *g*

Snicklefritz (Leona Littlefield) Thursday - 2/May/96 - 7:50:24
Well, my dear friends, tomorrow is supposed to be my last day at work. If plans don't fall through, I'll be back on (from the house) within a week or so. You can't imagine how much you have all meant to me, and I am confident our family will continue to grow in number and strengthen in spirit. In the event something prevents my connection, I want to be sure you know that you are very special to me and have been a blessing in my life. My plans don't call for retiring into oblivion (perhaps into poverty, though!), rather they call for a much different but much fuller life. Thanks to each one of you for being your own unique self.

Elsiemay - Connolly@vaxxine.com Thursday - 2/May/96 - 17:04:34
Comments:
Louisiana Swamp Rabbit(Sandy) and Gypsy, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I was thinking of looking around for another chat line to go to, but the people on 50+ are my kind of people,and I wouldn't find a closer knit group anywhere else. It may take me awhile but I'm sure I will find special friends and one day be able to talk to all of you as if I had known you always.

Name:sheoak ( Josee) Email:mitfox@axess.com
Thursday - 2/May/96 - 18:17:38
Comments: Thank you so much for notes on bulletin board. You are so sweet!! SANDYYY, thank you so much again, my dear sister, for the beautiful plant. I really want to see you this summer and will do my utmost to go to the reunion with David. ELSIE, I already feel you are a part of our family. No need to be shy. Listen we have even been known to talk about underware and poopoo lists!!!! YOANNIE, got your email, thank you so much. Now that the store is up and running, I'll be able to be on chat more. I really enjoy talking to you. SQUAW, COFFEE,DINK, have a wonderful time at SANDYYY's. You are so lucky to be together. Bye for now, I miss you all. Bye SOCAL, thank you! I feel like one of the Waltons, saying goodnight to the rest of the family. GYPSY, if you read this, I'm thinking about you and sending you strength and prayers. Love, Josee

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Friday - 3/May/96 - 5:54:21
Sheoak; Be thinking of you - hope it's a `BIG' weekend! (We rent videos at our Christian Book store too! Seminar, counseling and family stuff) so I know a bit about your new venture. Thank you for the message, love and prayers! Elsiemae - Wise choice *winks at Elsie*.... You are in the best place in the world and we're glad you've come to us!
*******Everyone else in our group... I need to ask your forgiveness for Tuesday night. In reflecting on my reluctance to share more pain with you - I realize that your love and support for and with me - is worthy of more `trust' (for lack of a better word) - than that. You were where I BELONGED! If it had been one of you - and the position were reversed - I think I would have felt hurt by your not coming to me (us)... I might even have questioned my own self as to why you felt you couldn't do that. - So, I'm posting this request for forgiveness and my apology...... Not to excuse myself - I still want to say that I was in such a state that night that I wasn't thinking clearly. I HAD come to the room first but so many of your were there and I was reluctant to bring the darkness of my pain into the room. - When I returned, you took such good care of me (particularly BelleStar and YOU Homebody.....!). - I love you all. Yesterdays' chat was so nice - (even though I know the little blue pills were a part of my being my old self) - it was fun for me. I know, by that chatting, that one day I will be okay... (without the little blue pills).... I am so blessed by and with you all. I love you. BUCK - we miss you!!! (don't know if you get to this board - but just in case... Big Huggies and Kissies from all of us!!!) SoCalGal - thank you for Erics' Pegasus - it is magnificent!!! We will have to `byline' our room with .... designs by SoCalGal!!!

GYPSY :gypsy@shentel.net Friday - 3/May/96 - 5:58:22
*******SINCKELFRITZ*******
(Snicki, Dear, DEAR Snicki!) If you dare not to come back to us after today - we will get together and come and get you!!! Then you'll have to feed us and... well.... you get the idea - NO GOODBYES!!! We will be talking even MORE - not less!!!!! . No ifs, ands... or... maybes.... Got that???..... We LOVE you SNICKI!!!!!

SHEOAK, Josee - mitfox@axess.com Friday - 3/May/96 - 18:07:14
Dear Louisianna, ( Sandy). We're here for you. We are a very powerful bunch when it comes to prayers! I will be thinking of you, anytime things get rough, just come on chat. Love Sheoak GYPSY, I'm glad the little blue pills are working their magic. Sometimes you need a little help to get through the rough spots. I'm sure Eric approves and is smiling because his mom is feeling a little better. Love you, Sheoak.

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Sunday - 5/May/96 - 20:20:47
Saturday, May 4, 1996 - I awoke about 4:30 and knew that I was going to go to the graduation. I felt I could do it - and felt that in going - Eric would be more of a presence with his friends - and I want to give that one last love-gift to him and to them. I CAN do it! I lay there contemplating and weighing the ~value versus the cost~ and arose to call Ferrum and see if I would still be allowed to do so at this late hour of changing my mind. If I can stay and visit with others, I will. If not - we will return home right away. I feel good that I will be there for Noel. I think it will be a good thing. I hope that he will keep in touch - but suppose that the pain will probably be easier for him if he doesn't???? Who can know? Mail today brought a package containing 6 copies of Erics' last CHRYSALIS (Ferrums' literarymagazine) This issue which was dedicated to him..... The last page says...
Eric Baker 1973 - 1996
A week after the layout for this issue of Chrysalis was completed, our editor-in-chief, Eric Baker, was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Erics' poetry is itself testimony to his wit, his intelligence, and his humane attitude toward others. Members of the Chrysalis staff were privileged to know the man as well as the poet, and we know that we have lost a true friend. On behalf of this years' student body, the Chrysalis staff dedicates this 1995-1996 issue to Eric Baker, whose spirit encompassed the noblest expression of Art and Humanity.
*******Also in the mail, was the special music cassette which even had a beautifully designed and created insert folder. The front and spine insert, artfully created, says
______________________________________
A Musical Memorial to;

Eric Lee Baker
________________________

There is a song list for sides A and B
and then they have this message;

This cassette is dedicated
to the memory of Eric Lee Baker, a friend, a poet, and a spirit that touched us all. This tape was used during the Memorial Service held on Monday, April 8, 1996. It was there that we said good-bye to Eric and there that we came together to deal with the pain of his loss. This tape has been compiled with the help of Preston Ball, Thomas Molette, Angela Peters and Travis Mittel. With the help of these friends and the log left by Eric from his last radio show, on March 28, 1996, we were able to compile some of Erics' favorite music. It was in this show that he dedicated the last song on this tape to the residents of Roberts Hall, so they would not forget him as he and they alike moved on through graduation and our future. None of us could have known then, the tragic loss we would soon face.

This tape is a collection
of Erics' favorite musical pieces, and those we often heard on his show.

Then they printed out one of his poems
"I Can Feel Your Ashes"
which was also chosen to be used at his
Ferrum candlelight memorial service.

It is a truly beautiful production - one that a lot of time, love and caring went into! I feel so honored at the receipt of it. How he would have loved having his friends do that for me.... (as well as most of the campus and faculty who also got copies of this very special tribute to our Eric)

Sunday, May 5, 1996 -
Up at 5 to set off on our journey - set out by 5:15. The 3.5 hour trip took 4 hours when I missed a turn. We were still there by 9:15, over an hour before the ceremony. In the first half hour of the trip I almost turned around and came home a dozen times... a constant battle in my mind.... "I CAN'T do this!" - "Yes, you CAN!" - :"No, Ican't!" - "Yes, you can!"......... Roger decided not to come with us, so it was only Peach and I on the trip. I knew it would be too much for Brandi - an 8 hour round trip- 2 hours for the ceremonies.... Once I stuck with the idea of going. I was okay until... we approached "THAT" road.... `40 WEST'. Then the sign came into view...... "9 miles to Ferrum", there at Rocky Mount. Then we were once again passing the WINN-DIXIE grocery store where the three young men had bought their food, gotten in the Firebird, and then Eric - unknown to anyone, began the countdown of the last ten minutes of his life.... That was my thought the last two times I went there...... I felt so overwhelmed that it was hard to breath and my heart felt it would burst with pain... But I couldn't turn away NOW..... I had come to be with his friends for their farewells to each other and their four years at Ferrum! Another 4 miles and there was THE TREE. (Oh - how I have cursed that tree!!!) I was determined NOT to look - but failed and did it anyway. My psyche just cannot accept an 8 inch thick tree - nearly cutting that car in half and in an instant - taking away from me forever - so very, very much! And still standing with only a little 5 inch high and perhaps 3/4 inch thick section of bark and wood cut out of its' side! No other wound - no crack or real alteration of any kind! But Eric, my Eric, dead. Another ten minutes and I was parking the car on campus. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and prayed for the strength to walk to the commencement site. My legs did not feel like they would carry me there. My heart felt too weary to beat for me and ached so heavily that I was amazed that it COULD beat at all! Strange - how at this time - kindness and compassion seem to press all my deep wounds and bruises and the pain brings tears while I feel overcome with a weakness which turns my knees to jello, while my feet seem to forget how to walk even one step. I just stand there as though growing roots into the ground...... It's happened to me before in these last weeks - but this as the largest exposure I have faced. And the most difficult in a way - because it was not a thing that I HAD to do...... but was choosing to do - and it was so hard to hold to that choice! I had come to give to others.... a measure of Eric and his presence through my own.... But I found myself receiving so much!!!! They were so grateful that I came! They had placed us in a special seating section, right at the front. They came and pinned a beautiful double corsage on me - of large yellow - (with a few veins of red), Carnations - with bow of black satin ribbons. Friends, faculty and officials came to me to thank me for being there and to give me hugs and compassionate sentiments. The president of the college, Dr. Boone came to me to explain how and when he would present Erics' degree to me. I was not even expecting that - thinking it would be given privately or mailed out. I was grateful I did not have to walk up there as the graduates did - for I feel certain I would not have been able to do that! I was so trembly and WEAK! He brought it to me. I suppose that was why I was seated right up there in the front. I went sort of numb all over as I took the degree from him and received another big hug as well. Eric graduated as one of 5 Magna Cum Laude in a class of 199 students. Awarded the highest awards in both of his majors (Religion & Philosophy - the Minnick award .....and.......The English Award - which will now be given in the future as the "Eric Lee Baker" Award) Eric was also member in Alpha Chi and Phi Alpha Theta honor societies and received various certificates of award for his achievements and contributions of service as columnist and editor of the Campus paper, the IRON BLADE and the CHRYSALIS, Radio D.J.and station management, most effective delegation in the Model U.N. Security Council, and by the Communications Board, for his leadership and facilitation of the Writers' Workshop. That's about it. I've shared everything else - I wanted to share this too. I feel sort of `greedy' using up so much space, but this should now be the `closing chapter' of this mothers' journey through every parents' greatest fear and dread. I had an adverse reaction to the ZOLOFT and was taken off it. It sure was fun to feel like my `old' self so easily as those little blue pills made it for 2 days! I will get there on my own anyway though. Thank you all for so much continuing support, comfort and love. How would I have done this without you? I love you. Hope to be back chatting soon.

GYPSY - gypsy@shentel.net Sunday - 5/May/96 - 20:31:26
Gee - I should have explained that I excerpted the two days just posted here - from my journal. I'm not up to much communicating right now - just journalling is a real discipline in my `recovery' from all this! So - knowing that I need to keep my family `posted' - I copied it straight here. Bye for now sisters and brothers......... With Love ...... Your GYPSY

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