*This picture appeared just as here, in the obituary......

A Mothers Story

Memorial services will be held at Dellingers' Funeral Home in  Woodstock on Friday at three p.m. The Rev. Walter Lundblad will officiate. Then, with family and close friends, we will take him to a high mountain trail and outcropping of rocks which was very special to him, his dad and myself..... and there, we will return unto the earth what is of the earth. What is of the Lord has already made its' journey thereunto.

There will be another memorial service held on Monday at Ferrum College at 4 p.m.

Early Tuesday morning I was awakened by two uniformed officers who had come to tell me that my son, Eric, who was to graduate with honors next month, had died hours ago in a car crash. ~ His letter of acceptance to William and Mary College, to complete his Masters' Degree, had come just that very day. ~ I had called and left a message on his voice mail so that I could tell him this. ~ Eric never arrived back to his room to receive that much anticipated and ~longed-for~ news. ~He and two friends, also students at Ferrum, had gone to a meeting and then to Rocky Mount for something to eat. ~They were nearly back at the college when something large loomed into view. Eric swerved to avoid collision with it, apparently lost control of the car and went over an embankment where the car slammed up against a tree with such great force at the drivers' door that it is certain that Eric was killed immediately. ~ The other two young men were hurt but are going to be okay.

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 where 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, feel you, know you are here...

I see you now - 
the entire span of your 22 years...... 
it is playing on like an endless video going on and on 
in the background of my shattered life and being. 
22 Springs. 22 Summers.  22 Falls. 22 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 here 
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 left  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 you, Eric,
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 here together,
in the wake of your transcendence.....

Your Mom & mother ~ April 4, 1996

Eric Lee Baker, 22, of Woodstock, passed away Monday at Franklin Memorial Hospital, in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Eric was born July 1, 1973, in Woodstock. He was the beloved son of Roger L. and Nina R. Baker and a senior at Ferrum College.

Surviving, along with his parents, are grandparents, Clyde and Roberta Spence of Quicksburg, two sisters, Jeanne M. Dingus, of Strasburg and Catherine C. Colgan of Woodstock, two stepbrothers, Brian Baker and Jamie Baker, both of Bayse, "Peach" (M. A. Pichey) of Woodstock, and a special Great Aunt, "Maggie" Magdeline Smith of Chicago, Illinois and 9 nieces and nephews.

His achievements, Honors and activities include ....

Deans' List, 5 semesters
Iron Blade (campus newspaper), 1992 - 96. Including.... Entertainment, Film and Music critic columns of his own, and Assistant features editor 1993 - 1994.
"Chrysalis", The current Editor-in-Chief and contributing author of the literary and graphic arts magazine of Ferrum College 1994 - 1996
"Passport" - International Studies Newsletter, staff writer, copy editor
Communications Board member 1994- 1996
WFFC (college radio station) FCC licensed - program director, music director, disc jockey of his own show and former news director .
Honor Roll Student
- Academic Resources Center English tutor, 1993 - 1996
Honor Board Member
Organization of Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Phi Alpha Theta
Lamda Sigma
- Co-member Most Effective Delegation (China), Model United Nations Security Council - 1994 & 1995
*C. P. Minnick Award* - given annually by the Religion and Philosophy faculty, to the graduating student who has exhibited exemplary character and academic achievement
*English Award* - given by the English faculty to the outstanding graduating Student in English (the faculty met and decided that this award will annually be given hereafter as the Eric Lee Baker award, as a lasting tribute to him and to his accomplishments and service in his four years at Ferrum)

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