Conversations ~now ~ with Eric
Saturday` March 1, 1997
One month, Eric - you had one more month to live, this time last year! I don't know why I'm living this terrible "Countdown"...... thinking of you and of how unsuspectingly, but OH, thank God, how WELL we spent those last days! I feel certain that somehow - you were in communion with the Holy Spirit or some other means <your Angels?> of motivation which could only have been of God - for only He knows the number of our days!) who prepared the way to be softened and lined with love - for our last days together.... for me most especially, as I came to your absence and had to continue here without you! God knew how hard that would be, my son!
How hauntingly my own words come to echo over and over again from when we had that conversation about suicide - and we made that agreement, vowing to tell each other if we ever came close to it..... and I cried and said to you - "Oh, Eric - please don't ever leave me in this world without you!"......... And I know... that no matter how terrible the world seemed to you - my plea would have been honored by you......... (if you had been given a choice)It was your way to honor your mother .........and to be concerned that I not be troubled or in pain.You were a wonderful son.....
now there's another thing! It has come
to my mind so very often - when I count the
~blessings~ side of your transcendence...... how
good it is that you do not have to see this disease
continue to attack my body even while I struggle and
do what I can to slow down or stop its' relentless
progression..... I remember how terrible it was for
you to see me hurt - and for the most part - I did
my best to hide or mask it from your awareness. Also
- I believe that the same hereditary factors which
contributed toward the destruction of my connective
tissue were at work in yours at a much greater
power/force - than in me..... That is most likely
the curious thing (this haunts me) that I couldn't
get doctors to answer or see - about why your eyes
and your skin stretched abnormally and caused the
tissue damage which I still believe caused the
which made the cornea-transplants necessary.... the
meniscus which tore completely off from your knee
and/or those stretch marks which none could
explain! Living with my own circumstances.... I can
feel gratitude that you never have to! Were I
mathematically <or whatever it takes to be a
scientist> inclined - I believe that this
dysfunction in us would have prompted me into most
valuable research which could have produced answers
not just for us - but for the millions of others who
suffer and will suffer until someone forges the key
to unlock the mysterious path by which it takes
a long time after you died
- I felt a strange wonder that I somehow had not
felt the exact moment of your passing from this life
- I thought that it should have come to me in an
overwhelming feeling of loss..... But now - as the
year has passed day by day - I realize that what I
was thinking or expected should have been a
wrenching pain of something terrible happening - a
shock and/or jolt of a catastrophic event....
March 2, Sunday, 1997
and grief, it seems to me, are like
leprosy to people..... untouchable - feared to be
contagious... or just unpleasant and inspiring of
avoidance and denial...? So when people see others
who are in pain or are grieving - so many turn away
their eyes and their hearts... choosing not to be in
contact with it. Some fear that they will make it
worse if they touch it or come into any contact with
it whatsoever..... Others just don't want to.... And
so it is that great numbers of sufferers go
uncomforted... unaided.... feeling isolated and so
alone. I pray that the loneliness of these people
will help them to find You, Lord. To hear, see and
come to know Your presence, My Abba - the greatest
Healer and Comforter of all..... Then their needs
will not go unmet .......and they may come to
forgive man of the coldness and cowardice of heart
that allows them to neglect and ignore the suffering
as they do....
Sunday, March 23, 1997
have really gotten tight and so today, I took that
five-gallon jug of change which has been in my
closet for at least seven years - receiving all the
change that I could gather to put into it. It was
barely a third full! It is very hard to give up this
jar of money... for in it are SO many, many coins
which you, Eric, would bring to me to exchange for
paper money when your mug filled up with your
accumulated pocket change. So.. there are coins
which occupied your pockets... coins you touched...
coins which, because of that - are so much more than
coins to me!!!!
November 11, 1997
Eric.....it's happening all over again!
I go for such
a long time... well centered in reality and
acceptance of it and then..... THEN - comes a sudden
jolt and it is almost exactly like those first
moments....You aren't here and you are never coming
home! When it hits me like a sudden tidal wave
crashing up against and over me - I want to drown in
it and have the anguish end..... I want to die and
be finished with all this world.... for I don't see
how it continues to exist without you here. Life
doesn't seem real and death does..... It is
unbearable to think that you aren't coming home! I
can't stand it. Then comes the guilt over all the
others and I know that I should be so thankful for
all of them, each and every one... and I AM..... I
AM!!!!!! I truly am.... but I don't sit up and talk
all night with any of them..... They don't stimulate
my mind and invigorate my thinking - They just
loved the sound of your voice..... the way
you spoke the word ~mother...~ the special chuckle
of yours - you had several individual laughs.... one
of them was even a small boy laugh.... So many
little ways about you were the little boy which you
so healthily allowed to remain with you in your
life! I knew and understood that - for my little
girl still lives and shares my life too... and one
of the special ways that our souls ~knew each other
so well~ - was the children in us..... Even our
children-selves were soulmates....
December 12, 1297
dear son, Eric; How
I miss you!
I watched a movie you had reviewed. It
would not have occurred to me to watch it had it not
been for the reading of that review... and when it
was over, I was so glad that you had called me to
the experience! Thank you.
December 27, 1997
Awoke to a
lovely snow - which brought back such sweet and
nostalgic memories and thoughts gently unfolding. The
past year I have been kind of taking a vacation from
deep thinking - #1, because of the
recurrent suicidal ideations and #2, I felt I had to
discipline myself to live in the present as
committedly and well as I could.
Saturday, January 3, 1998
wish that I could feel good about life again...
but NewYears' Eve is such a customary time of
reflection and evaluation as I look ahead .... and
the last two of them I have not had it in me to look
ahead at all...... It is having `spells'
such as this which caused me to leave-off of
journalling last year. I do not like
recording the feelings I feel now.... I simply must
use all of my will and strength to survive them -
why record them?
Sunday, January 4, 1998
The dark-time came over me (last night) when we were watching a movie and incorporated within it was one of the main characters appearing on the JEOPARDY show. It went through me like a sword piercing my heart and it was a strongly overwhelming experience. Since it was part of the movie - I tried not to react to it and shift my mind from the authentic sounds - for we were playing a game together while we half-watched the show. But it so disturbed me that I had to turn it off for I was crying. (The others were free to go elsewhere in the house to watch - for Peach has her own television in her room, and we have them in the playroom and in the family room also.
have never watched JEOPARDY since you were
killed, Eric. Not even once. All those years, we
used to watch the two shows, WHEEL OF FORTUNE and
JEOPARDY, together, back-to-back, every evening
after dinner. The first was my favorite, the second
was yours (and you were so good at it too!). We
began as far back as I can remember, that little
hour together. I was good at mine, you were great at
yours, and we would both guess together..... It was
a special time of shared enjoyment... Even when you
were away at college - it would make me miss you too
much to watch most of the time.... And then, at
other times, I would feel comforted in watching it
and knowing that you were probably watching them at
Ferrum, miles from home at the same time, and I'd
sort of think of us being together and would watch
it with Brandi (who loved the shows too, it would
excite her when we would call out the answers before
the television revealed them...). Now
She, like me, finds it triggers her pain of losing
you too... and we so don't watch them anymore. For
Brandi, Eric, you were an Uncle, and
a brother and a
father-figure since you were the man-of-our-house
for most of her life. In fact, when I began to cry,
she came to put her arms around me and said, "I
miss Eric too, mommy" and she cried a bit with
Tuesday, February 17, 1998
This was a very busy day... worked on page a lot.
evening - I found the long missing
phone book! WOW!
- was I happy! I was SOOOo thrilled to find it! Had
been missing since my surgery - Peach thought she
must have thrown it away with stacks of mail which I
would sort out on the bed when I couldn't walk right
after the surgery. It was terrible to live with that
thought for months!..... It was like losing a little
bit of you, Eric, all over again...... your friends
and their phone numbers.... The sight of your
familiar handwriting on some of the pages - etc.
etc..... were more of those little things that
comfort me as a part of my daily life. Now I have
Thursday, February 19, 1998
I am struggling with primarily, which
interferes in my journalling, is this overall
feeling of Solomons' - "All is Vanity under the
sun"..... I find so little ambition in me to
push myself to forge ahead.... Which is also
partially why I did not journal for a while. I want
to return to the discipline of doing it, I really
do! - but I also realize that I am NOT very ready
for life - period - at this point. I am mostly
existing at this point. Doing what comes to me to do
and waiting.... waiting for - as Job would and did
say - "My
change to come"......
Friday, February 27, 1998
- February also went by without my return
to journalling. I don't know how something so vital
to me can have just come to an end - and I have
tried everything I can think of to force the return
to the daily practice... Without it, many of the
memories which I could savor so much more fully in
the years to come, with the notes I kept once - will
slip away and lose themselves in the vast index file
of my mind... I
ponder just what it is.
Disobedience and unfaithfulness, even to my own self
and commitment, is greatly disturbing to me. It has
something to do with what I wrote here weeks ago....
something about my strong desire not to be around
long and therefore - feelings of not needing
March 18, 1998
I can't stand it - I just cannot stand it!
No one knows or understands how it hurts... and the more I try to hang onto myself and think all those positive thoughts - the more they seem to build up inside of me.
I am pushing myself so hard and obsessing about just about anything which will take hold of my mind and blot it out so I can get through each and every day which seems like a mountain before me. I climb it every day, and when morning comes I am at the foot of it again, looking up to an even greater one than the day before..... I know the impossibility of the ascent, yet I give myself to the climb and the trying anyway.
It's like there are two of me and this one that hurts just has to have expression... and so I am here saying it all... Will it help? I won't know unless I try this. Will it hurt? No, how could it? I am filled to capacity with pain already.
come to hate those words people use when
say they know or understand how I feel - because
there is no way that it could be true! I just don't
want them to say that they understand - or that they
have lost a friend or something - nothing is
like losing your child except losing your
child! It just isn't.....
It makes me feel crazy sometimes - to be so torn between gratitude and peace ~for him~ and the pain and sense of abandonment of life without him and without all that we shared and enjoyed of each other and together.....
And the calendar. It mercilessly moves ever forward and here it is again - on the last day of this month, we will turn the calendar to the last day of his life, two years ago. The last day of Buffys' life one year ago.
how do I deal with the days? Each one
coming faster (good, I must tell myself, for the
sooner, then, it will be behind me....). I obsess
with projects and work which absorbs my entire being
until I have no room for other thought or feeling. I
push and continue and the clock goes around and
around - day and night - all one near-blur as I
immerse myself into absorbing work ( the URL is a
great oblivion as I create and perfect on and on).
My brain is so taken up and used in the demanding
concentration and natural artistic creativity which
flows like a river always through me. How glad I am
(so let me concentrate on praise and thanks for this
too, My Abba) that I have such strong and urgent
predilections which I can lose myself and my pain
Tuesday, March 31, 1998
- just like old times.... actually clicking
on the days' date and actually wanting
to write about the day. Not that there is anything
particularly spectacular or unusual about this
second eve of April 1st after your leaving, Eric,
and the first of Buffys' leaving to join you (if
such faithful and loving spirits do go to
Friday, June 19, 1998
Transitioning, for me, is a long long process in adjusting to your not being here in the world with me...... So many things of yours which I just cannot simply give away... yet (?) I know that at some point, I will find someone or something that will seem appropriate to me and I will find myself thinking, "Eric would approve of "this going there" and I will relinquish the property to someone who whom I've discerned will cherish it. (and I feel such joy at the giving/placement!) But until then, there are many things around me in every room of our home, the home where you were born and called home all of your life.
been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and organizing.
With the four years of surgeries and physical
modifications, things have not been ~up to my
standards around the house, and I just had to leave
that go and accept it until I could take-back-over
and organize once again! The time has been arriving
a bit at a time, and as I set out to do that - I
encounter so much of you! Things I never thought
about as they accumulated - always knowing and
regarding in the back of my mind that these are Erics'.....
last week has been the huge kitchen pantry (and the
entire kitchen and dining room). In the desk cubbyholes I find cards from you, Ferrum
stuff , even a letter I wrote to you in 1994 when I
was so proud and pleased in a weekend we'd had
company and you were so wonderful helping with
everything.... And the little momentos, toys, just
this-n-that stuff.... At each little encounter there
is a wrenching of my heart.... aching and hurting
with missing you.... your pencils or pens, markers,
stickers... that college-ruled paper you liked so
well and I'd keep a few packages on hand...
newspapers with the columns you wrote so well! That
kind of stuff. Yesterday morning I began with the
shelves all the way across the top of the pantry,
which, of the four sections, three are filled with
all those glass collections! You
began that "Mom, we've gotta get that set -
they will be really valuable collectors'
items!" at such an early age! And so - we would
go and have Roast-beef sandwiches or Tastee-Freeze,
McDonalds, Hardees, Burger King... whatever place
was offering a series of collectors' glasses, would
become our once-a-week dinner or lunch so that we
would have the series!
Eric...... I miss you so very much!
Here we are, Eric, a third birthday anniversary without you physically present with us. I don't know that this day will ever pass without it being that special day... Your day.
I celebrate your life with all my heart, mind and soul every day! But this is the memorial of the day you were first in the world and it will always be most special for that reason for me !
different now, though. For all those other
years, it was a celebration of your journey and
development... your living another year... growing
and going on further and further...
the world continues to deteriorate and I look around
and see the fulfillment of the many prophecies of
old - I find myself ever and ever more content and I
guess I could even go so far as to say, grateful,
that you do not have to experience it. Though there
are many things that I wish that you could see
happening... things that you expressed such strong
desire to see come to pass (such as my having
entered into beginning a relationship with the kind
of man you often told me I `deserved' and you wanted
me to have....) ..... The bad so outweighs the good
in this world that I still feel that it is a
blessing that you are "home" and await my
joining you, rather than you remaining with me
We are leaving here soon to go to Freesoul with the balloons to be released. I am going to take the camera and film a video of it today... the weather is remarkably clear and I think we will get some good footage - and I know how you love homemade-video productions! *S* So that is our project in your honor on this memorial day of your birth.... I will continue this later....
It's a good thing that we tend to remember those disaster days with a time-fostered humor afterward.... else this day of such bright promise and expectation would have been ruined! I'd planned our trip for a long time in advance - wanting to make a little documentary of the drive to Freesoul, the path, the rock, the balloons and area in general.
first monkey-wrench which fell-into-the-gears, was
my Monster-Mower mishap which injured my knee a few
days ago. I had serious doubts as to whether I could
make it there at all - much less climb up and out
onto the rock. Never-the-less.... I packed up all
the gear, charged up the cameras' one battery (I
really NEED another for such a project!) and had it
all planned-out in my mind, the sequence I would
tape.... If.... I made it out there.
But... what of the well planned video production? Well - I set the new super-duper-deluxe tripod (which I had never used) up successfully upon the rock formation just below Freesoul, aimed it 'just so' - panned the area to see if it was in the best position, and then, reached into the bag and brought out the wonderful digital movie-camera, inserted the freshly charged battery, checked the lens for any dust or dirt-smudges and went to attach it to the well stabilized and positioned tripod........ and........ there was nothing to attach the camera with/to!!!!! I could see that there was a place for the base to slide into and hold the camera.... but the piece was nowhere to be found! One little piece, a few square inches.... made all the difference in the world! I vacillated between laughter and tears - then shrugged and walked away from the set-up to carry on with "Plan-B" which I had not even thought of making up beforehand! Peach did her best to use the camera (for the first time ever) and got some of the releasing. I did some too. And I guess we will have to call this a dress-rehearsal for next July 1st and the production will be attempted again in 1999. While panning (with camera) the scenery from atop the rock, I made sure to tape the abandoned tripod below on the other rock - just in case any of us should forget how easily even the best-made plans of mice and men can and will be ~foiled!
an incredible day though. I could have stayed until
midnight! I so love it there! I remember so many of
our visits there together and how you loved
Freesoul. Those memories come to life so vividly
when I am there! Especially with Brandi there
re-enacting many of those experiences in her own
8-yera-old version of discovery and apreciation of
it all just as you did!
It just does not seem possible that it has been two years and three months since your ashes became a part of that place. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, sometimes, like forever! It seems such an awesome contemplation that your earthly remains are now becoming a part of all that grows there... and one day, I too will join you in being incorporated into those same growths and life-system and we will be together in a unity similar to when I was carrying you within me..... The thought makes life seem, at the same time, so large and also so small... compared to the universe and Eternity! And that thought is only in reference to our earthly particles..... There is not even a beginning of comprehension of the enormity of "That which is of God, returning to God" !!!!! But my soul feels the permanence of your soul, bound together with mine, and us in Him..... and all of mankind as His creation and our destiny to be with Him. I get lost at times out there upon Freesoul, in the peaceful acceptance and recognition of the unity and related continuity of it all.......
And so ends the tale of our July 1, 1998 version of celebrating of your birthday, and your life.
I Love you, Eric!
Writings © by Nina Roberta Baker