Thank you for coming to this sharing place....

by Nina Roberta Baker ~ August of 1997

Please don't come so quietly,  leaving not a trace behind.  
Just a line or two in email, From you, would be so kind

Otherwise I'll never, ever know, you've been here to visit me.
Or that we've shared so deeply, as into my soul you see.

Just a line or two, and your presence, help me more than you could know...
As I walk my way through all of this..... Trying, still, to grow. ~~~

So, Please, will you stop a moment?  And leave a bit of you ?
Your words may inspire others,  then they may leave some too.

Your words! Like balm, they soothe me,  And help my wounds to heal.
Others too, come here hurting,  Won't you share then, how you feel?

So, please... please stop a moment? though it's not required of you,
Just leave something here at your visit, What helps us, will help you too.....

My Dear Friends;
Thank you so very much for taking time to write to me after visiting our homepage. I appreciate it very much! It has been so healing to hear from people! An unexpected warmth and comfort, to be sure. I hadn't realized it would bring such reward... and I am very thankful for each one of you. Thanks and hugs from...............  Your GYPSY, (Nina)..........

This one red rose is left here to express my love and as a token of my gratitude that you came and stayed to visit. If you know of anyone who might be ministered to by this Memorial - Please send them the link. 
In place of the ~usual~ guestbook, I have linked each page with e-mail so that you may communicate with me (which I very much desire) with choice of sharing, or not, with others. I will post e-mail and replies which go through to this URL, unless you indicate to me that you prefer that I do not do so.  My purpose in setting this site up has been expressly to pay tribute to my son and his memory, to publish his work in order that it be read by all who are interested, and to reach out to..... helping, comforting and hopefully, strengthening others who suffer and grieve.....

I thank you, and I am, as always,
 yours because I'm His, Your GYPSY, (Nina)

Lily Oh 
Thank you
Thanks Nina for the wonderful website.  It touches my heart and move my eyes to tears when reading every word that you have penned for your dearly beloved son.  It causes me to realise a mother's love for her child and I am ashamed of how I have taken my parents' for granted.  They are in their seventies and I have been so busy working that I hardly have any time to be with them together.
I will try to set aside some time to be with them and once again thanks for your wonderful poems I will treasure everyone of them.   
God bless.     Lily 

Dear Lily,  You have blessed my morning.  Thank you, dear one,  for contacting me after your visit to our website.   There is no greater joy for me than when I hear from people who have been touched by our presence in the world and in hearing how Erics' life has touched others....  short though it was in physical terms,  his spirit lives on and makes a difference because he lived and was loved by family and friends.
Yours because I'm His,   <>< <><ttt><> ><>     with love, hugs and prayer,  Nina

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Subject: your website I came across
Hello,  I know you've probably gotten many emails asking questions about what happened from people, I apologize, but here's another.  I just want to know how the accident occured and what came of it.   I understand your son lost his life, I'm sorry to hear that.   I brought your site up through a search.  It touched my heart to see the pictures, letters and hearing the musics.    I am only 19 years old, own a powerful Camaro and love racing it everywhere. If you could help just one person to stop driving like an idiot...I'd like you to help me.    My question is, is his death because of the power in the car?    Was he driving recklessly or was another driving in this way?  I just want to know what happened.   I know my family and my future fiance would not like to see me gone. Thank you and please respond.   ~  Sandi

Dear Sandi;   Hello Sandi. Please forgive the delay in responding to your e-mail. Thanksgiving day was at my parents and family there from out of town - and I didn't even get to check the website- mail until this morning.   I usually try to respond the same day.   Not knowing if you checked out all the archives of guestbook,  for there are lots of e-mails shared there and reading some of the grief and regrets there might also help you to re-consider choosing to maximize the dangers which already exist on the roads.   It isn't the "typical" sort of guestbook and there are no commercial interests or junk-mail posted.   What is posted there are the ones chosen for their content and value of sharing with others who have suffered loss and grief.  Some of it is response to other areas of our website also... but primarily, it is grief-support oriented.  Just this morning, I responded to a similar request for details of the accident, so I am going to send you a copy of that e-mail  (which will be posted by next week).   Additionally, I think that you are already concerned about the pain and loss you could bring to your loved ones if you are permanently harmed or killed. I'm sure you have also given thought to the  potential consequences which could befall other people, pets, wild-life or property when speeding reduces the ability to respond to a sudden and/or unexpected encounter.    Erics' accident had no driver error.  The details are in the message to follow this one. Sometimes, the condition and consequences are not avoidable by "safe" or skilled driving, as in Erics' fate.   It WAS avoidable and senseless due to negligence of a homeowner and/or contractor. But... dear Sandi, with so much vulnerability to all such bizarre circumstances brought about by others... can we really allow ourselves to take such chances with our lives?   You are already seeing the danger and have been asking yourself that question.  That is very loving and considerate of you.   Eric was like that too.   I know that the speed IS thrilling, and at 19, it is difficult to imagine or think long on our mortality. Speaking, though, as a  mother whose life is forever divided by the chasm of "before and after",  losing my only and dearly beloved son, Eric... I speak from a broken hearted ache which apparently, will never heal or become conditioned in me... Each holiday, each remembered time shared together or even  just the things we liked/enjoyed in similar appreciations and choices of our own as individuals who had many, many similarities as well as shared talents and preferences somewhat inherited genetically... each one is its' own reminder and renewal of pain and anguish of his permanent  absence.  This is the fifth winter without Eric, and it hurts no less than the first. I dwell on the years, holidays and experiences we had,  and not the ones never to be.    have peace and acceptance - but the loss is an unchanging (at least thus far), pain and melancholy in my soul.   I hope that you are able to make the choice to maximize your safety by  those choices, such as, not speeding or in any way compromising your  driving skills which may be called upon at a moments' notice, by no  conscious choice or consequence of your own. I know that you already realize your dangerous pleasure. I believe that we have all faced that temptation and indulged in it in those early experiences of being one with the car we are controlling (and take such pleasure in).... So in the end, you could say that even if you never do take chances, you, like Eric, and like any of us, could die as a victim of others' choices which endanger you.    But I can say this.... I cannot imagine the extra grief that others must bear, knowing that their loved-one died as consequence of temptation they chose not to resist. I have been in communication with those who mourn and live with that additional pain which accompanies such deaths as took place because of a such a choice as you are hoping to "cure" in your temptation and love of the power available to you in your car.   I'm not sure of what else you were wondering about "what came of it"...  so if there is another question about a specific detail... after you read the message which will follow this one, please feel free to ask.   ~  As a mother, I ask you, from the bottom of my heart and all my soul, PLEASE, please don't make a choice that may cause your parents, friends and fiancee' the grief and loss of joy of having you in their lives.   Love and prayers of support on your behalf,
Yours because I'm His,  Your Gypsy, (Nina)

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"McNew, Brady" <>
Subject: Your web page
I found a link to your webpage and saw the horrible accident scene and demolished firebird. It was a terrible wreck, one of the worst I've ever seen. After viewing the webpage I'm left with a question, why do you say:    "If only one homeowner sees this tragic outcome of irresponsibility  with potentially hazardous materials... ". What did the homeowner do?   I viewed another webpage and some where it said something to the effect of : "They were nearly back at the college when something large loomed into view".  I'm just curious, and sorry for your tragic loss ~  ...Brady

Dear Brady;   Thank you for writing and for your visiting with us and taking time to write and express both your condolence and curiosity. I have that trait myself and I know that it comes from a spirit of depth and caring. Thank you for that caring.   ----> something large loomed into view".  This quote came from the obituary which I wrote on the third day, after Erics' death..., (the day before his funeral) as a privately published obituary in the "Northern Virginia" newspaper  here. It was all I had been told at that time. I first wrote the letter "to" Eric, the second day, and it was my way of dealing with  saying goodbye, and also, to let as many people as I could reach,  know of his sudden and tragic death.   At the time of the writing, I had only the State Troopers' report, received `second hand' from the trooper at the scene of the accident. Since both of the friends in the car with him were taken to the hospital and both admitted, I didn't get to talk to them at the time, and no one knew exactly WHAT the object was... so I had only those words to use at that time. (I had called both boys on  the second day, inquiring of their condition. Eric C. was not able to talk on the phone, and although I did get to speak to Noel a few moments, he was very sedated and still in shock.  It wasn't until I visited Ferrum, on the day they had their  candlelight and memorial services, for him that I talked with both of his friends. The friend who was in the front seat, Eric Cardwell, was thrown from the car though, in spite of the fact that he WAS  wearing a seatbelt, (which we do know because the belt was torn straight across and we were all amazed at that happening<!> and also, because the third friend, Noel, witnessed and reported this to all of us. Eric C. never had, the last I heard, regained his  memory of what actually happened. Either the violent ejection from the car, or a blow to his head, or just the plain horror of it all, blocked out hours of his memory of that evening.   I returned to Rocky mount two days after the memorial service, with my son-in-law, to clear out Erics' car before having it brought home.   On that day, a car drove past us several times and then pulled into  the parking-lot. Bobby and I had remarked on the fact that the driver  and/or passengers in that car which drove slowly by us 3 or 4 times, might think that we were unauthorized "looters" of the vehicle, and  I went to my car to get Erics' license and other papers to show who we were. The car pulled up to Bobby, and the woman driving asked  Bobby if we were the parents of the young man killed in the car. He replied that I was the mother. She asked if he thought that I might be willing/able to talk with her because she was driving behind Eric and saw exactly what had happened. Regardless of the emotional price for me and probably even for this thoughtful stranger, I was not only  willing, but so grateful that she should have happened-by.   She told us of how the eight-foot roll of duct-insulation had blown in front of the Firebird and immediately, upon contact burst  open. This insulation is made of the yellow material, (fiberglass) and covered with that shiny metallic material which we have all seen at one time or another in the installation of air conduits. The light- weight yellow material continued to blow past and for a time, was at  the fence along the field in which stood the tree where Eric and the  Firebird met their mutual end. Several people did remember and speak  of it being there and had also seen it in a ditch at the side of the road a few feet from where it was blown into the path of the Firebird.   The farmer who owns the field said that by the time he got out there, some of it was still there at the site even then. Those who spoke of seeing that roll of material in the ditch, all spoke with the utmost pain of  regret that they had not stopped and done something about it.. for all had realized that it posed a threat to traffic. Haven't we ALL seen such a circumstance of one kind or another - and didn't stop for whatever our reason?  The metallic, VERY shiny material, and the rusty wire which held the roll tightly bound, both hooked at the front bumper of the  Firebird. The metallic material covered the front of the car,  including the windshield and entire length of the drivers' side of  the car. The wire wrapped itself around the rod under the car, and  then very tightly around the rear wheel axle on the opposite side of the car. This appeared to have been a contribution also to the car  turning around, almost into a u-turn, as it went off the road, through the barb-wired fence and impacting with the tree which nearly cut the car in two pieces. Both the weight of the engine and the fiberglass structure caused the car to tightly wrap itself as you saw in the pictures which the accident private-investigator included in his excellent report, <his services were engaged and paid-for by a friend  who wanted to be sure that I would have that complete picture of  exactly how such a thing happened>. In the pictures you saw, he  shows the wire and bits of the insulating material still clinging to the shiny silver material and also see that it wound itself back up  into the circle it had been in for so long, wrapped around that long bundle of leftover materials which lay in that back yard a year -  unsecured. The investigator spoke to many of the neighbors to affirm that this was the site and the material... which he shows in the  picture which I used in the website composition.    Mercifully, it all happened so fast that the investigator  said that the moment of the first impact with the bundle and the next with the tree, took place in less than half-a-minute. At first, that sounds like a brief time. But.... if you hold a stopwatch and watch the hand move through those seconds - all the while, imagining the headlights reflecting back through the drivers' eyes.... it seems like forever. Other than that sight which must have been painful to the eyes... I am blessed to know that Eric was killed instantly and had no other time to suffer from anything at all.   ~  Eric was an excellent driver. There was no driver error. No  speeding. No one was drinking or under any influence whatsoever. None  of the three of them was eating or smoking or doing anything which  might have compromised safety or contributed to any driver distraction or error.   ----> What did the homeowner do?  ^I'm sure you see, by the above answer to your other question, that it was what the homeowner did NOT do, not anything he did, more than leaving the material instead of disposing of or storing it safely.  Thank you again for writing,  Yours because I'm His,  Your gypsy, (Nina)

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Mama Gums 
your lovely website
Dear Nina, I found your website accidentally as I was looking on the Internet for Whitehouse connections to women's and babies' information. I had to take a minute and write to you.    I cannot imagine the pain of the loss of your beautiful son, Eric.  Only another mother could possibly imagine the depths of your sorrow. I am so sorry.     God bless.    Sheila Wolf  ~  "Pregnancy and Oral Health: The critical connection between your mouth and your baby."

Dear Sheila: (Mama Gums,)  Thank you for writing to me.  In these days of deluge in our e-mail systems, many of us don't communicate as freely as before simply because it seems such a chore to wade through it all,  so each new ~friend who writes to me is even more precious than in years past when there were almost more than I could deal with.   I appreciate you for the warmth of your caring and sending a message to me.   Part of a mother dies with her child - regardless of how many friends and family are around us and other relationships which continue - that special mother-child relationship is different with each individual child.   It's been over 8 years,  but the grief is forever.     So thank you again for reaching out,  it was comforting to me.  
Yours because I'm His,  with love, hugs and prayer from your gypsy,  (Nina)

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If you are looking for a recent entry and fail to find it here,  please check the archives, below,  or write to me to inquire about it.   These entries are no longer  in chronological order at all.  You may find one from last month posted in a book years ago...  Why?   Well, sometimes I'm just working on the page and checking the size or content and may "move" an entry due to size or whatever....   Call me whimsical or tidy...  Sometimes it's just a creative urge?  There are various reasons which have inspired me at times to do it....  If you are looking for yours,  please type your name and/or address and do a find.   also.....
The original pages were set up for slower times and smaller "memory",  now
we are advanced enough to allow for larger pages (content),  so I began
combining guestbook archives with double the content - less moving from one 
to another for our visitors.     

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