I’ve been thinking about Erin a lot the past couple of days. It’s been one year today since she died (at 29).
I do not believe that anyone ever had the audacity to tell me that life was fair (and if anyone did I should have hit them upside the head with a jackhammer). It isn’t, and sometimes it sucks. One thing that really sucks is when a vibrant, young, hopeful, promising person is taken from us before we’re ready to let go. For all I know (and I do believe) Erin is in a much better place. I don’t believe that makes anyone miss her any less.
I first met Erin about 20 years ago. I was friends with her mom, and met Erin and her sister Katie. At the time I lived about 3 hours drive away from my two nieces so I sort of unofficially adopted the girls as my pseudo nieces. Charming girls. One thing I did for them (which I had forgotten until Erin reminded me a couple of years ago) was I would buy them books for every “A” they got on their report cards (Katie got more books than Erin) I watched both girls grow from charming innocent little girls, to normal teenagers.
Erin had her mom’s looks and her dad’s personality (the angel and the devil). She “grew up” and moved away, eventually her mom moved and I also moved. (Some people do get thrown from the vortex that is Champaign-Urbana). A few years ago I was in Kansas City on business for a few days, and in the evenings instead of doing the touristy thing with the people that were at my meetings (going to a Kansas City Royals baseball game) I rode shotgun on my friend Sarah’s life. (How often, when you’re visting another town, do you go to an open house, at the high school, in the classroom where the pregnant teens take childbirth and parenting classes. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen that listed on a tour of ANY town I’ve ever visited). After hanging around for a while Sarah and I went to visit her oldest daughter at the Spanish restaurant where Erin was a waitress. We got there after the shift was about done, and only had some nosh and a bit of sangria. But it was great to visit Erin and see the lovely adult that she had become. Somehow when I think of her as an adult I always think of really BIG nature. I know she loved the area around Santa Fe, and I know she loved the Pacific Northwest.
Erin honey I don’t know where you are, but I’m sure it’s a much brighter place with your presence.
Love, your “other” Auntie M