A BIT ABOUT ERIC
THE LITTLE GUY
I can't remember Eric ever not being in a hurry. As a baby, he couldn't wait to get around on his own, so at 5 months of age he was walking around furniture, and at 8 months, walking unassisted! It was so cute to see his 6'2" daddy trying to hold this little guy's hand as they walked! I guess Eric was just very precocious and bright- but it wasn't until his school years that we realized just how bright. Being in a hurry was just one of the qualities Eric developed early and carried throughout his short life. He also was VERY literal! When we found out the wonderful news, that Eric was going to soon have a new baby sister or brother, we tried to prepare him by talking about the new playmate he soon would have. So- the day we brought Larry home from the hospital, we caught Eric just as he was grabbing his new brother's hand---saying "Come on, Larry, let's go play!", as he attempted to pull him off the couch! His dad's favorite story is when he was coaching Eric's t-ball team---a joyful experience, for sure! Eric was playing second base and his dad wanted him to 'cover' it-----so he did! Coach Dad was not very pleased to see his young son, the budding baseball professional, sprawled out all over the second base. Later, after thinking it over, he approached Eric and asked why he did that. "You told me to cover the base", was the answer! Later in life it would be, "You said it would only take 2 seconds!" or "They're late- they said they'd be here at 3pm and it's 3:01pm!" Oh, Eric---you certainly gave us all the run for our money! I always used to say that you had the qualities that would serve you well as an adult--- but drive your parents nuts as a child! But, you know- we loved every minute of it! Looking back, I think the best quality that developed in those young years was the ability to be a caring, loyal friend. He and Larry were the very best of friends, and no one had better mess with his brother! Unfortunately, as brother's relationships naturally progress, this friendship was put on temporary hold during the pre-teen, early teen years and just when it seemed to be resuming, Eric's young life was so horribly ripped from ours. As parents, our deepest regret is that our sons have been deprived of that special adult sibling bond that was in process of being formed.
HIS FAVORITE THINGS
As a small boy, Eric wanted what most little boys do—to be a fireman! He wore that ridiculous red plastic hat everywhere! But, as he neared school-age- and learned to read by studying the sports page, Eric knew he had to be a professional baseball player for the LA Dodgers! For a long time his most prized possession was the autograph we got from Tommy Lasorda, "To Eric—a future Dodger."! We still have that- as well as the fifty million baseball cards he was collecting to pay for his college------but somehow couldn't part with! Eric was an avid sports fan—baseball, football, tennis, basketball. This spring was very hard on Mike--- watching the basketball games without the fifty phone calls back and forth to Eric—"Did you see that play?!!!" "What X@#$%^^ ref!" And then there was the start of softball- something the two of them had done together for years. Mike played alone this year—but we knew Eric was with him. The very first game of the year, his first at-bat----Mike hit a home run! Now, no offense to my dear husband, but he has never been a home-run hitter! An angel surely carried that ball out of the park. Perhaps Eric's favorite activity was debating! He would wait for a lull in the conversation and let loose with a statement certain to cause a 3 hour long argument! It took us years to figure out that he didn't always even mean what he said- it was just a way to stir up a good debate. No wonder he chose law school!! I guess Eric's other favorite thing has to be his (ours) dogs. He related to the girls in ways none of us possibly could----or would want to! He shared popsicles with them, crawled in the cage with them, shared kisses, bites!! We finally just referred to Eric as "big dog"! For a long time after Eric died, the dogs looked like they lost their best friend, and spent many moments at the vet--- it seemed they both developed symptoms of colitis! (Eric had colitis!) Eric managed to touch everyone deeply, human or animal!
THE LATER YEARS
Eric was one of the few teens that knew what he wanted to do as an adult----he wanted to make a lot of money! From the time he realized that professional sports wasn't in his future, he decided on a career in some type of business law. To that end, he attended the University of Michigan, Honor's College, graduating in just 3 years, suma cum laude, with a degree in Economics. Ann Arbor immediately became one of Eric's favorite places- the winter's withstanding. He loved the idea that he was a short walk away from everything! And there was the Arboretum—a beautiful park where Eric spent many hours, sometimes studying- other times playing around or sunbathing. We had the chance to experience the park with Eric—and the dogs. Abigail failed to share Eric's enthusiasm for the river, although Murphy thought it was wonderful! We shared many moments with Eric in Ann Arbor and easily understood his affection for the city—we just wish he didn't bring home so many souvenirs- in the form of all the parking tickets the city frequently writes us about! After graduating from Michigan, Eric came home to work and live for a year while waiting to hear from the law schools he applied to. At the time we thought we were so lucky- we had missed him so much when he was away; as it turned out, this time together was a blessing we will forever be grateful for. During that year Eric developed a new hobby- his friends were all out of town and I'm afraid Mike and I were not to exciting as roommates! Beer and wine making took over my kitchen—the smells that permeated the air—well, let's just say that they were unique! I yearned for the day when my kitchen floor would not be sticky and the house would not smell from yeast and malt! Neatness in the kitchen was not one of Eric's strongest qualities. It's funny looking back on that time now—I would gladly accept that mess if only I could have him back! Mike and Eric became even closer during that year— sharing so many common interests. Eric became Mike's protector- alibing for him whenever I would become a little perturbed by something he did or did not do. It was pretty funny to observe this- reminded me of when Eric and Larry were little guys. As in the past, they played softball on the same team, and once on different teams in the same league. Mike just loved watching Eric fit in with all the "old guys", both while on the field and at Lefty's- their favorite after-game hangout (until they were thrown out—but that's Mike's story to tell!). It was a lonely spring this year for Mike—in many ways. Eric also learned to adapt to a mostly-female work environment while he was home that year. He worked in the accounting department at Cincinnati Milacron and usually lunched with "the girls". I remember him coming home telling me the latest pregnancy lunch conversation—always ending with, "Do they really think this is something I should be hearing?", usually with regards to the latest status report on how far his boss was dilated! We just laughed- he was so uncomfortable with that but didn't want to hurt her feelings by asking her not to share that information! Eric was actually offered a permanent job with Milacron, but was not about to turn down the acceptance into Duke Law School's joint JD/LLM program, so it was too soon that he was once again leaving the nest. Unfortunately- this time would be for good, as Eric died in a single-car accident on January 8, 1997 in Durham, North Caroline while attending law school. HIS FRIENDS Friends were always such an important part of Eric's life. He took friendship very seriously and as many of you know, was a very loving and loyal one. Mike and Larry and I were so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and sympathy expressed so eloquently by Eric's friends. We want you all to know how deeply Eric cared for all of you and how grateful we are for your outpouring of love and support.
Our continued contact with you helps us to somehow feel closer to Eric and to feel that we haven't lost everything associated with him. We hope that we are similarly able to help all of you deal with this tragic loss.