Sunday, April 6, 2008


an adoring daddy
a loving husband
a wonderful friend
a beloved son

Eight years ago today, Eric was killed instantly in an accident in which a teen age driver crossed the line on a curve. Eric was thirty nine...

I first met Eric in 1992, when he was thirty two years old, had been a widower for three weeks, and had just ended up with two critically injured boys as a result of an auto accident...

Nicolas, Eric’s little boy, became my little sweetie as I began visiting and spending time with him for months during his hospitalization. During this time, I came to know and love the older son, Charles, also.

I am so thankful that Eric asked me to stay and be part of their lives when the boys finally left the hospital.

Eric’s family became my family of the heart through many tears, lots of laughter, wonderful hugs, yummy meals together, prayers, warm fellowship and endless medical appointments!!

Getting to know Eric's extended family from Wisconsin was a real plus. His french parents are so darling....and so loving to everyone. The day they arrived after the accident, as the three of us stood embracing one another, Jean-Claude, Eric's dad said,
"Oh this is so hard....yet we know that our God makes no mistakes". They have continued to be a tower of strength for Eric's family.

a beloved son
Eric and his parents, Denise and Jean-Claude

For seven years it was my joy and privilege to know and love Eric. There are so many precious memories from the hours we spent together.

an adored daddy
Eric, Nicolas, Baby Paul, Charles

I was able to watch Eric develop from a young man overwhelmed with grief in his life, to a happy, mature man, secure in his circle of family and friends, and rejoicing in the love of Helene, (whom he married three years after the boys’ accident) and their three boys.

a loved husband

a new family is born

Today I remember Eric as a wonderful friend, a young man who had faced tremendous adversity, who amid laughter and tears, was under girded by a deep and abiding faith in Christ. He often spoke to me of his faith.

I remember one evening Eric, Helene and I were in a deep discussion about God and where He fits into the tragedies of our lives--Eric stated so clearly and simply that night,

“I have no bitterness toward God.
My faith is in Him and I do not question why.”

His simple eloquence spoke deeply to my troubled heart that night. Those words took on new meaning in the days that followed as we dealt with Eric’s early home going.

I miss so many things about Eric...

being able to phone him to just chat or get a problem solved

watching his ceaseless perfection in any work that he undertook

stopping by his store with Nicolas after a west side doctor appointment
and seeing Eric's eyes light up when he saw Nick,
drop what he was doing, and come running to swing Nick up in his arms.

his thrill over hamburgers that he had cooked to perfection on his grill

his heartfelt prayers of thanksgiving before we shared a meal together.

listening to the laughing and talking that went on
with son, Charles as the two of them cleaned up the kitchen after dinner

his many affirmations which he so freely gave

and the many conversations we enjoyed as an extended family

But, most of all I miss seeing him enjoy his boys as they continue to grow and mature. He loved each of them deeply and so often said, “Joan, I’ve got the greatest kids in the world!”

Nick, now 17, Charles, now 25, Paul, now 11 and Eric, with the Lord

I shall always be grateful to God that Eric was part of my life. I have been richly blessed because I knew him.

I continue to be blessed because his family remain precious to me.
I am their "Grandma Joan".

I like that.


Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful tribute! It was fun to hear about Eric again!! CJG

Anonymous said...

GREAT TRIBUTE TO adds so much with the pictures included---gosh, it doesn't seem like 8 years in one way, but seems much longer in another way. Those boys sure have had their share of tragedy and trauma in their lives, haven't they?

ALSO loved the "aging" musings. That, too is something to be noted--it seems every day there is more evidence of the years piling up.

Still in Hawaii--back on Saturday.

The Dairy Wife said...

What a wonderful tribute and such loving thoughts. You expressed them so well.

That family is very lucky to have you in their life.

It's good to meet you!


sister sheri said...

What a touching tribute... It is amazing to me how God blesses us with such friendships that last a lifetime or for a brief moment.