Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring on the Farm

When Erica was in high school she liked a boy who was in FFA.  So, Erica decided she would join FFA.  She convinced my parents she really wanted to show sheep, and she did.  I had already graduated high school and was in college when all this took place.  But ever since my parents have raised sheep.  My brother followed in Erica's footsteps and so have both her daughters.  A lot of the time I spent with Erica was at sheep shows watching her daughters.  Memories I will cherish always.
Sheep from the farm, Spring 2011.
 Spring is always a special time on the farm because this is when the baby lambs are born.  This has always been one of my favorite times of year.  Although this year is not the same.  There was a set of triplets born on the night before Erica's memorial service.  She would have loved to see them.  I know there is never a good time to go and you don't get to pick when your time is up.  Erica was a member of God's flock and he called her home.  I'm trying to find peace with this.  I never knew I could be this sad and full of grief.  I'm taking it one day at a time.

Quote:   Many people are so afraid to die that they have never begun to live.  But courage emancipates us and gives us to ourselves, that we may give ourselves freely and without fear to God. ~Henry van Dyke

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Nights are Hard

Our Sky at Nightphoto © 2009 Alex Porteous | more info (via: Wylio)
My heart gets heavy each night before bed.  My eyes tear up and I have a good cry.  Thoughts of Erica enter my mind.  The things I said, the things I never will, and all the things I wish I did different.  I always thought we would have tomorrow.  Maybe when life was less busy we would have time to spend together.  It never dawned on me that we might not get the chance. 

They say that the best lessons in life are learned the hard way.  This is one hard lesson, with no second chances.  So, if your reading this and you have a sister, brother, mother, or father that you would like to spend more time with.  Don't wait, seize the moment.  We never know what tomorrow holds.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Joy.Youth.Sky.Blue.Sun.Shine. Sunshine.Happinessphoto © 2006 Irina Iordachescu | more info (via: Wylio)
Erica's last facebook post stated "I'm the happiest I've ever been, now I just want to get some sleep."

In my professional life I've taught a class on Ethics.  Some people believe our purpose in life is to find true happiness.  Again, I find some irony in the fact that Erica posted such comment the night before she passed away.  Is our destiny simply to find true happiness?  Should I find it comforting that Erica had found happiness?

My Mom would always tell us "You can't look for others to make you happy, you have to find the happiness within yourself."  Yet, the majority of people seek outside things or stuff to make them happy.  I believe it starts with our own heart.  Is your heart truely open to happiness?  We can't find what we're not prepared to receive.  So, prepare your heart for happiness.

Quote:  Happiness is the only good.  The place to be happy is here.  The time to be happy is now.  The way to be happy is to help make others so.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's Not Like Television

THE SPHERE WILL BRING YOU KNOWLEDGEphoto © 2008 Torley | more info (via: Wylio)
Television can give a false sense of reality when it comes to dealing with the medical examiner's office.  One of my favorite television shows is Castle.  Each episode is cleverly written and they always figure out what happened.  However, reality is quite different, it's not like television.  Erica's cause of death won't be "official" until sometime in June.  Now, if this were a crime drama, they would have this information within the first fifteen minutes of the show.  Reality bites! 

When you're trying to work on the accepting phase of grief one of the main ingredients is the why and how of the situation.  So, I find myself stuck.  I can accept that Erica's gone, although I don't like it one bit and I still wish it was a dream.  The why she's gone is still the question.  I like to think Erica's death will be easier to accept when all the questions are answered.  Until then, send up your prayers that our family will find peace.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Promise to Erica

BP726 Rainbow Modifiedphoto © 2006 Charles Tilford | more info (via: Wylio)Erica,
  • I promise you as long as I'm alive, I will be there for your daughters when they need me.
  • I promise you we will keep your memory alive.
  • I promise you I will encourage your girls to go to college.
  • I promise you when things get hard we will try to find the positive side.
  • I promise you that you will never be forgotten.
Your Sister,

Monday, April 4, 2011


Sunken Cemeteryphoto © 2009 Agustin Rafael Reyes | more info (via: Wylio)Erica always took the road least traveled.  She did the same after death.  About a year ago, I was home for the weekend.  Sometime during the visit what we wanted done to us after we died came up.  I was shocked when she said she wanted to be cremated.  She said "I don't want to be worm food".  Okay, I could see her point.  I really didn't know how I felt about the subject.  I never did research or looked into it further after this conversation.  But with her passing the subject has been on my mind.  My parents followed her wishes, although it was very hard for them.  She was the first one in our immediate family to request cremation

Cremation from what I have read is neither endorsed or condoned in the Bible.  Therefore, I am now of the belief that the way we are disposed of is not the issue.  The issue is the way we lived our lives.  Were we a good person that treated others kindly?  Did we hold true to our beliefs?  I will not worry if this was the right decision.  It was not mine to make.  I'm glad she shared with us what she wanted, so we didn't have to make this decision on our own. 

Share your wishes after death with the ones you love.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What I'll Miss About Erica

Pink Tulipsphoto © 2004 [n|ck] | more info (via: Wylio)Erica's death was so sudden, for the first week, I just couldn't believe it.  The tears wouldn't stop, my heart ached, my stomach was sick, and I wanted it to be a bad dream.  Still as I write this today, tears are streaming down my face.  It's been twenty-six days.  I hate looking at calendars now.  The calendar reminds me of all the days we won't have together.

The shock is gone and reality has set in.  So I made a list of a few things I will miss about Erica:
  • Her Smile
  • Her Stubbornness
  • Her Sarcastic Humor
  • Her Dedication to her Daughters
  • Her Willingness to Accept People for who they are
  • Her Ability to Stand up for Herself
  • Her Approach on Life
What will you miss about Erica?