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Happy Birthday, Eric!

Today you would have turned 19. I wonder where you would be. In college probably, but who knows where? But it doesn't matter where you would be. I think you could be wherever you would want to be. You had it in you. I wish you were here with me to celebrate your birthday. You'd be happy to know that I picked up fencing again. Yeah, I've been fencing at least twice a week. It reminds me so much of you. I'm going to try to be really good. I almost beat you a few times before you got so awesome. We had such great times together. Maybe my fencing again will bring keep some of those wonderful memories alive. I wonder what you would want for a birthday present. Whatever it is, I wish I could get it for you. I think of you often. Before, it was hard to think of you without being sad. But now, your memory brings me joy. Today, I even said one of your trademarks without realizing it until after I had said it: "Your strange ways scare and confuse me."

Oh what I would give to bring you back. I miss you so much, dear friend. Why did we have to grow apart in those last months? I want to see your sheepish grin. I want to hear your corny jokes. I want to give to you as much as you've given me. I could live an entire lifetime just dwelling on the memories you've given me. I hope that wherever you are, you have some of me and of all the rest of your friends, too. On this day, this day of your birth, 19 years after your birth, and about 17 months after your death, I am still missing you. When I am fencing, I will always be fighting for you. When I am studying, I will be learning with you. And as I am living, I will be living for you.

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