This was supposed to post at 10:00 this morning as the funeral was going on. I was so distaught I only saved it as a draft. I hope she was able to heqr the words I read. I left a copy of this in her coffin. Maybe there really is some spirit out there that will let her read it one day.
There are diseases that medicines cannot control. Beautiful, smart, sweet Erica, you had one of those. And, while the people around you tried to help, their love and their medicines were not enough.
When I think of you, dear Erica, I always remember that mischievous little girl with the twinkle in her eye. The little girl who preferred coloring on walls, to coloring on paper, the little girl who would rather give herself a haircut than get one in the beauty shop, the little girl who was always conniving and manipulating and had her dear dad wrapped around her finger.
And, Erica, I was so happy when you began high school at Packemin. The highlight of my day was always the hug you gave me when we passed in the hall. I used to love the long conversations we had, conversations that took place even after your disease starting taking hold of your life. The one thing your disease never took from you was your love of your parents, particularly your dad. No matter what you did, or how angry you got at his catching you, you never stopped expressing your love for him and I know that as much as you hated doing homework, you loved the time you spent with him doing it.
Erica, you have two of the most wonderful parents any child could ever have. They loved and still love you unconditionally and would have cut off limbs and sacrificed vital organs to keep you happy and safe. I especially know how your dad felt as we work together every single day. His love for you never waived. Your dad’s greatest joy was the times he spent with you and Melissa. I still remember his sorrow as the two of you grew up and you no longer wanted to spend every waking hour with him.
The last eight years have been hard, hard on you and hard on your family. The things that transpired were caused by that dreaded disease, a disease you could not control, a disease no one could control. The disease caused you to do things that you would not normally do. It caused you to act in ways you would not normally act. It caused you to hurt the ones you loved the most and it caused you to hurt yourself. It’s not fair. There is chemo therapy for cancer, bypass surgery for heart disease, even medicine for HIV but there is nothing around that could have helped you. You had the deadliest disease of them all.
Erica, sweet, smiling Erica, I hope you are at peace right now. I hope your torment is finally at its end. I will never forget you.