Today, my niece Erin would have turned 38, but instead she’s forever 26. In these 11.5 years since she’s been gone from us, it’s been easier to grieve, and to remember the joys instead of the sorrows. She was a joy to me, and I still miss her every day.
We all probably have a loved one or several that we miss. I truly believe she’s in a better place, and that I will get to see her one day again, along with all of the others who’ve gone before us.
Bad things happen, but God is not behind them. Instead He weeps and grieves with us, gives the loved one a forever home, and holds us in the palm of His hand until we can walk and talk again.
Today I can stand up and tell you about a beautiful, talented, vibrant, and wise woman named Erin. I am a better person for having had her in my life. Because of her, I got my first tattoo. Because of me, she learned to love Pierce Brosnan. Because of her, I learned to love Heath Ledger. She was born on my half birthday, so we would celebrate each other’s half birthday when we celebrated our birthday. Easter is hard, because she and I would take turns giving each other an Easter basket filled with games, books, puzzles, and candy. She would do one year, and me the next.
Erin, her friend Lynn, and I became a trifecta of friendship. It’s because of this there are craft days in my life then and now, stories of snorting jingle bells from the back seat of my car, and that tattoo. Lynn and I are pretty sure that Erin is still present at craft days. We feel her presence and hear her laughter.
Erin, you are still loved, respected, and your cat Joy is well cared for. If Joy gets to see you again before me, I hope she is kind in her description of the diet I put her on and forcing her to be cuddled and loved.