Erick

It’s sad how, over time, we lose touch with friends.   We think they will be around forever and we’ll have a chance to “catch up” one of these days.

Life is but a vapor . . .

Much of this post won’t make sense to many of you.  Some of you will know exactly what I’m talking about.  But right now I’m writing for myself more than for any of you, dear readers, so please bear with me.

Erick sat in front of me in Dr. Edwards’ Old Testament class.  Whenever I use my Oxford Annotated Bible (which is almost every day), I think about Erick and the hours spent studying for Old Testament exams, study time that usually took place in his room in CJ.  Erick had the reddest hair I’ve ever seen.  Like Ronald McDonald red.  Erick liked to talk as much as I did.  Maybe more.  I remember us trying to come up with a mnemonic device for remembering all the judges in the Book of Judges.  Erick was perhaps the skinniest person I have ever known.

One could always count on seeing Erick palling around with his usual group (we’d call it a “posse” today, wouldn’t we?).  David Battles.  Beth Rowell.  But Erick was not a clique person.  Erick had time for everyone.  Erick liked everyone.  I never knew Erick to be sarcastic or mean (and this from a person who knew/knows how to be both).  I was from Center Point.  Erick was from Pinson:  just up the road.  And we both ended up at Samford, in the School of Music.  So we had a lot in common.

As a DO Big Brother, I was at all the DO functions, and so was Erick.  He had the craziest way of dancing, without ever moving his feet.  He wasn’t the lampshade-on-the-head, “life of the party” kind of guy, but he was the life of the party in his own way.  More like the soul of the party.  He could make you feel like the most interesting, most important person in the universe.

After I graduated from SU and was in seminary, I’d still see Erick a lot because whenever I’d come home I’d go to the bookstore at Samford’s Beeson Divinity School, and Erick was working there at the time.  We’d always pick up like it had only been a few hours since we’d seen each other.  Erick was just like that.  Everyone has friends like that:  you can go weeks, months, even years without keeping in touch and it’s OK.

But it’s not OK.  Because the next opportunity may not arrive.

I learned this morning that Erick was killed Tuesday night in an auto accident.  His Toyota Corolla collided with a dump truck at a busy, dangerous intersection.  The driver of the truck was unharmed.  Erick was pronounced dead at the scene.

He leaves behind a wife named Kristen and a sixteen-month-old son named Jeremiah.  Erick was 39.

It’s going to be 2009 in about ten minutes for me.  It’s already 2009 for many of you.  Resolve to get back in touch with those old friends.  With E-mail, with Google, with swtichboard.com, with Facebook, etc., there’s no excuse not to.

You never know when you’ll miss your chance.

I missed mine.

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About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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6 Responses to Erick

  1. Susan Rogers-Jackson says:

    I’m sorry for your loss John. Erick sounds like the kind of guy anyone would love to have for a friend. I lost a friend of mine who was like that a few years back. His name was Shane Barnett and he went to Erwin until the end of 9th grade. He was hilarious (he always said he wanted us to get Class Cut-Up together) and we did. We did a mean Sonny and Cher. As you know I’m a “Baby” Christian and learning and trying to grow. I miss Shane a lot but I know he came to know Christ before he died. He was also a great musician and luckily I found one of his tapes that gives me great comfort. It had been a few months since we had talked, but I know one day I will hopefully get to do my “Sonny & Cher” act with him again for my husband. People that are good are so priceless and so is the time we get with them. Again I’m so sorry for your loss! You and Erick’s family are in my prayers.

  2. Eeyore says:

    I’m so sorry – for Erick’s family, and for you. And I’m thankful that I did have the chance yesterday morning to talk to my best friend who lives more than half way across the country from me. She’s fine and I’m fine, but who knows when that may not be the case.

    Kathy and I were roommates in college and have remained friends now for almost forty years. But you are right. It’s easy to take it for granted that we’ll always be able to catch up – later.

    Take care, and may God be with you.

    Pat

  3. Nancy Mezick says:

    One of the best ways to honor those lost is to enjoy your life. Tell those you love that you do-not just in passing-, take that extra moment for kindness, and take time for yourself. Laugh when you can, cry when you need to. We never know when this ride is going to end.

  4. RevJATB says:

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Susan, I knew Shane too. He and I went to school together at Cathedral before we both transferred to Erwin. I didn’t know he was gone. You’re right: he was very funny.

  5. Bif Patterson says:

    Thanks, John Allen, for a wonderful tribute to Erick. Erick was a friend to all. It has been so rewarding to reconnect with so many friends in the last 6 – 8 months. Praise God that one day we will be able to reconnect with Erick.

  6. Cap'n Whook says:

    Oh . . . my. It’s so sad to learn this.

    Erick was always at the heart of a large clump of “music people.” I was in a MEMORABLE psychology class where he had some “priceless” interactions with Dr. Freeman.

    Such people are a blessing while we have them.

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