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.