“God works in mysterious ways.” How true that is today. But what is not a mystery to me is the tremendous impact you had on us, Erik. More perhaps than you even realized. During the 20 years I had the privilege of knowing you, you taught us unconditional love, compassion and acceptance. That was your life’s work. And I can’t think of any higher calling than that. And this will impact all of us for generations to come.
You were the sweetest person I have ever known, and your sensitivity sometimes caused hardship for you, but even through that, you never passed judgment on anyone, ever.
Erik was always concerned about other people and their feelings.
I remember one day—Erik was probably around 3 or 4 years old—he had just gotten his vaccinations. Elisa came in carrying him, and I asked, “How are you doing?” Erik answered by laying his head on Elisa’s shoulder, patting her gently on the back and saying, “I have a good time.”
As he was growing up, we spent many of our holidays in Norway, and he came to love everything Norwegian, including Bestefar, Bestemor, his uncle Knut Bjorn (and his military uniforms—by the way Erik always liked to dress up looking good), aunt Margaret, and aunt Bente Karin, plus all his cousins. He especially loved cross county skiing at our place up there, it was so peaceful, he once told me.
Although the language barrier played a factor in communicating, normally it was not a problem. Except perhaps one time, when Erik was 4 or 5years old. He and Bestemor (my mother) were sitting out in her garden. He was asking her, “What color is this? What color is that?” and then he asked her, “What color is your butt?” My mother told me later that she did not know what the word “butt” ment, but she answered it anyway, since Erik was talking about colors. So she said “Green.” His eyes grew big as saucers, and in amazement he asked, “You have a green butt?!”
Later on, Erik developed a keen interest in anything with wheels, and anything he could steer. He got his first electric Monster truck on his 5th birthday, and when I told him it was time to go to bed that night, he replied by saying, “I like to sleep right here, on the hood of the truck.” That passion propelled Erik into becoming the great mechanic he was.
At age 13, he took an old snowmobile that I’d left at my parents’ house in Norway that had not been started for 15 years. Erik worked on it day and night for 2 days. He got it started, and rewired the whole electrical system while he was at it.
Erik had many hobbies and passions: skateboarding, snowboarding, motorcycle riding, bike riding, horseback riding, boating, wake boarding, cross country skiing, bike repair, truck restorations and customizing, welding, and anything else mechanical. While some of these hobbies came and went, the constant in Erik’s life was his love of music. He taught himself to play the guitar and his musical talent came to light quickly. He became very good at it, playing both classical and electric guitar. Music, to him, was a comfort and a release from daily struggles.
Erik, I will sorely miss you sitting on the couch, playing Malagueña on your 12-string or a blistering, amped-up Jimi Hendrix song, blaring from your room. The door didn’t have to be open to hear it. And I also think the neighbors got a free concert as well.
I will miss going together to the racetrack with our motorcycles, or riding on country roads, and you passing me, doing a wheelie.
I will miss your great smile that could light up a room, and your funny sense of humor.
I will miss hearing your very modified truck coming home late at night, preceded by the BOOM BOOM BOOM from your highly modified stereo system.
I will miss you coming to me, showing me new cool stuff on the internet.
I will miss your inside jokes—you know what I’m talking about.
I will miss saying to each other, “ bye I love you” after each phone call and each goodbye.
Your ups and downs was sometimes hard on your sensitive soul, but it gives me great comfort to know that you are now free, free of earthly trials and tribulations.
The saying, “Only the Good Die Young” has never been more true than it is here today.
Erik, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for the honor of having been your student here on earth for the past 20 years. So long for now. Godspeed and God bless you, my dearest son, Erik. I will miss you. Bye I love you.