Thursday, April 5, 2012

This is for Erika

I was worried about what to post about for E. Now, I wish I didn't have an answer. Erika was my best friend growing up. I just found out that she took her life.

I don't blame her. She had some things going wrong as she got older. It got worse after her mother died. I'm sure it's a blessing that she doesn't need to suffer any more, but when I think of the girl I grew up with, it's hard to imagine her life ending this way.

Erika was a lifetime buddy. We grew up across the street from each other. I met her when I was 3 1/2 years old. She taught me too many things. Probably some that she shouldn't have, but those are good memories to me. It helped me not to be so naive. 

She was there for me through everything. She always believed in me more than she needed to. She was always proud of me. She was there for my graduation, my wedding and so many other childhood events.

I learned never to judge people, especially by their color. I'm going to share a funny story that Erika loved to tell everyone and tease me about...

Like I said, I met Erika when I was 3 1/2. Her dad is black. Her mom is white. I never thought anything of it until one day, when I was across the street playing and her dad took off his shirt. 
I stopped and said, "JJ. You're black all over!" (Apparently I thought he had a really nice tan!)
He laughed and gave me a hug. "Yes Baby Girl. Heavenly Father made us all different and he made me black."
"Oh! Okay!" 
And then I went off to play with Erika.
Her mom was listening through the house window and had to call my mom and tell her how funny it was, and how I didn't even care once he explained it to me. I just said, "Okay" and I was off playing again.

Erika and I were so close that when I went to her uncle's funeral, her dad introduced me to people as his daughter. It was funny to see the look on people's faces. But he was right. He's been like a dad to me and Erika was like a sister. I'll miss her so much. Till we meet again girlfriend.

51 comments:

Cassie Mae said...

Wonderful post for your friend. And again, I'm so sorry for your loss. Will be here if you need. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey Leigh,

So very, very sorry to hear you have lost a dear friend/sister.

My sincere condolences to both Erika's and your family.

Rest in peace, Erika.

Joanna said...

This is a sweet tribute to your wonderful friend, Leigh. I loved the story. I am so sorry Erika's life was so hard, may she find rest now.

Kyra Lennon said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Erika sounds like a wonderful friend to have, and I hope you can hold on to all those great memories you shared - those will never go away. <3

Tobi Summers said...

Oh gosh, I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was a great person and a great friend.

Cristina said...

oh Leigh, I'm sooo sorry :( :(

I love that little memory you shared with her dad. So cute and innocent.

S.P. Bowers said...

Best wishes for you and her family. I hope she's found some peace.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm so sorry you lost such a special friend.

Morgan said...

Oh... Leigh...

Too much death of late... And to have it be someone so close----heart breaking. Thanks for sharing though... With you sharing, you've reminded me how important it is to value every moment. And I needed the reminder, so thanks. Bless your sweet heart! :/

Rachel said...

Hi Leigh - I came here from the A-Z Challenge and I just wanted to express my sorrow for your loss. I am sorry to hear about Ericka - she sounds like she was instrumental part of your life. My thoughts are with you and her family

Tasha Seegmiller said...

So sorry for your loss. This is a great post in her honor.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I'm so sorry. I didn't know Erika well, but I do remember her. If you need anything, let me know. *hugs*

Julie Daines said...

What a sad story. I'm for sorry for your friend and her family and friends.

I do love the innocence and acceptance of children. Thanks for sharing this.

Jenny S. Morris said...

What a great tribute. I'm so sorry for you loss and her families as well. She sounds like she was a light in your life that will always be there. Your story is so sweet, sounds like how my children view their cousin and her father's family. They don't even question that her black grandma treats them like her own.

Hugs and prayers for you today.

Joshua said...

More hugs headed your way, Leigh. I'm truly sorry.

Fairview said...

Poignant tribute. Sorry for your loss.

Angela Cothran said...

Oh, I'm so sorry :( Unexpected losses like that really rock your world. I bet Erika knows how much you love her :) *big hug*

Charlie Holmberg said...

How sad... I always think things like this are just... sad.

Thanks for sharing the stories, hope all goes well for her family and yours.

Charlie Holmberg said...

How sad... I always think things like this are just... sad.

Thanks for sharing the stories, hope all goes well for her family and yours.

Coleen Patrick said...

Leigh, so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing a lovely tribute to your friend.
Hugs.

Donna K. Weaver said...

*hugs* I'm so sorry. Having survived the loss of a spouse through suicide I know what it's like to be left behind like this.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Beautiful story. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Stacy Henrie said...

Sweet tribute to your friend! So sorry for your loss.

Jennifer Lee Young said...

So sorry to hear that Leigh. I too had a friend who told me more than I needed to know. I was sooo naive (still am a bit) Unfortunately, my friend didn't share the same "true friend" qualities as Erika. What a sweet tribute

Elana Johnson said...

Great remembrance of your friend. *hugs*

Stacy Jensen said...

Very sorry to hear about Erika. It's always great to have special friends in your life. I imagine she had fun teasing you about that sotry with her father. What a tribute to her to share it.

Krista McLaughlin said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Erika sounds like a great person and I'm glad that she was your friend. This is a great tribute to her.

thelmaz said...

I'm so sorry. What wonderful memories you have of Erica and her family.

Carrie Butler said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, Leigh. :(

Beth Stilborn said...

My condolences. What a lovely tribute.

Sharkbytes said...

So sad when people we care about make this choice. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

Nicole said...

That is so tough. I'm sending hugs and prayers to her and her family. This was a beautiful tribute.

Melissa Sugar said...

That was a very touching tribute to your friend. I know it was hard for you to write. I don't know the circumstances surrounding her life and ultimately her death, but you believe she is in a more peaceful place now and I hope that will help you through the hardest days ahead. Erika was obviously very special to you and I believe she was fortunate and blessed to have you as a friend. My heart goes out to you and I will keep you in my prayers.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

So very sorry. I wish I could say something that would help. I will keep you and her family in my prayers.

Sarah Pearson said...

I'm so so sorry. Keeping you, and Erika's family, in my thoughts.

Rebecca Bradley said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. A beautiful memory of your friend and her family.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Leigh.

Grammy said...

Hi, Like the other commenters, I am sorry you lost such a wonderful friend and in such a terrible way. I lost my best friend nearly two years ago (my husband) and I miss him every day. Sometimes I see something on tv and start to turn to him to tell him, and then remember he is not there. I feel your pain and loss. He was 83, and we had been together for 45 years. You are in my thoughts and heart. I can feel your pain. God bless you and keep you. Ruby

Kelley said...

Oh Leigh! :( I'm SO sorry. This has got to be so hard.

I'm here for you babe if you need anything.

Summer Lane said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. :( Erika sounded like a wonderful person.

Patricia T. said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend Erika. May her healing begin and she find peace.

We lost a grandson to suicide, so I know the pain! Blessing to you and her family!

Hope Roberson said...

So sorry for your loss Leigh. I'm so glad you have great memories with Erika and her family, they sound like good people. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing:)

cherie said...

Oh, so sad and heartbreaking! HUGS to you, Leigh. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you'll find peace and healing in your heart. <3

elizabeth seckman said...

Such a heartfelt tribute. God heals all our wounds, she is whole and strong now.

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Leigh. May your heart always be full of the peace of a cherished friendship!

Ella said...

I am so sad n' sorry for your loss!
What wonderful memories you have, treasure them~ (((hugs)))

Kathryn Elliott said...

Keep those memories close to your heart, where Erika always remains. So sorry for your loss.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

So sad. So sorry for your loss!

Melissa Bradley said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. I will keep Erika in my prayers. She sounds like she was one of the very best and this world will be a dimmer place without her spirit.

Betty Alark said...

My condolences, Leigh!

My you be blessed to find peace and contentment within! I'm glad that you have so many wonderful memories to last you your life time of you and your friend!

We never do know how much time we have or what tomorrow will bring - so, yes its wise to do all that you can - today, while your still living!

Really enjoyed reading the story- thanks for sharing it!

Peace unto you!

eva fhadilah said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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