Briahnna's father passed away this past week, and I was going to include part of her sweet and well spoken tribute to him as part of this week's blog post, but in reading it, I decided that it would be best to include it as a whole. Here she is with her Dad and brothers in happier times.
While my relationship with my father was greatly altered over the past few years, I want it to be known how much I loved, respected and cherished my father.
Nobody can describe Marc Ericson without using the words service, talent & laughter. I cherish my memories of riding around in his old red truck listening to the GoGo’s and visiting home after home of widows throughout the neighborhood to rototill their gardens for free. Of rescuing baby birds knocked out of a tree, nursing them back to health, teaching them to fly and releasing them. Of finding a hungry man on the street, bringing him home, letting him use our shower, cutting his hair, and giving him a good meal (and probably a pocketful of money) before sending him on his way. I recall him taking 2 teenage girls out shopping for prom dresses and all the trimmings as they couldn’t afford their own. I remember him buying a car for an acquaintance at a hardware store so she would be able to visit her grandchildren more often. He went digging through school cafeteria dumpsters to find a retainer accidentally thrown away by a neighbors’ daughter – too scared to tell her parents what she had done. One of my favorite memories is of him literally purchasing snowshoes so he could hike through infamous Littleton blizzards to take food to widows trapped in their homes. And it didn’t end there - buying groceries for roommates short on cash, buying washers and dryers for people in tight spots, laying sod for neighbors. Yes, if you ever needed anything, you could count on Marc Ericson to step in. He was generous to a fault and I never once heard him begrudge anything he had ever given away.
Not only could he step in, he knew how to do everything. Anything you needed built, or repaired, or remodeled – he could do so. I never knew him to come across something he couldn’t figure out. He was truly a talented man and was always happy to share that gift and make people’s homes as beautiful as they had always dreamed they could be. He has spoiled me for life in that regard, as nobody can do things as well as my dad could. From using a power tools on styrofoam for school projects, to building an entire home for his parents – my father literally could do it all – and it would be perfect.
Finally – Marc, the man always there with a smile and a joke, and if you were lucky, a laugh that could be heard a few houses down the street. My brother worded it very appropriately that our father wasn’t just friends with us – he was quite literally friends with our friends. He watched our shows, listened to our music, went to our movies, came to our games and concerts, and helped our entire network of friends in growing up. My father truly loved us and gave us everything we ever needed.
My father taught me how to work hard, how important it is to do things for others and how to strive for excellence in whatever you pursue. He was great at putting people first.
I will miss you Dadda. I will miss you pulling out your dork tool in the nerdiest way possible. I will miss listening to Bread on road trips when everyone else is asleep. I will miss camping under the stars with just a tarp clipped over us. I will miss you taking hours carving cucumbers to look like roses. I will miss seeing all the beautiful things you built. I have and will continue to miss our “windshield” calls where we could talk for hours about nothing in particular because we were driving somewhere and wanted to chat. I will miss shooting with you – thanks for allowing me to be as much of a tomboy as I wished. I will miss watching you and the boys play hacky sack while I watch (since I am not coordinated enough to participate). I will miss celebrating Elvis’ birthday. I will miss fudge trips to Estes Park. I will miss hearing you whistle to gather everyone together. I will miss watching Golden Girls with you and cracking up unashamed. I will miss getting pulled over for speeding because we were too into singing OKLAHOMA! to realize the speed limit had changed. I will miss driving a giant van on a bike path in Germany because we couldn’t read the signs. I will miss all of these things and a million more, but I will never forget them.
I am sorry my children will not have the opportunity to know you like I do, but I hope I can emulate your traits and they will know where I got them from.
I hope you have found peace now Dadda – I sure do love you.