Sunday, June 14, 1998 "jayj"jjayj@netnitco.net ~Subject: Eric
I followed your web page for several hours. it is the best site i have had the honor of visiting. you are a very special person to be able to share what you have. we all bear a cross of one sort or another, but you just made one cross a little more bearable. Gods' blessing on you and yours and thank you. a friend in Christ

Hello; Thank you for writing to me. I always appreciate that. So often, people prefer not to share in the guestbook and choose to remain private in communicating with me. I like the growing community and variety of responders who are contributing and making up the guestbooks (we're on #10 now). Your thoughts, feelings and experiences, along with mine, minister to such a myriad of visitors and needs. I thank you for being a part of it. Most of all - I am blessed to hear that your cross was lightened. What a miracle it is that we should give to each other and both receive of doing so... it is the way of love and human fellowship. Thank you again, and God is blessing in and through you. I hope that you will return and visit other areas of the site, for it has many facets.
Yours because I'm His, Nina

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The Homepage of Denim & Pearls
http://members.aol.com/DenimnPrls/denim.html 
Subject: The Eric Lee Baker Award
I would like to apply for this award... and let me say that I am so sorry for your loss.


Hello Leigh; I will send along both of your deserved awards! *S* I link the two differently as you will note in the notification message I will include.... Thank you, Leigh, for your award too - I will put it up this evening!   ~  Yours Because I'm His, Nina

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From: Dennis Hill dhill@netxn.com ~ Subject: Hello
You have done a wonderful job on your page. It is outstanding. I will write again soon. Take care. Dennis

Hello Dennis; Always nice to see my ~old'friends~ - especially here in the guestbook! *S* Thank you for signing in. Later in e-mail - will catch up on each other! ~ From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Ron Gamber rgamber@umiami.ir.miami.edu ~ Subject: hello
Someone sent me the url to your page as my grandmother passed away last night I clickeded on your grief page link I know why you wrote all this and can only say thank you God bless you


Hello Ron; My dear friend and brother in the Lord and in grieving.... I can only say that I care deeply and sincerely and hope that if I may be of any comfort or source of strength for you, you will contact me and let me know. Thank you for sharing your sorrows and mine. I am sending you two of my favorite comforts (I have collected a great many) Please write again and let me know how you are , you will be in my prayers and in my heart. I know the next days will be filled and busy, most likely - but later, when you might need to touch base - I will be here and willing.... Here are the two I particularly like..... I hope you find them comforting... {{{{{{{Ron}}}}}}} ~ From your GYPSY, (Nina)

I'M FREE!!!! ~ By Anon E. Muss

I'm Free Don't grieve for me now that I'm free,
I've followed the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call.
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
to laugh, to love, to work, or play,
Work left undone must stay that way,
I found God's peace at the close of the day.
If my parting left a void
Please fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Are things that will be missed.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't be weighed down with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and rejoice with me,
God wanted me now--He set me free!

God bless you all. You are in my thoughts & prayers!!
Yours because I'm His

To My Family... ~ by Anon E. Muss & Nina

I'm writing this from Heaven where I now dwell with God above
There's no more tears or sadness here, there's just eternal love

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight
remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night
That day I had to leave you when my life on Earth was through
God picked me up and hugged me and He said "I welcome you"

It's good to have you back again you were missed while you were gone
as for your dearest family they'll be with us later on
I need you here so badly as part of My big plan
there's so much that we have to do to help our mortal man

Then God gave me a list of things He wished for me to do
and foremost on that list of mine is to watch and care for you
And I will be beside you every day and week and year
and when you're sad I'm standing there to wipe away the tear

And when you lie in bed at night the days chores put to flight
God and I are closest to you in the middle of the night
When you think of my life on Earth and all those loving years
because you're only human they are bound to bring you tears

Do not be afraid to cry, it does relieve the pain
remember there would be no flowers unless there was some rain
I wish that I could tell you of all that God has planned
but even if I were to tell you you wouldn't understand

One thing is for certain though my life on Earth is o'er
I am closer to you now than I ever was before
And to my very many friends, trust God knows what is best
I'm still not far away from you I'm just beyond the crest

There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb
but together we can do it taking one day at a time
It was always my philosophy ... I'd like for you to know it too
that as you give unto the World so the World will give to you

When you reach out to another who is in sorrow or in pain
then you can say to God at night, "my day was not in vain "
And now I am contented that my life, it was worthwhile
knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile

So if you meet somebody who is down and feeling low
just lend a hand to pick him up as on your way you go
When you are walking down the street and you've got me on your mind
I'm walking in your footsteps, only half a step behind

And when you feel the gentle breeze or the wind upon your face
that's me giving you a great big hug or just a soft embrace
And when it's time for you to go from that body to be free
remember you're not going you are coming here to me

And I will always love you from that land way up above
And we will soon be together again... P.S. God sends His Love!

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"JOAN F. NIMMO" nimmie46@tiac.net ~Subject: YOUR STORY
I do not know how I found this page, and yet I did. You are a wonderful mother to do this for your son and his memories. I too lost a very good friend many many many years ago-she too was a writer-wow it would have been so nice to have displayed her poetry like you have done of your son. Thank you for sharing for sharing all of this with me......joan

Thank you Joan, for signing in and leaving a message for me. I appreciate all guest contact! *S* Perhaps you will yet one day find a way to publish something of your friends' work. That would be so nice, Hmmmmmm? Hope you have some of it. Yours because I'm His, your Nina

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Bruce Anderson beacoach@swbell.net
Found your site by pure accident. Really enjoyed it. The human condition has not really changed over the centuries. Bruce Anderson ~ Houston, Texas

Thank you, Bruce, for signing in and I really don't know what else to say to your entry! That is quite an accomplishments - for I am rarely without words! *grinning* *S* You sound rather philosophical and interesting.
Yours because I'm His, From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Received: from NenaRica00@aol.com
You Have a Beautiful Page!! I was there For Hourssssssssss :o) Tears would come out of My Eyes "for some reason" I Love your page! I will be back VERY
soon!!!! God Bless you! ~ Hilda


To:
NenaRica00@aol.com
Thank you Hilda, for writing. I hope you will return and be blessed when you do. (and bless us with hearing more from you to.) Yours because I'm His, Nina

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From: "Heather Heinrich" ahheinrich@email.msn.com
Dear Nina, Thank you for writing about your son's death and the days following. It sounds so clinical as I am trying to write this, so please forgive me. I am feeling a little bit numb today. My son died ten months ago tomorrow, and I was filled with such profound grief today that I got on the Internet and searched for grief - and I found your home page. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me and with all of the other lost mothers missing their sons.
Heather Heinrich ~
ahheinrich@juno.com

Subject: Grief in loss of a son
To: Heather Heinrich
ahheinrich@email.msn.com
Hello Heather; One of my 8 grandchildren is named Heather and hers' is my favorite name. I have always loved the soft and gentle sound and picture that the name brings to mind. Only those of us who experience the actual tragedy that is like no other, can truly understand this very special grief. There just IS no way to accept your child leaving life before you . We spend so much of everything we have and are in raising them up and ensuring as best we can that they have a promising future and contribution to the human race of mankind. I don't think that we ever do adjust to the parting. Especially if they are all those things and poised, like Eric, to begin fulfilling life-long dreams and goals of their own, yours and friends and family.... This being my third year... I remember how raw and agonizing the year of "Firsts" is... the firsts of whatever event you are experiencing without them in the world with you. Then comes the "First anniversary" year where it's been "a year since the last one without them..." and now I find that I'm doing the year of "the second year without..." and perhaps it goes on and on. Getting on the net and looking for "GRIEF" is a very good thing to do, I found. It helped me to just be reminded that we can and do live through the pain which every day seems so unbearable! You sort of need to know and cling to that.... (I
mean that I needed to and it seems that many others feel the same desperate need to identify with surviving the grief). I am so richly blessed and helped in my healing (which I doubt will ever be complete), when I hear from others here and you share in the ministry of providing that sharing healing and survival. Thank you for doing that. I feel your pain as my own..... It is a terrible, terrible weight that bears upon us each day and night and in all that we do. If it were not for Christ and the comfort of the Spirit and His promise to be with us "ALWAYS even unto the end" - I would not have survived losing Eric. I hope that you will come visit again, and that you might write if you like, and share more about your loss. I find that it helps me to do that (and also, that many of the friends and family around me have difficulty in that sort of thing... some face pain and grief - but I believe that the majority wish to avoid it altogether and put it away in a closet somewhere inside their soul......) I embrace you with love and tenderness He has given me only possible from experiencing the very pain you are in. I care with all my heart. I am thankful that this visit was beneficial for you. ~
Yours because I'm His, Nina

Subject: ammendment to my reply
To: Heather Heinrich
ahheinrich@email.msn.com
Dear Heather; As I read over the message I sent to you in preparing it for the guestbook - I was struck by this statement I'd made to you ----> write if you like, and share more about your loss. In print it seemed not quite what I mean in my heart. It is so nice to share about our loved ones' LIFE... not just our loss, as we process our grief. And I did not mean to offer to share only about your LOSS.... I would celebrate with you, his LIFE as well. So if you would like to write and share again, please tell me more about who and what he was if you feel inclined to do so - I would like to get to know of him.... Forgive my former way of putting it? I mean this sincerely!
Again - and always, yours because I'm His, Nina

Dear Nina, Thank you so much for writing back to me. I am not feeling nearly as mechanical and numb as I was a few days ago. Some days are good, some days bad, and some days are just there. My son Nicholas died on August 22, 1997, at the age of eighteen months and one day. He had a congenital heart condition and a myriad of other medical problems, but he seemed so healthy despite everything that I always believed he was going to beat the odds and survive to a ripe old age. Even on the day he died, I could not admit how sick he had become. Nicholas was an unexpected gift from God. In fact, I was on birth control pills when he was conceived! I went to my gynecologist for my yearly exam and mentioned that I had not gotten my period the previous month. Imagine my surprise when the doctor did a pregnancy test and it was positive! My first reaction was to cry, as I was really taken aback by the news, but by the time I got out to the waiting room I was shouting the news that I was pregnant! All through my pregnancy, I was happier than I can remember being any other time in my life. It was the most amazing feeling to have a little miracle growing inside me! When the day of his birth came, three weeks early, I could hardly wait to meet the little person for whom we had been preparing for so long. Then he arrived, and he was perfect and the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Eighteen hours after he was born, Nicholas went into cardiac distress and was life flighted to a Children's Hospital. They told us that he would probably not make it through the night. I checked myself out of the hospital, and my husband and I made the two-hour drive to the Children's Hospital. That was where our nightmare began.   Nicholas did, of course, make it through the night. He came home, albeit with oxygen and two different monitors, and we started our life as a family in our home. The short span of his life was a mixture of joys and sorrows. He had frequent hospitalizations, but in between them he grew and learned like any other child. He laughed and smiled and loved us, just as we loved and doted on him. On February 18, 1997, just three days shy of his first birthday, Nicholas began his final ascent to Heaven. Doctors gave him four to six weeks, with a maximum of six months, to live and sent him home to die. As always, we tried to pack as much love into each day as we could, never knowing if that day would be the last. Like the fighter that he always was, Nicholas lived for six months and one day past his first birthday. I know what you mean about the "firsts" being so difficult. I count all of the months that it has been since his death, and I always think about what age he would be now if he was still surviving. It makes me so sad to think about what might have been if only... I have my first family reunion without Nicholas coming up over the 4th of July. I don't know how I will make it through the reunion. It just seems like it will be so sad without him. The first anniversary of his death is also approaching so fast. My friends are at such different places in their lives than I am right now, with concentrating on their careers or just starting their families. I feel like I am so old, and I don't know how to relate to them any more, and more than that, they seem to think the word Nicholas is taboo. If his name is mentioned, they change the subject so fast. It is almost like he did not. Thanks again for writing and sharing with me. I really appreciate being able to talk to someone finally. ~ Heather

Subject: Nicholas & Eric
To: Heather Heinrich
ahheinrich@email.msn.com
My Dear Heather; You write beautifully about your experience. Do you keep a journal or do other writing? Perhaps it "Takes one to know one!" *s* I know exactly what you mean about others not being comfortable about us talking about our ~transcended loved one. Some are obvious about it... some not... but we always know when their heart withdraws from the listening or joining in the conversation. And it hurts. It was a joy to listen to the love in your words, the cherishing of Nicholas was so obvious in them. If you think of any other things you would like to share about him - do write and do that. I read your letter to my Brandi (don't know if you read her section in our homepage, she is my 8 year old. We shared your heartache and emptiness which we relate-to so well through missing our Eric. If you would like your letter posted - I would like to do that, (may I?} - but if not - I will refrain. It is a gentle and touching mothers' story. Sometimes people who need to grieve and have difficulty allowing themselves or others to do so, are helped by sharing first our grief and then opening the door on their own. July is a difficult time for me too, Erics' birthday is on the first, and my own - five days later. Many of his friends are keeping in touch with me and we all feel that they are also my children - for in their own lives and spirits, they carry a part of him.... He was like that - to know him was to have him be a part of you. Thank you for writing again. Our God is so good in His providing us for each other....~~~~~ Waving~~~~~ Bye for now.... Hugs, Heather,   Yours because I'm His, Nina ~

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From: CmdrDrgn@aol.com Subject: Great Site
Hello, I really like your site. I was there for a long time, not sure how long. I really enjoyed the poems, alot better than the one's I write. Also, you are welcome to visit my site and let me know what you think :) it is located at
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ridge/4448
I will be coming back, I love your site :) ~ Kay


Hello Kay; I have company right now from North Carolina, and am not able to surf till the Monday! *S* I LOVE having friends for long visits! I am glad that you enjoyed the site and hope you will return as it is growing and under continual construction. Sometimes I run into emotional ~snags~ like the Anatomy of a Breakdown section - and have to take a break from it for a few days or weeks. Thank you for signing in and inviting me to "Your place"- I will have you at the top of the list for Monday - hopefully! Thanks for the compliments of our poetry (Erics' and mine). I look forward to visiting other writers....
Yours because I'm His, From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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From: "wayne steele" periwinklehoppers@worldnet.att.net ~thank you!

You are welcome! *S* ~Yours because I'm His, Nina

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From: Froggs3475@aol.com Subject: Frog page
I really like all of your little Frog Riddles. They are very amusing!!! peace fellow frog lover!, Froggs3475

To: Froggs3475@aol.com
Thank you, fellow frog-friend! If you have any new contributions you would share - I would love to hear from you with something to add... I haven't found much new in months!!! From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Verne Baker vbaker@feist.com Subject: Thanks
Thank you
for the great inscriptions. They were a hoot to read and exactly what I was looking for. The music was very pleasant too.
P.S. I love your last name.V. Baker


You are most welcome, Vern! *S* If you meant the Tombstones - check back because it is only about half finished.... (Check again in August)  I like my name too! *grinning*
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

From: Verne Baker vbaker@feist.com
Hi Nina; I'm sorry I wasn't more specific on my "Thank You" but it was for the Tombstone. I had stumbled in there off a search engine while trying to find some interesting inscriptions for Sunday School. I'm doing Saul's epitath from 1SAMUEL 31 and was going to sprinkle in some others. Your group was great and, harder to find, clean. You have a wonderful web site Home Page. I haven't gotten through it all but look forward to having the time to stop back. God bless.
In His service <>< VB

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From: ChoeznOne@aol.com Subject: Riddles
Hey--I liked your riddles. They were really cute! Thanks for the laughs!

Subject: Re: Riddles To: ChoeznOne@aol.com
You are most welcome, thank you.... *grin* From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Larry Wade larrywade@freewwweb.com ~ Subject: A Great Stop Over Dearest Nina, I found your place by mistake. I'm glad I did. It was such a wonderful and refreshing break in my hectic schedule. I enjoyed every aspect of my visit. The poetry is beautiful and touched my heart. I edit our church newsletter and was wondering if I might be able to use some of your poetry in it. I would be more than happy to put you on our mailing list. That is, if you wanted to receive it. Please let me know how to go about securing copies of your poetry and any other Christian related stories you might have. God bless.
Sincerely, Larry Wade

Hello Larry; Thank you for sharing your enjoyment of our cyber-home and of my works. *S* If the poetry and or writings are mine or from my collection of what I call "By Anon E. Muss" - please feel free to use copies to touch others whom you feel will be blessed by it. Thank you, for doing that. I will be adding other ~pieces~ to our site from time to time (more in winter than in summer, for I have an 8 year-old (Brandi) and that is a full time occupation in my life, as well as managing our small business. There is a piece I recently wrote regarding grief/loss and how to reach out to the mother (particularly). Recently, the child of one of our church-families was killed in a playground accident. I received many calls from members and friends who were seeking my advice about how they could reach out to them. I was awake all night aching with the empathy of their loss - knowing all too well, exactly how overwhelming it is. Not only for the immediate blood-family, but for all of the rest of us in the family of God and community around them. I wrote, and my best friend read, on that next Sunday, the piece which I am attaching, in the case that your church might ever need or want to use it. I pray that you will NEVER have occasion to need it, but I also pray, that if the need should arise, it will help. The grief-support ministry itself has developed and grown quite of itself here. I am committed to this outreach for those who have need of whatever I might be able to do or give to them... so if you pass the site on to any who need it, I will always <God willing> be available and responsive. Eventually I will be publishing a lot of my work. I am presently engaged to marry and my future husband is also going to be my agent in publishing <he is my greatest fan! *smiling*>. I have been offered opportunity to publish some of my work, but as yet, have not felt it was time for me to enter that phase of my life until I knew more about that end of "the business" of being a published author. No hurry about it. I know that God has called me to a ministry of His healing in broken and traumatized hearts, spirits and lives <especially through experiences like my own 2 Corinthians 1: 3 & 4). It has begun here online and I have offers awaiting my timing and ability to travel, to speak to groups. Somewhere, it will all come together and I will be sure that all of my friends, such as you, will be notified when the first one goes to press! *S*. Meanwhile, as God has given me gifts freely, I am freely giving to you and others. I do like to hear from those who have been touched or helped in any way.... so if you like, you can include the site and/or home address in your newsletter. I would appreciate that if it is appropriate for you. The cyber and real-life addresses are below. I am including them so that you may put me on your mailing list- as you so generously offered, for I would like that very much. I also contribute to my church newsletter, myself. I do little biographies of our members. Thank you for taking the time to contact me, Larry. I hope that we have mutually blessed each other through Him. ~~~~~waving "Bye" for now, Yours because I'm His, From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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From: Ernest Lorin Snider lorin@freewwweb.com Subject: Thank You!
Yes I have followed your web page for about hours. It is the best site I have had the honor of visiting. You are a very special person to be able to share what you have. Will you have some of your music's to download? I just love your music on this site.Can I have a copy of your music on this site? Proverbs31:10 ~ Who can find a vituous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Gods' blessing on you., Lorin.

Subject: Re: Thank You! To: lorin9@bigfoot.com
Hello Lorin; You may download all music on my site by RIGHT clicking on the Crescendo player at the bottom of the page and chosing *save as*, at which choice a window will open and you then simply choose where you want to save the midi in your system. There is also a HELP file which is available in that window. I am very glad that you enjoyed the site and the music. I often go into a midi file and adjust it through my own software... so some of the files are only available on my site in their altered state... though they might have the same names in some cases - as others. But - I also encounter many, many versions of the same title when I am out surfing and picking up material which I like. Thank you for writing to me. Thank you also for the scripture sharing and appreciation. It was kind and caring of you.

Yours because I'm His, >From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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PUTTERSPAW@aol.com ~ Subject: A silent moment
Hello Nina, I have visited so many web pages while I have had AOL on my computer but I can honestly say I have never visited a page as touching as yours. Your tribute to your son touched my heart deeply. Death can be such a horrible thing to bear but by reading your words and writings someone that has suffered as you have should be able to see your light and go on. I thank you as a human being for bringing the world your light.

Hello again, Rick; Thank you so much for signing in! (I knew you would!) Hugs for {{{{{{{The Rose Man!}}}}}}} *Smile* Your words are so consoling and uplifting for my spirit. Thank you. You are as sweet as all the roses on your homepage, put together (even the one with the teddy-bear). The only real comfort in suffering is in the ability to reach out to help others who suffer too..... For in knowing that something good comes of the pain and tragedy, it somehow helps to make sense of it and peace with it. So thank you for seeing that in the sharing. Hope you found your way to the humor section? And a few laughs to go with one of your brews? *giggle* I plan to marry in a year (or thereabouts) - and I've enclosed a file of rose pictures from which you may pick and choose what appeals to you for your page if you like. All shots are of the same rose - it was the most incredible one I've ever seen in my life (from the most incredible man I've known in my life)... he sent it to me with daisies of various colors, the one red rose, of course, to signify his love for me. Being an artist, I wanted to capture many views of it for sketching later (no time in the summer, with an 8 year-old! *grin*.....so I took all the pictures with my little digital Casio camera and here they are to share with "The RoseMan" *S*. The man I am *unmarrying* saw the rose and bouquet here on my birthday and he remarked "Is this a Canadian Rose?!" (rather sarcastically, you understand *teeheehee*), as the man is in Canada.... though the rose came from the flower shop here in our own town! Thought you might enjoy a little background about this special Canadian-Love-Rose! From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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From: "Paul" paulrs@i-55.com ~ Very nice webpage ,

Paul; A man of few words, *grin*, thank you for sharing them.
Yours because I'm His, (Nina)

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From: Tambrey Fedorko tfedorko@ferrum.edu 
I am a Ferrum College graduate. I remember when your son passed away. It  was a very difficult time for the Ferrum Community. A very good friend of mine Tasya Winand, also a Ferrum student had passed away about a week prior to your son's death. I remember the shock on campus that we were going to go throught the grief all over again. I found your site by accident and just wanted to let you know that I found it very inspirational and comforting. Your son was very lucky to have such a wonderful mother. Your site is a wonderful way of keeping your son alive for us all. Thank you.
Tambrey A. Fedorko Admissions Counselor
Ferrum College Ferrum, VA 24088

Dear Tambrey; Thank you so much for the strokes and appreciation. It always means so much to me when visitors take the time to write to me. It is an extra blessing to me when it is someone from or presently with, Ferrum! Eric thrived and grew there and although it is where he died, it is also where he lived most fully! Ferrum was a wonderful environment for Eric, as it is others today and I hope will always continue be in the future as well. Perhaps we will meet one day. Thank you again for your warm, kind message. Yours because I'm His, Nina

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From: "dhayes" dhayes@ican.net
I've enjoyed recieving your url and found it to be refreshing its nice to see someone getting wonderful ideas out there..keep it up ...writer
www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ridge/4967/writer1.html

Hello; Glad that you enjoyed your visit with us and took time to let me know! Thank you. I doubt it will ever be finished - so keep coming back. *S*    ~    Yours because I'm His, ~ Your GYPSY, (Nina )

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From: mabrown@msmisp.com (Barbara Brown)
Subject: Signed Guestbook
Hi Nina I've tried several times to write you a thank you for signing my guestbook and viewing my pages, but each time the words haven't been right and I discarded the email before I sent it to you.. So, this will be a brief thank you until I can finish your pages, then I will sign your guest book also.. Kathy's birthday is tomorrow and today was spent thinking back to when she was born and her growing up years before she became an adult...the tears in my eyes, the lump in my throat and the ache in my heart can only be understood by someone like yourself..no matter how the death of a child occurs, no matter how young or how old, a mother never expects to lose their child before they themselves are taken home to God.. I am grateful for the 31 years I had with her as my youngest daughter and my best friend. The memories are precious and can never be taken away from me. I am grateful for the two handsome young sons she left to carry on in her absence. Both have a part of her, in them, that only a mother could see. I am sorry for your loss and hope and pray that I can show your strength in the next couple of years..Thank you for your kind words and again thank you for signing my guestbook. God Bless..

Hello Barbara; I understand so well about the birthday.
I go through that each year on Erics' birthday too. He died exactly three months before his 23rd. This year was the third birthday here without him. If you are going through the pages of my own site, you will, I'm sure, find my birthday letter to Eric (July 1st) as well as the custom I carry out to release one black balloon (black was his favorite color)- for every year that I have been his mother. I also leave one red rose there (At Freesoul) on special occasions. My pages are so numerous that I thought I would send the link directly to the birthday letter posted there... it is the last entry to date. The letter is here.
"I STILL TALK TO ERIC"
Last year I wrote the RedRose poem on his birthday, it is here~
ONE RED ROSE  ~  2 Corinthians 1: 3 & 4 are the foundation of my grief support ministry. I hope that you will find some comfort and strength within the pages and/or with communication with me if you would like or need to do that. I care so very much (because I, too, have hurt so very much). Many of those who write to me have been so kind as to allow their sharing to be in the guestbook. You may find something of help or comfort there as well. I never believe in accidents such as finding your URL - I am sure that He had a reason to put us in touch with each other. I am, and always will be, Yours because I'm His,
With love, empathy and compassion ~ Nina

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From: SheoWolf@aol.com
Nina, your web home has grown and is so beautiful. I had to tell you how wonderful it is... thank you, sheo

Good Morning Sheo; {{{{{{{SheoWolf}}}}}}} ~ Because of your writing and spiritual nature - have wanted to know more about you! Not sure if you received massage when I wrote and asked if we could communicate and share in e-mail? I see that you have added more about yourself there! *Smile* I sometimes go to your site just to feel the power of your graphics and writings and the peace and tranquility it provides.
Thank you, dear one. From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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To: bparris@hiwaay.net
Subject: Eric & Poetry
Hello again Brenda; Somehow, I missed linking from your mothers' memorial to your other site. I'm sure that happens to you too? You click on something and are off onto a journey into uncharted worlds and territories. At first - I will click on the back button and return - sometimes even manage to see a whole site at one time (returning until through) but other times I go so far and for so long that I suddenly look at the time or Brandi says wistfully, "Mommy, are you going to shut down soon?" She is a computer user herself at 8 ! and I am startled back into the *real world* and just call it a day! Anyway.... I'm so glad you had the URL in your e-mail and I have once again wandered into an unplanned journey which I will return to finish later, for this lovely summer morning is calling me out to tend to the grounds around our humble little cottage <castle to us! *S*> before the sun gets high and merciless upon an old womans' head! *g* ~ I am sending TWO awards to you for this site, Brenda. I appreciate not only your work - but your tribute and honoring of the works of the many whom you are sharing by introducing avenues to finding them. Thank you so very much for doing this. I will write to you again, but for now - wanted to send these awards and my sincerely appreciative "Thank you" for this site. It is one of the best - "No!" - actually, it is THE best of its' kind I have ever come across on the net. I link the Eric award directly to him, and the Misty Blue Mountain award to the main site, as you already know. Following in the next e-mail immediately after this one, are the two letters I use to send these awards separately. I will also include both awards in case it may be easier for you to work with if you deleted the other
award file after placing it on your mothers' site. I am sure we will "meet again" and perhaps, even find our way to an e-mail relationship.... Who knows? *S* God is blessing you and through you, dear one! Please forgive the double entry in your guestbook! I have this "thing" about hating to misspell a persons' NAME - and somehow, it escaped me that I had done that in the guestbook entry. I even reviewed it before clicking "I'm done" !!! Then - as soon as the deed was accomplished and I saw it on the larger screen - that was the first thing I saw! I tried to just leave it - but could not! So - can you edit the guestbook for the one with your misspelled name? If not - I hope that you won't mind that I redid it.... ? Thanks ~ Yours because I'm His, Your GYPSY, (Nina)

Nina, Thank you so much for presenting
"A Place for the Humanities"
with your two awards. I'm very honored. These are the first awards this site has received. I have placed them at:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Coffeehouse/3321/awards.html 
and linked them to your site.   ~  That's ok about the guestbook. It was easy to delete the extra one. I've done that several times in other people's guestbooks. Sorry for not responding sooner. Yesterday my husband and I took a ride on the Natchez Trace from north Mississippi to Nashville and back again late last night. I made some great pictures of the mountains, old barns, and even a deer! Thanks again, so much for the awards and for your kind words. Brenda
A Year to Remember... (Tragedy of Alzheimers')

Hello Brenda; Ah Ha! So we also have photography and love of old barns in common? I am so fond of wonderful old barns and weathered wood - such as tree roots in streams - etc. etc...... *RVBS!* Sounds like such great fun! *S* Stay cool and have a great day! Love and hugs.....  ~ Yours  because I'm His, your Gypsy,  (Nina)

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vjfem@hotmail.com Subject: your website
Dear Nina, I had just visited your website via a link I followed while searching the net. I tried to sign your guest book, but couldn't gain access .... therefore this letter! I can't tell you how moved I was reading all of the beautifully written words of your hearts. And, how very moved I was "relating" to the loss of a loved one. I had not lost a child, but rather my mother who was THE MOST special person in my life other than my three daughters and two grandsons. My heart cried out for you and the pain that you must have endured! I'm really at a loss for words at the moment .... I was just so very taken by it all! I will be adding a MEMORIAL PAGE to my website at within the next couple of days. Please feel free to visit my site and consider if you'd like to place a Memorial to Eric there. God bless you Nina and keep you in His arms of Comfort as He had kept me for the past 11 years. You're in my thoughts, Vicki a.k.a. vjfem

Hello Vicki; Thank you for your warm and compassionate message. This IS actually the guestbook - I set up my own - as you will read here if you have time to go and see *why* I have chosen to set mine up this way. I did have the traditional guestbooks - but do not like the tags, cookies and advertisements attached to the use of them... hence - this form of mailing to me and my having this separate mailbox to serve the guestbooks ~ Thank you for signing in. May I put this in the guestbook? We are up to ten of them now - I archive them when they get past a certain size so that they will load in an efficient manner. I will visit your site in a few days when you have the memorial page up and will surely join you there! *S*... See you then. Meanwhile - please do get back to me to see if I should put your message up.... I appreciate your communicating with me after visiting!
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Alexandra Grey alexandra_grey@yahoo.com
hi ; just wanted to say that you've gotten a great site and some excellent graphics ;-) keep up the good work! Alexandra
http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Glade/4019

"RALPH G. HATTON" rghatton@bconnex.net
I too have lost someone I love very dear and I know the pain you feel and the joy of knowing your loved one.A tribute like this is very special.

Hello Ralph; Thank you for your message and affirmation. I am sorry that you have lost a loved one. Thank you for sharing that. I hope you are healing and growing through it.
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Rhonda gotch@Clover.net
Nina, I wanted you to know how beautiful your pages are*Smile* They really touch the heart:) God Bless you in you wonderful work of spreading his love:)    Rhonda (Kylie on my website and in the chats)


Dear Rhonda; Thank you for taking time to let me know you were by to visit and were blessed by your time with us. Hope that you will visit and share again.
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Subject: LIVING IN GRACE
My Dearest Nina, I have come here many times over the past two years...I happened to be on the 50+ Chat as a "Newbe" one night, two years ago, and encountered a good group of people banding together to help a friend named "Gypsy" make it through a grief filled time...I never said a word that night, nor any time since then, but I felt our souls connect that night, not just because of the unbearable grief, which lies behind an unbidden door in all of us, but because of the overwhelming love I watched, safely hidden behind my screen, being shared by so many...and it goes on and on through your words and those of Eric's. I understand that connection you have with your son...it is the same one I have with mine...it is unique, isn't it. I'll bet you were told that in different ways throughout the years you spent with him all his life...death doesn't change that, does it...I never felt death would change it, and you have proven it...the power that you bring to your pages, your words, could not have been born of death...they were born of life...the life you shared with Eric, the love you shared with him...what an immense blessing for all of us that you have chosen to give that sacred place within your soul, wings...I am not normally a communicator on the Internet, but I must have been led to that chat room that night...I feel blessed to have been given this connection...I do not believe in coincidences, so I will send out the light, love and blessings to you now...and thank you for breaching that universal gap.
God's Own, Judy York
~ jlyork@ix.netcom.com

My Dear Judy;
Your message was and IS so warm and soothing - Thank you very much for sending it to me. Do you write also? I visited your page and saw your prose, but wondered if you do other writing as well? Your choice and use of words is beautiful. Warm, profound... and poetic. I could feel them like a soothing, perfumed oil anointing my spirit. Oh, thank you, Judy.... They felt so good. I know that I should not have favorites of e-mail messages - but over the last few years - I do. I won't justify or excuse it, and I appreciate every single word and message with all my heart - but some touch my soul so intimately that I would have to say that they are favorites. Yours is in that category. When souls touch so that you feel another being in that way - it is apart from everyday experiences and I would have to categorize those times as favorites. Such communications are what continues to help me to heal and grow daily. How loving and compassionate you are. I am glad that we ~met~ then and now. Your "TEA AT DAWN" reminded me of Erics' style of prose/poetry. {This is good!} His was a unique and profound style which I loved well. Say hello to the ~Room-mates~ at 50plus. I never get to chat anymore- but think of them often and wish to send hugs and love to all through you if/when you think of it?! Hope to hear from you again Judy. ~ Yours because I'm His, From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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From: "Amanda C. Ackley" NST1313@ferrum.edu
Subject: Memorial site for Eric/Iron Blade
Dear Ms. Baker, A friend of mine, another student who attended Ferrum, sent me the Memorial Site for your son Eric. I read the entire thing. It's very beautiful, very touching. My friend sent me this site after viewing something I have been working on for Ferrum. I am a staff writer on the Iron Blade, and by suggestion of Dr. Whited, recently added a Past and Present Member Directory. What I was wondering is if you would like Eric to be listed amongst the other names, and if so, would you like the website you created for him listed as well?
The Iron Blade page can be found at
http://www.ferrum.edu/ironblade
Sincerely, Amanda Catherine Ackley
http://www.ferrum.edu
"Death is not the greatest loss in life; the greatest loss in life is what
dies inside of us while we are still alive." -
Norman Cousins
~
"To be free is to have achieved your life." -
Tennessee Williams

Hello Amanda; Visited your site and am sending you two awards for the site - hoping that you will put up an awards page and use them - they are deserved. I liked the pages very much, and will be visiting them regularly! Eric would have been so proud of it all! *RVBS!* I am also enclosing a picture of Eric which you might want to use if you are considering having any in the directory/listing. He did not like to sit for pictures and this was one of very few that he actually ~allowed me to take and is one of my favorites. Gee - if you saw the WHOLE URL - you must have been "with me" for a very long time! *Wink & Smile!* The answer to your inquiry is a definite "Yes" to anything and everything you might want to do regarding Eric and your creative work with the proposed directory! I will be interested in following your work and creativity. Thank you so very much for contacting me. You may even want to use the awards in the directory where you include the site URL and where you list Eric? Particularly since the ENGLISH award at Ferrum is now given in Erics' name? I appreciate your sharing your thoughts/feelings about site. I also like your e-mail signatures - so am including them here *grin* . The awards will follow with the presenting e-mail message for linking if you chose to use them.
Yours because I am His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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TWIN21@webtv.net (Marvel Lowry)
Subject: your homepage
Thanks for your Christian witness on your homepage. May God direct many to it and accept the Lord as their personal savior. Loved the picture that depicts the cross as a bridge and that Jesus is the only way to God. God bless you and yours! Love in Christ, ~ Marvel <><


Hello Marvel; Thank you for sharing your appreciation of the pages. That particular picture is also a favorite of mine. I don't get to do much page-work in summer... but do return in the Fall when I will be adding to it for sure!
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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From: Roberta Baker rachel@whro.net
Subject: Your Homepage
Nina: I found this page because you and I share a name: Roberta Baker. Yours is much prettier than mine, as I got boy's names for first and middle, and you got Nina which in Hebrew means pearl. I am a big lover of frogs -- my bathroom is full of them (not real ones, of course). And I live in Virginia. And I lost a child. My rabbi tells me there are no coincidences. I believe him. I wish you well. Your page brought me a great sense of calm. Bless you for what you've done. ~~~ RSB

Hello Roberta; Thank you for sharing with me. We didn't chose to share names - but it seems rather neat that it is what brought us together. Sorry that we share the tragedy of mourning a child. Would probably be nice to share some e-mails if you like? If so - send to my personal mailbox which is gypsy@shentel.net if you would like it to be personal and not on the page, or here if you would like to share your loss and your dealing with the loss?. Not knowing where in Virginia you reside - I'm not sure how closely we are physical neighbors... but certainly in spirit we are close. *smile* You blessed me today with your message.
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Subject: great job!!!!!!!!! thank you
11400-35BD0131-435@mailtod-161.iap.bryant.webtv.net
THAT WAS SO REFRESHING TO READ AND THE MUSIC WAS ENJOYED SO MUCH. THANKING YOU AGAIN.
GRAMS07@webtv.net (SAMMYE GRIFFIN)

sambo07@webtv.net (sammye griffin)

Hello Sammye; Interesting signature! *S* Music and all! I put it in the guestbook to share with visitors! Enjoyed it. Thanks for ~waving~ at me and letting me know you enjoyed your visit! Come back again!
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Verne Baker vbaker@feist.com
Subject: I'm back
Hi Nina - Just a note to let you know that I revisited your web site again tonight
and was blessed by the "Window" story. May I share that with some of my friends? Thanks again for your wonderful site. ~ God bless....... V Baker

Well, of course you may - Vern! Thanks for returning. It is always nice to hear from friends and visitors and know that they found something they enjoyed. Right now I'm not doing much more than keeping up with the grief support ministry and guestbook - will be adding new material in the Fall. I kind of let things stand for this summer - having too much fun to be at the computer working!
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Subject: Hello
20241-35BDF915-10106@mailtod-131.iap.bryant.webtv.net
My name is Marcia. I am writing to tell you how much your site has touched me. I have a son and can't imagine. I live for him now. I am very ill with lupus, fibromyalgia, myositis, vasculitus raynauds and now they think maybe crohns. I battle everyday of my life. I am trying so hard to keep going and at times it doesnt seem like i can. But when i look in my 6 year olds face I know I have to. I have such great support from my husband and am so thankful for that. I know through Gods' grace I will make it and you too. THANKS for such a lovely site. Marcia


Hello Marcia; Thank you for stopping to write to me as you left. I appreciate that kindness. On a personal note - I would like you to go read the following and think about going out to get some MSM and trying it. It is very inexpensive - similar to a vitamin-C complex price - and entirely non-toxic at any dose. Perhaps it is why God had you find me and share your condition with me. I have personally experienced the wonders of this substance (sulfur) and have shared it with countless others who also have found it to be the missing-link they needed. Please let me know how you do after trying it? The first day that I took it - I found that by the end of the day I was not in pain - and I have lived a lifetime with pain due to a metabolic inadequacy where my joints do not metabolize lactic acid as they should and therefore build up an inflammation and chronic pain. It was the first time in my life that I ever knew the experience of being pain-free. I hope that you may find a miracle for yourself in it too - PLEASE read the information I've posted after researching the net and the resources there. The MSM can be purchased most everywhere these days. Most of it (the sulfur) is derived from trees and in the beginning - it is known as DMSO (and still is used by veterinarians in that form). This new isolated sulfur is pure, tasteless and odorless. You can get it in crystals (best pricing) and in tablet form. (they also make shampoos and creams) MSM   ~  Thank you again for visiting and sharing! Yours because I'm His your Gypsy, (Nina)

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(The Whitney's)
My e-mail addy is:
susaneckler@sprintmail.com
Subject: Hello Nina!
My name is Susan :) - What an absolutely breathtaking site you have (my jaw is still on the floor with awe, forgive me!...LOLOLOL)...and just soooo much of a variety of things you offer! Your graphics are lovely...and ALL the poetry brought me to welling with tears...I'm soooo sorry about your son! He will live in everyone's heart who reads his poetry...including me...*Tight Hug* I've been on many family trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia...and remember them all as blessings my folks gave to my sister and I when we were growing up! *Smiles*
Our site is a bit on the inspirational side...we are a couple who have met on the web about 4 months ago...met each other for the 1st time 2 weeks ago...and we'll be getting married next year! (I am looking forward to your update on your marital status *Smiles* ) Our whole site was done through e-mailing each other, chatting and many many long distance phone calls...we live 1,200 miles from each other! I have never used a pute before March of this year (never even touched a keyboard of any kind til then) and 2 weeks after I started to learn how to chat on ICQ and met Ron my fiance, he has taught me everything I know so far...my hero! *Smiles* He put me in charge of collecting all the graphics/backgrounds/midis/etc. and doing the outlines for all our pages...we shared on the writing...and he did all the techy stuff by putting us up onto the web and all the linking...LOLOL...what a team! *Smiles* We hope you'll feel right at home...and upon leaving will have a smile and uplifted spirits! Looking forward to hearing from you soon! ~ Take care and God bless, Susan :)

Hello Susan! ~ Well - what a coincidence - My fiancée and I met through my prayer and spiritual pages in November. !!! Our first real life visit was in May and he just left from another 11 day visit! Both in the middle of divorces and never been in love like this in our lives! My little Brandi is beside herself with joy that she is going to have a daddy at last.... ! Both of us were in long-term marriages lived lives of loneliness and quiet acceptance of the lovelessness in our marriages (33 and 23 years) Both of us prayed to God that one day there would be someone... and then - we met through our love for Him!!! *RVBS!* It doesn't get much better than this until we enter our eternal home!!!!! We have rather large families including both sets of our parents alive and ALL friends and family just loving our finding each other! It will be a REALLY big wedding next year!!!!!
How strange the coincidences between us! You met *IRL*on Erics' birthday and your engagement picture is taken on MY birthday! Add that to finding our soulmates through the cyber world - and you have an extended family-bond - for sure! I HAVE to go now - REALLY!!!! But here is the Misty Blue Mountain Award and I will check all out later.... Love and hugs for you both!
Yours because I'm His... your GYPSY, (Nina)

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From: panda-2@webtv.net Subject: WEBPAGE
Hello, just wanted to say I really enjoyed your homepage and my heart goes out to you and your family. thanks for sharing. Deb


Thank you Deb, for waving as you came through! We like hearing form our visitors. Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Blue Ridge Meadows
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Estates/3960
Hi, I found your page from an award and I recognized the mountains in the picture so I had to pay you a visit. I live in Hillsville, VA if you know where that is we are in Southwestern, VA. One of my websites is called Blue Ridge Meadows and I'd love to have you drop by when you can. I enjoyed your page and will be back to visit you again. It's always so much fun to meet other people on the web from the Blue Ridge Mountains. God Bless, Lisa

Well Hello-Neighbor! Thanks for the wave and invitation - will drop by in the next few days. *S* ~ Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Subject: Re: Nicholas & Eric
Dear Nina, Thank you for writing back again. You may post my previous letter if you would like. Anything I could do to help another mother would make me feel really good. I have a small window between my day and night jobs, so I can't share right now. Still thinking about you and hoping that the days keep passing... Take care! Love, Heather

Hello Heather; Good to hear from you Heather.... I thought you might like to have something I wrote (unless I already sent it to you? It is difficult to keep track of EVERYTHING - but I haven't shared this recent writing First Night with many people.... It was read to our congregation when a little boy of our church was killed in a playground accident. ~ TWO JOBS? When you get a chance - want to share and elaborate on that for me? I once had three jobs - WOW! what a difficult time that was! Love and hugs {{{{{{{Heather}}}}}}}
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Subject: To Nina and Eric
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Rue/9663/index.html

Dearest Nina, Such a marvel to see such a great love that could be for a mother and a son. We are in pain with you yet in rejoice with the fact that Eric dwells now in the bosom of the Lord. Nina, your strength now lies not only in the love you have and get from family and friends, but with the love that his spirit shower on you from the calm side of the world. The peace you feel now is his peace... the little joy, his joy... Thank you for sharing your testimony of your great love... May the power of love be with you always! Your dearest friends, James and Ness We would be honored to have you visit and share with us your loving thoughts.. The Greatest Love Songs -A True Romance-

Hello James & Ness ~ Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts with me here. So often people think that it is a small thing and that there are plenty of messages already sent and that theirs' would not be of much significance - But every word, every line, every new name that signs and sends messages to me - is cherished beyond words! It tells me that others have read Erics' works and shared his thoughts and perspectives and possibly been blessed or helped to heal by our works. I especially like those messages like yours that tell me that they see the nature and eternal immortality of the bond of love that soulmates share. Love which, as Eric says, in the words of his poem THIS DAY, "transcends the scope of age" Your site is beautiful and I have enjoyed what I have seen so far, (not finished yet - but when I am - I will sign your guestbook and you will know. *smiles* Thank you for being here and sharing with me,
Love and hugs, yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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"Heather Heinrich" ahheinrich@email.msn.com
Dear Nina, I would love to read your writing that was read to your congregation when a little boy from your church was killed in an accident. Thanks for writing back all the time. It is really difficult to feel so alone, and it helps me to hear from another mother. I try to keep really busy so that I don't have too much time to feel sorry for myself. My way of coping is to work, work, work. My primary job is working as an instructor in a day program for adults diagnosed with mental retardation. My evening job is working for the same company as fill-in staff for residences where the clients live. It is like having a bunch of children in adult bodies that I do not have to bring home with me at the end of the night. I also do respite care through an agency, where clients with mental retardation come to live with me for short periods while their family living providers (foster care providers for adults) have a break. It does not leave much time for me, and for my husband either, but it is the best that I know to do right now. Besides that, we can really use the money. We have a lot of debt from Nicholas's short life, not only the actual medical bills, but the credit card bills from charging gasoline, meals, and anything else we needed when we did not have the cash. I just don't feel right having that hanging over me, even though I know that people understand and would be patient with us while we are repaying everything. Ten more days until the first anniversary of Nicholas's death. Could it really have been a year already? It breaks my heart to think about what he would be doing today if only... ~ Take care! Love, Heather

Hello Heather;
Sorrow has touched my heart once more, for in the morning, in Richmond, I will be attending the funeral of one of Erics' very best friends, Scott Cser, who died Tuesday afternoon of a terribly aggressive cancer which he fought bravely. There is a little "pocket card" I used to sell (can't find it anymore) at my Christian Bookstore (I established 20 years ago). It was called LOSS - I will insert it here for you....
~*~
Loss by Anon E. Muss
When the knife of separation cleaves our heart and sections this time in space from the rest the pain comes in a heavy, dark fog, a suffocating blanket. It wends its' way along the hidden by-ways of the mind and touches the empty spaces in the heart, where love or longing for love once resided, but is no more In a tick of a second, loss plucks a chunk from the heart, and in that moment, the pain overwhelms us and we feel it will never heal. But time soothes the wound, for new love grows around it. It never completely disappears, it will be touched again,
when a new space is created. The spaces remain, regardless of the passing years
They become a part of the heart that never lets you forget, The joy, and love, and life that once filled them. Memories of love now fill the voids, although pain is now mingled with the joy ~ Would life be better for not suffering loss? Never losing what we love? Without the empty spaces, how would we know the fulfillment? Life is strange, for love is never lost. Love never grows cold, it never dies. Love lives on to warm the cold morning hours, And blooms in the snow like a bouquet of flowers.
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The poem First Thoughts, is here http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/First.htm It will hurt, but it will help the healing too.... It is linked from the guestbook - but this address will take you directly there. Pain brings its' own healing of sorrow. I have found that the simplicity of feeling our feelings, particularly when sorrow comes to us (which the greater majority of the world frowns upon and tries to subdue in us) is healing. In the last few years since Erics' death, I have found that pain is indeed our friend. Sorrow and mourning are measured by the depth of love felt and shared.... It is natural and has purposes beyond what we can truly know "here". Sad to say - I have met many, through this ministry, whose whole lives and personalities have changed negatively when sorrow came. For some, Oh how I praise the Lord for this, who have found their way to my site... healing has come through sharing my own mourning which opened the door fully to acceptance of their own... Some have told me that it felt as though, for the first time, they found permission... a haven of safety and acceptance of feelings which they suppressed at the insistence of friends and family to "move on and put it behind you". To which, I cry out - "Nay"..... do not do that - for it will live within you in a secret place of darkness which is where you will have to store even the good memories of the lost loved one.... No, let us embrace suffering of mourning - for we are embracing the loved one and it is a tribute to the immortality of that love and the life they lived and our relationship with them. When we lose our loved one, it is better to bear the grief and allow the natural flow of it to come and go until it subsides with the healing of time and perspectives which allow us to carry on and keep the precious memories alive - and that is how it should be - for I do not believe that love must ever die.... I sense in your writings to me, that you are doing exactly what you must allow yourself to do. I applaud you for that... It is a rare and beautiful thing - and you will always have Nicholas with you because you have the courage to mourn him, which at the same time, celebrates his life! Sounds like an oxymoron... but it is not, really. It is all to do with love and cherishing. *If only* - ah, yes!.....how well I remember the incredible number of those thoughts I was capable of coming up with.... the following little writing is a good one to ward off the evil of those most terrible of afflictions (for they breed despair - and despair is actually a non-acceptance of what we cannot change - and it can harm us and hurt us unmercifully... it is relentless and feeds upon itself to no end or good purpose... I must go now - we (Brandi and I) are going to Richmond tonight - for the funeral is early in the morning. We will be staying with Brian - another of the Ferrum-gang *S* I will also send you a copy of the last visit I had with Scott a few days before he died..... Your work must be quite rewarding spiritually... Yes? I believe that work is the best therapy for pain.... It allows something good to come of it directly and immediately! *s* I have such a clean house when I hurt!!!!! *grin* Write whenever you feel like it.... I am one with you in that path you are on a little way behind me, and I will always be ready to reach back and help and assure you that we do go on and life can be beautiful in spite of the ache and sometimes agony... *Tight hugs* (((((((Heather)))))))
With love, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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S Shambaugh bearlyheard@mindspring.com
Subject: RE Eric
Dear Nina, Well, I cannot begin to tell you how many tears I have shed as I have
read the entire story! And my...How I can relate to it!! Our son George Henry Shambaugh (Georgie) died suddenly on March 13th 1989. Oh, it may seem like a long time ago to many... but to me...it is yesterday.. Georgie was as your Eric, loved by everyone and so full of caring for all mankind... He left behind a 1 year old little girl...(we thank God each day for this angel) and a 25 year old widow.. We were such a very close family and life is now very different...We have another precious son who is our love, as was his 4 year older brother.. But no one can ever take the place of Eric or Georgie.. We lived in Jacksonville NC at the time of Georgie's death and have now moved to Smithfield, to be nearer our son, Paul Eric..Yes, his middle name is Eric..You are a phenomenal woman for I took much longer (am still trying ) to accept this wonderful son's death! You see, I
watched as so many of the "bad guys" continue to exist and our loving Christian son is gone! Oh Yes, my friend...I heard everything from ...It was God's will to ...well you have another son... I have learned what *not to say... Amazingly I found your story by sheer accident as I was looking to download crescendo! How very unusual!! Our son died of a very rare dis-order called Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS) The electricity from the brain either stops or does not go *through the heart!! He was a guitar, banjo and all stringed instruments teacher and he lived next door to us.. He went to work at 10:00 A.M. and when the phone rang at 10:45 I knew without answering the phone...Strange, so very strange...But I knew.. Well, I too, have written a story and if you are interested, please reply and if not, I understand. I would like very much to know how you are doing. We traveled through Rocky Mount, Va...(we have one here in NC also) just a few days ago.. Thank you for listening and thank you for sharing your remarkable story....I was sent a URL from someone a long while back...Angelblueyes.... and if you wish to read the poem I wrote for her, please let me know..My husband and I are also 50+ *S*
Sincerely, Samantha

My Dear Samantha; Thank you so very much for writing to me. It is so sad and bittersweet to meet each new friend with whom I share that bond and understanding which comes only of sharing such a loss as ours. Did you happen to see the message I wrote recently when a small child of our church congregation was killed? You may see it here
FirstThoughts
It is very difficult to know what to say to a grieving parent and I think that the most comforting communication is a warm and sincere embrace and doesn't really need words - for there are none... not really... Not in the acute stages. And  even today... though this is my third year without Eric, sometimes it overwhelms me like the first days. I suppose that there will always be those sudden and unexpected overwhelming waves which crash over us just `out of the blue'.(?) Or those little `lost spells' when we slip away into memories and lose ourselves for a while (or perhaps it is not losing, but returning to, a part of ourselves which exists in a yesterday we can only visit a while?). Little things trigger it - like when someone asks how many children you have and you stumble over saying two? or three? - For they are still our children whether they be in Eternity awaiting us or here in this realm with us yet... I am greatly comforted in returning to Freesoul Rock where I will also be scattered when I go to be with him again forever. It is a great comfort to me to spend time in the memorial area I created for him and to him, here at our house (built where his swing and gym-set once were anchored and where he spent many hours of his joyful and carefree childhood days here in this home where he was born. As for how I am doing? Well - I would never have set up a homepage... had it not been for Erics' desire to be read in the world and to have his thoughts and works shared with others. In doing that for him - a very meaningful (and large) grief support (and also dealing with people who just hurt or are alienated from God and/or others in their lives). Beside that also - a whole new world of friends and some deep and meaningful relationships have been established to stay in my life! One of those is a soulmate whom I will marry within a year. *VBS!* That could never have happened if it were not for Eric, and it was a very strong desire in him that I do something like that! I objected and told him "No way, Eric. N-E-V-E-R again! And yet - through the spiritual pages on my site, my fiancé and I met and began a wonderful friendship 9 months ago and last month became engaged. I will share more about that in time to come... but since you asked... I'm sharing that with you ahead of time *grin* Yes, Samantha, I would very much like to hear the story you wrote and visit the site you speak of! Please send to me? I have my seventh grandchild, Brandi, whom I have had and raised for 8 years (she will be nine in October)... and I am a bit behind on page-work for the URL as we are outdoors most every afternoon all summer... and evenings slip away so quickly with preserving foods and just enjoying our time together in general. I will be doing more net-surfing, visiting and building more on our own URL come winter! Do you have a homepage? How wonderful that you had all that time and wonderful memories of such a special son as Georgie! And his little daughter! That is a source of the greatest strength I have - in remembering to thank our Lord for all those years I had him with me instead of asking why about those I didn't have with him. Thank you again for writing and I hope that you will write again and share what you mentioned that you wrote, with me. May I also put it in the guestbook to share with others? *Warm hugs, love and friendship/kinship* {{{{{{{Samantha}}}}}}}
Yours because I'm His.... your GYPSY, (Nina)

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From: "James and Necie" hanako1@interlink.or.jp
Dearst Nina and Eric, Thank you for your E-mail. Eric's poem "This Day" truly goes beyond the elements of time just as the love between you and him... How have you been? We had been hoping to hear from you again as we are truly delighted with your E-mail... We would like to know your thoughts about us... Here's wishing you a wondrous day! Your written thoughts would be an honor for us... We'll be expecting you soon and we'll welcome you with warm hearts.. Yours sincerely, James and Ness
The Greatest Love Songs -A True Romance-

Hello dear Friends; Please forgive the time which has gone by without my finishing my visit with you. It is all that I can do to keep up with just the e-mail alone! I find that with an 8-year-old, and Summer/Fall food preservation (which I simple love to do!)... and the lovely outdoor days and evenings to be enjoyed... I do not get much time to net-surf at all! Just finished up the peach season (about 220 quarts) and now it is tomatoes. Also - with the hurricane Bonnie moving in on us... we pulled all the pears from our tree... (two and a half bushel!) and now they are quickly ripening even in the two days! So that chore will be next to `can' for our pantry. Yours' is at the top of the list (and is the last one I did visit) - so it will be first when we have a little rainy spell or when school begins next week (Wednesday). I WILL be back to finish my visit and to sign in your guestbook! Promise! *RVBS!* ~~~~~~waving Bye for now, love and hugs ~  {{{{{{{James & Necie}}}}}}}
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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From: margarpax@webtv.net (Kathleen Paxia)
Subject: my tears  ~  i feel the pain of loss I can hear the heart break I saw the light and came back - Take my hand - I love you and will hold on to you. my name is Kathy and want to be your friend - you are so beautiful inside and out - you have touched not only my heart but my very soul these chills as I went thru your sight is my being raising up for you and all the people who want just a little peace and comfort and to know someone cares as you do. So do I from the bottom of my heart. You are so truly beautiful ~ kathy ~ love, lollipops and roses

Dear Kathy; Thank you for writing to me and for your expression of compassion and appreciation. It means so much to me to hear from our visitors. *Smiling* Thank you for your loving empathy for/with us... I hope that you will visit again. I apologize for the length of time before my response, but I just returned from 8 days in Canada (my first time out of U.S.A.)  God bless and keep you always, I am...  
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

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Charlotte Rowley selkirk@cia-g.com
Subject: THE BEST
This is the best site I have seen in my short time playing on the net. The music is very nice the jokes are clean. The poetry beautiful the graffics the best I have seen. I am disabled and on oxygen so I sit a lot. Because of depression to have something to do I started messing with computers for the first time about 8 months ago. I have had no training but just set down and turn it on. I played Video games till they are no challenge anymore I wore out a Sega Game gear. Just trying to keep my mind off my problems. Sites like yours are a gift from God!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AL ROWLEY
Charlotte Rowley selkirk@cia-g.com
It me again. I forgot to tell you my wife is a nut about frogs. I bought a small Ford Ranger. Because it was green I named it the Frog. It was green and liked to be around ponds and lakes. That was my first mistake. My wife went nuts for frogs ever time she sees a frog she buys it. I traded the frog in and got a Mercury Mountaineer Green also it is the Toad because it is larger than the Frog was. The back end of the Toad looks like a frog disaster area frogs everywhere. The Manager at Sonic where my wife buys her cokes, calls me the prince because of all the frogs in the Toad. When I was in the Hospital she brought stuffed frogs as a gift. What a croak. AGAIN THANK YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFUL SITE ~ AL ROWLEY.

Dear Al; Gee... Thanks for all the praise and appreciation. It blesses me so very much to receive the ~strokes~ Thank you for stopping and taking the time to appreciate me! *g* I haven't put much up over the summer - just so little time to spend at computer and what I did manage to have was primarily related to the grief-support ministry which grew out of Erics' memorial.... When the weather turns cold again I will be getting back to the unfinished projects on our site. Cute about the relativity to frogs. I love them too - Brandi even gave me one for Christmas last year which croaks "Jingle Bells"! *Teeheehee* Would love to hear more about you... logistics, health and family. Is the oxygen need a permanent condition? Thanks again for your contact and support
Yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

I needed to say again what wonderful site you have. I don't care what others say. The jokes are very nice and clean. I will recommend your site even to my Mother. She can't see very well any more but the music alone she would like. I do not know how to put it in words. What a lift your site has been to me. There I go again getting all mushy. I really do mean it is the best. I guess what I am trying to say is.... WAY TO GO GYPSY. AGAIN THANK YOU!!!!! Nice doesn't even come close for this site. I am at a lose for the words to describe what this site has done for me. THANK YOU DOESN'T DO IT EITHER. The only thing left to say is, God works through you. I do not know what else to say.
AL ROWLEY

Hello Again Al; Well, what a great e-mail just full of all the information I would likely ask if we had just met in real life situation and we were sharing! Nice! Thank you. I have three e-mail addresses - one for Brandi, one for the page and one for just me. If you want to be put in the page guestbook sharing.. write to this one as you have been, but if you would like to talk ~privately, send to gypsy@shentel.net  ~ I am assuming that this message you would prefer to be private? Or would you like it on the page? When it comes to the weight issue which is compromising your health, I have a question. Have you ever looked into the carbohydrate restriction way of eating (Remember the Stillman-diet and others such as Dr. Atkins?) It is the best way to at least begin - and I would highly recommend it because I have pretty much maintained on that lifestyle for a long time now. The best thing about it is that you can eat and eat and eat all (and more) than you could want - you just eat ONLY those `safe' foods. No kidding! The principle is that you switch your system into a fat-burning one. So the more fat & protein you eat - the more fat you actually burn. The more you can get yourself to eat - the more you will lose! It works. So when someone is already very overweight, they have that encouraging benefit of eating to lose. No struggle with will-power or anything! Years ago, when I first began the regime - I used to crave fruit terribly - but now I have these wonderful Jellos made with Nutrasweet and they satisfy that sweet and fruit craving just fine with zero carbohydrates! If you would be interested in more - please let me know? In a hurry right now - will write more later. My Bill-Bear (fiancée') is here with us until the 8th and I don't have much time to spare *grin*
Love and hugs, yours because I'm His, your GYPSY, (Nina)

Nice to here from you, as to the question of weight lose. I am working with the dietician at the hospital. She says I eat better than she dose. It is not what I eat it how much. Since I went in the hospital the first time I have lost close to 60 lbs. When I got laid off from the mines in 83. I sat around and did nothing but drink beer. It has been six to eight month since the last beer. Now I am paying for it. My favorite food is fresh salad I make them my self. I don't use lettuce I use red cabbage, green onions, red, green, yellow bell pepper, leeks, turnips, cucumber, carrots, and cheery tomatoes. The reason I don't use lettuce in my salad I cook with it. I will make stir the or take two hamburger patties put salad between wrap in foil or in backing dish either grill it or back it. I will grill or bake a piece of meat usually fish or chicken sometimes pork. The dietician said after it is cooked no bigger then a deck of cards and all the salad I want. This is going to sound strange. When I went in hospital the first time the dietician said I drank way to much water. I cut way back on it and lost 12 lbs the first night. It has been tough but my faith in the Lord has seen me through so far. Some days all I want to do is read the Bible because of the depression. I had turned away from the church because when my wife almost lost her mind mental health told her to remove her name from the church records. I stopped going to keep piece in the family and keep it together. When I was in the hospital a doctor whom I had never met told
me I need to get down on my knees and talk to the Lord. This was a real shook to have a doctor tell me that. From that day forward I have been trying to get back to the Lord. The internet has been a great help. I have found a lot of wonderful sites. AGAIN YOURS IS ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE SEEN. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AL   ~ 
PS; if you put this on the page maybe some will see and write to me, it couldn't hurt

Hello again, (and again) Al; Okay, you've got it! Gee! You are going to spoil me with all those wonderful strokes (but go ahead and do it anyway, I don't mind at all! *giggle*) In all seriousness, the responses I receive from the site are so precious to me, Al, each and every one of them! Those gracious and loving souls who touch mine are a union beyond the limited physical realm. Thank you for joining with me spiritually, and for affirming me and my work. It seems odd to call my sharing a work - and it certainly is work at times, but it is more a ministry of healing for myself and others who find me. *smiling*

If you only knew what a lift your site has given me. Like I have said before you are a gift from GOD. THANK YOU HE LIVES ~~~ AL

Subject: hi from A
<3 weeks later here>
Just a line to let you know how things are. My wife and I went to Church last Sunday. It was the best thing I have done in a long time. A real boost to my sprit. That was the first time I was in Church in 15 years. I have also found a chat room. That is a big help I can talk to pepole about my problems. Most of the pepole in their have the same problems I have or worse. We can share the pain and the tears. Thank you for all you did for me. ALWAYS YOUR FRIEND AL

From: Al via the Virtual Florist
selkirk@cia-g.com
This message is to inform you that Al has created a Virtual Flower Bouquet


for GYPSY
Virtual Flower Bouquet
HI GYPSY - Just a little token of my fealings about what a help you have been in my life, ~~~ Al

Subject: Flowers... Dear Al.... The flowers were lovely and I love roses..... But your message was the sweetest gift of all. You are a dear...  ~Yours because I'm His... From your GYPSY, (Nina)

Hello Dear Brother; Thank you so very much for writing and sharing that! You really made my day! with me - *S* ~ I get pretty lonely for Eric around this time of the year...Thanksgiving has always been my favorite F-A-M-I-L-Y holiday and as the stores begin to put up their wares (along with the Halloween stuff which I try to ignore while at the same time praying earnestly about!) Thanksgiving will just never-ever be "right" again for me without my Eric.... This year the `grieving' began early for me as I have been rushing around a bit trying to get things in order for yet another surgery for me on Tuesday. It was just this time last year when I'd completed my 5 years of joint surgeries and thought I was done! Then injured my knee in a lawn-tractor accident in June and in spite of all efforts to avoid it - here I go again... Hearing from those who are helped is so healing for me, for you see, that is the greatest good which could come from anything and that is what God has promised us. that he will use all things for good if we allow Him to. And He certainly is.... and then comforted me through you by letting me know! Thank you so much. I am very pleased that you are being ministered to by sharing yourself with others! *RVBS!* Keep sharing with me! (Though I may be prevented from signing on for some days or a week - I will return soon after Tuesday. Love and hugs, always yours because I'm His,
Yours because I'm His, From your GYPSY, (Nina)

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