From: "Charles&Pam Gremillion"   justforjesus@attglobal.net 
Subject: Greetings to you in the name of Jesus!
Greetings to you in the holy name of Jesus who is the Rock of my salvation!  ~  Gypsy, I found your site when I used the yahoo search for "Kerataconis".   I have Kerataconis and I thought I would look up what was on the net about it.   I was surprised that there isn't much at all!   ~   I am sorry about your great pain in losing Eric.    Your love was so evident as I read your pages dedicated to him.  May the LORD bless you and bring you gentle comfort day by day.  ~  It was nice to read that your are a Christian.   Maybe you would like to visit our webpages dedicated to Jesus....  GO to: http://www.angelfire.com/tn/justforjesus/index.html 
From there go to JESUS CHRIST and click on.   This will take you to the first page of the "Just for Jesus" gallery.    From there just click next at the bottom of each page.  ~  Page by page we are praying to build this monument to the Lord.   We pray it blesses the Lord and it blesses others too!   Maybe you would like to build a page Just for Jesus, if so come and join us!   
  Have a beautiful day!  ~  Pamela


Dear Ones in Christ:  Thank you for writing to me.  I especially like to learn how visitors find the site! *s*   Thank you for sharing that too.  ~  As for Kerataconis, it isn't a very common condition. Erics' was even more rare in the condition which is called Kerataglobus, which involves the whole cornea and not just the center (cone shape).   John Hopkins has an excellent eye-care-clinic of the top specialists which serve at the WILMER EYE CLINIC within the main hospital building.    They were very good at trying to help Eric postpone the cornea transplants as long as possible by trying very specialized, one of a kind, contacts.   They could not stay seated on his eyes though, due to the extreme shape/condition and the pitted areas which caused refractive errors and caused multiple images.  You might want to check with them about sources of information since they are a major center in dealing with the condition.  ~  I visited your site and fell in love with your family! *rvbs!*    Just looking at the beautiful faces of all of you was a pleasure and memorable experience.   We could just feel the love coming from each of you for each other.   You are blessed to have each other even if some are in memory only now.  ~  I have a rather extensive Christian section which you may not have found while visiting with me - for it is a very large and varied site.  Hope that you will return and check out, 
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Spiritual/spirtual.htm 
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Spiritual/lighting.htm 
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Spiritual/prayer/prayer.htm 
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Baptism.htm 
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Spiritual/prayer/redeem.htm 
>From the above URLs, you will have various choices to check out writings of my own and others.  I will be returning to see all of your site soon, for with the weather so  very beautiful - I'm not at the computer for much time (per day) these days.    I like to surf and "visit" when we have rainy or overly hot days and I am inside.   ~  Do Anabaptists keep The Sabbath (the forth commandment one)?   I believe that I learned about your faith years ago when I was searching for others who would prefer that tradition to the "Lords' Day sabbath which they claim Sunday to be.   I am Brethren by association, but have never found a "true home" within an organized group.... not to the point of membership.    I feel that we are all one church in Christ as the Body draws together to fellowship and support one another with encouragement as the time draws near and the signs and prophecies are so rapidly unfolding.    Love and hugs for my new friends,  
Yours because I'm His,  Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

Dear Nina,  Greetings to you in the holy name of Christ our Savior!  This is a day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!!   ~  This may not help you with your Batman search, but in all my searching I could not find an animated Batman....  Maybe this will do until you can find one! ~  I never heard of kerataglobis! thanks for sharing that information with me.   I am legally blind with Kerataconis but I praise GOD that my happiness is not in my earthy vision, but rather a heavenly one!   One day we will all see perfectly!  ~  About the sabbath... We believe Jesus is our rest, our sabbath, the fulfillment of the Law, and with grateful hearts we recognize "everyday" as a holy day in which to honor him, so we take our rest daily at his feet.  ~  We would recognize Sunday as the Lord`s day, the day Jesus rose to newest of Life!  We would observe and celebrate this day because of Jesus` Resurrection and because this was the day that we believe his new covenant with us was finally fulfilled.    We would recognize Saturday as the old testament sabbath, as observed by the Jewish Nation.   I hope this answers your question but again the most important day that we feel one can worship and honor the Lord is Today!   And today can be anyday!
I pray you have a blessed day in the Lord!  ~  I will check out your other sites this week, the LORD willing!  ~  Maranatha!   ~  Sister Pam

Dear Ones:  How sweet of you, Pam, to send the Batman graphic.   Thank you so very much.   ~   Regarding The Sabbath, I also believe that our rest has come in Christ,  rest from all our own attempts to earn or deserve salvation/eternal life.   I believe that every day to gather and to worship is acceptable and is not obligatory or bound to a certain day.   However, by choice, I would prefer to gather and praise God on the day which He, Himself, sanctified... NOT because it was a condition required by law or the commandments, but because He is God, our Creator, and it signifies that His work was complete and perfect and therefore, the seventh day was of rest and significance due to His perfection and completion of creation.   Unfortunately, I have never found Sabbath-keepers who kept the day in the way He sanctified it to be kept.... as a tribute to His perfect love and creation of all that is.... When and where I found these "keepers", I also found legalism and many other commandments of "men" within the group and the beliefs they upheld and the setting aside of Sabbath... So I have pretty much remained within the Brethren church/group (not Church of the Brethren,  for though our beliefs are primarily very similar, the Brethren church does not belong to the World Council of Churches as the Church of the Brethren  does.   That "belonging" is not acceptable, nor will it ever be, to me.) I am an avid student of the WORD...   It never grows old to me... I cherish the "old" of it and I love the "new" understandings He leads me to in the Living-Word through which He guides and directs my paths and understandings along the way.   ~   Thank you again for visiting and for writing to me.   I feel that we are "family" in the Spirit and Truth of Gods' design.
Love and hugs,  Yours because I'm His,  Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

Subject: Butterflies for Eric
Dear Nina,   Greetings to you in the name above all names, Jesus!    ~   The day I found you on the internet I was putting the finishing touches on a new song called "Butterflies Just Gotta Fly".... Many times since then I have had the urge to write and tell you that although my work is totally dedicated to Jesus, I am presenting this song in memory of Eric.   This will soon be noted on the Butterfly page.  This memorial to Eric will link to your site so that others can understand why I felt to honor him in this way....   Eric gave his favorite things away to help others, and now I wish to honor him,  and you, dear Nina, in a special way.
God Bless you.   ~  Hugs, Sister Pam

Dear Sister Pam,   What a beautiful thing to do.   I was so touched by your message yesterday that I couldn't even write to you and thank you right away, for it moved me overwhelmingly.    When we meet people in this world, (others who belong to God with all their heart) and feel that family-bond (which is a gift from God above) of being `one in The Body', it is a wondrous experience and a gift He is providing to His own.... a strong support to uphold us in these last days and experiences.   ~   The night Eric was killed, a widow and her two children, (Mary Alice,  Alice and Joseph) were returning to their home.  The field and the tree were exactly in front of their house, (directly across the road).   She wrote to me later, telling me of how overwhelmed she was with the  grief which she felt as they waited to be allowed to turn into their driveway.  They were removing Eric from the scene, and she prayed for me as she sat there - knowing that somewhere, parents were going to be notified of this, their sons' death which had just taken place.   Even more.... for her own then-small daughter,  (Alice),  was hit by a car in the road right there - a few feet from that same field and tree where Erics' life ended!  The day after Erics' accident, his two best friends went to the college to clear Erics' room and bring home his things. I'd asked  them to stop at the car and bring home the little action-figure (The Lone Ranger, which he'd had from the time he was 2) and which he kept in the car.... and also, a necklace I'd given Eric (he never wore any jewelry, and it was bought more as a decoration for his car... hanging from the rear-view mirror). They searched the car and the scene of  accident - but the necklace<s> (actually, there were two more which  had been added to the first one... so there were three altogether), was nowhere to be found...   ~ On the day that I went to Ferrum for their memorial service for Eric, we stopped at the scene (seeing it for the first time). At first, I just felt a kind of rage against that tree with it's slender trunk and very small scar from the impact which killed Eric. I have no idea why I reacted that way - but I felt that it should have been knocked over - split apart or at least made crooked, or something visible which reflected the violent moment and event which took place where I stood.   My eyes took in the freshly plowed field and the remaining debris from the car... kind of hoping, I think, to spot one of the familiar lost items.  There were two cars of us (the family,) and as we all stood there, a man from across the road (Anna Marys' next door neighbor), came across the road to us, holding a brown paper-bag.   Joseph had gone over to the field the day after the accident.... he'd picked up the mirror and the necklaces and when he called several people to see how he could get the items to the family... he was told to take them and put them in the car, (which was just a short way from the accident scene - taken to the garage which removed the Firebird that night).   Joseph asked the neighbor  if that seemed the right thing to do, and the neighbor, agreeing with their concern that it might be removed from the car by someone who might "loot" the vehicle (which was, indeed beginning the very next day after the accident).   The neighbor offered to try and find out how to contact us or get the address and mail them, or whatever, so Joseph turned it all over to the man.   How very strange, the chain of events all took place!   For the man was there, at home, when we were there, saw us, and brought the small treasures I'd longed for... It was a small miracle of comfort and I had a feeling of closure begin... The importance to me had been noted by beings only God knows - and I had been given more than the worldly substance of the items - but a comfort in knowing that even such a small token didn't go overlooked and was delivered into my hands. (I gave one of them to Erics' big-brother-best-friend, Gene Gibb, who was with us, and one to Jeanne, one of my daughters, and the one I gave to him, I kept)   So, you see.... even though I wasn't with Eric - Anna Mary, a total stranger to me, a mother with children of her own... grieved and mourned as she prayed there in her car and afterward as well...   A bond existed between us before we even met!   That is the kind of bond which comes of God, Himself.   Anna Mary also wrote to me, a most loving, heartfelt letter sharing details with me and the knowledge that a mother was near Eric, in my place, so to  speak!  Provided by God and later given to me to know. We became friends and I feel a strong bond to her to this very day!   We met a short while later when she and the children were on their way to Pa. to a wedding.   They stopped here in Woodstock, we shared lunch at Pizza Hut and they came home with me to visit a while. *s*   Joseph had seen a little key chain at a gas-station where they'd stopped on their way, which simply had Erics' name on it, spelled as I spell it...   He bought the key chain and gave it to me and it is on my key chain to this day - a reminder of the Family-Of-God and The Body which we are in this world which is not our home!  Alice also had a gift for Brandi... a little set of books which she'd had when she was Brandis' age.  Mary Alice gave me a very special little book written by a Mennonite woman, Anna Marie Steckley (in Harrisonburg, about 40 miles from here), who had known great pain and loss through which her faith sustained  her... I have this book right here beside me and have read it several times.   A SONG IN THE NIGHT, by Choice Books, 1981.   I guess I'm sharing all of this because I feel that God has brought us together in that same "Family" love and bonding that He provides for us here in this life and our walk which sometimes feels lonely until we remember who we are (The Kings' kids!), and receive the strength and support of the  love which He provides for us through each other.   ~  So now, He has given me this special gift of you and your gift!   This is a melancholy time for me each year - for his "New Life birthday and his earthly-life birthday fall so closely together (and mine follows his 5 days later), and these occasions are fresh reminders of his absence. I used to think that each year would  lessen the acuteness of the pain and emptiness in that Eric-place in my  heart and life.  It doesn't. More than that, though.... is the awareness of Erics' "presence" in Paradise where we will meet again and never again have to part.   Thank you for loving Him as you do, and allowing Him to love and minister to me through you and your love.    I am blessed.   I praise and thank Him for His wondrous ways, loving kindness and mightiness through the hearts and lives of His Body!     ~   Bye for now, dear one,
Yours because I'm His,   Your Gypsy, (Nina) 


Joyful greetings to you dear Nina. I know the Lord is smiling on you today because I know you Love him! (8) :0)....... How are you doing today? Are the skies there blue?  ~  Yes, because of Christ we can can hold each other close as family!   What a wonderous way GOD has of bringing his children together!  How precious Mary Alice was in comforting you in such a time of need!   Hugs to her today and everyday!!!!   GOD just knows everything!!!   He knows what we need and when we need it!  He knows who we need and when we need them! What an awesome GOD we serve!   Wonder why we have such difficulty turning EVERYTHING over to the one who knows us so well and whose timing is so perfect!    ~  These old clay pots we live in just can't seem to understand that he who made the clay, knows best how to mold the pot!   My greatest challenge in life to stay on the potter`s wheel and allow the potter to do his work!   I find myself slipping off from time to time and then the challenge is to draw in the strength to climb back up there!   Sometimes I can only crawl up there but getting there is what counts!   ~  I pray you have a BEAUTIFUL DAY in the LORD!!!!  
You are such a special person~  Hugs.   ~  Sister Pam

*I sent Pam two of our awards,  The Misty Blue Mountain award,  and the Eric Lee Baker Award (for poetry and literary excellence)

Subject: Re: Eric Lee Baker & Misty Blue Mountain Awards 
Dear Nina,  ~  Loving and cheerful greetings to you on this hazy Memphis morning!   I was very surprized to get your little note with these lovely awards!   I will display them both!   ~  It looks like you are an artist as well as a writer!  What beautiful gifts the Lord has placed in your care!   So many times I peer out into GODs' heaven or behold the work of his hands and want to embrace a paint brush or grab a drawing tablet and capture it, but Nina, my greatest efforts are laughable!   ~  Maybe the Lord just enjoys a good laugh now and then!   Keep using those precious gifts to his Glory!   ~  I love the way you express your feelings!   ~  Hugs,   Sister Pam

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Subject: Hugs from Australia
"Ivan" <ivan@dove.net.au>
Dear Nina;  You will never know how your story of Eric has touched my heart. Although I have not lost a child, we have known heartache with our daughter.   I know I was guided by God to you through Pastor's page, just felt I wanted to see your homepage, and I am so glad I stopped by.   A mother's love is something only we mothers can understand.   This is such a wonderful way of communicating with people we have never met, but feel now we are friends.   Thank you for sharing your beautiful memorial to Eric.   Although I am far away, I know I can come to your homepage and be inspired by you.
Lovingly yours   ~   Nettie

Subject: Re: Hugs from Australia 
Dear Nettie:  Thank you for writing to me and letting me know that you visited my web-pages.   It is always nice to know that Erics' untimely death is still being used, by God, as a blessing to others.  It comforts and strengthens me to know that.   Australia was the one country which Eric wanted to visit more than any other... Now it is the other way around, many Australians have visited Erics' cyber-home.  A nice thought. He would have been pleased.  ~  Not sure about the situation/heartache with your daughter, I am still praying that His will is going to prevail and that all will be healed and comforted by His Holy Spirit.  ~  Yes - the cyber connection which exists and allows us to reach out and meet and bond with others - is truly a wonderful thing for this age in which we are living.   I am blessed every day and hope that you will be also.    Love and hugs from one mother/friend to another....
Yours because I'm His,   Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

From: "Ivan" <ivan@dove.net.au>
Subject: Hello again from Australia
Dear Nina:  I have just been into your homepage for the second time.   This time I was able to have an insight into the part of your life you have updated on your page.   I love the way you express yourself, you are a very talented lady, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing and opening your heart so that we who have the privilege of visiting you through your homepage, can be helped and learn from your experiences, and so many of them have been so painful for you, but I feel that you have been able to get through them with the help of God.  ~  Nina I feel as though I know you, from sharing your life this way, I love the way the Net brings people so close.    My daughter too, has been affected through her husband's infidelity, and her heart has been broken, as has mine as her mother.   I hope that she can heal as time goes by as you have.  It is so hard for a mother to see her children hurt so much, but I am here for her as she needs me.   I pray that you are well and finding life is getting easier for you, my loving thoughts are with you, and as they say, stop and smell the roses.
Yours Australian Friend  ~  Jeanette

Subject: Re: Hello again from Australia 
Dear ~Nettie;  I am just now getting to work on updating the website and found this second communication from you and it seems that I failed to respond to it?   If so - please forgive the length of time in doing so.    I appreciate all messages (and their senders).   ~   Thank you for your compliments and appreciation. *S* I've never heard of anyone getting too much praise and uplifting! *s*   ~  Yes, it is God who has seen me through all things with His ever abiding presence around and within me. When I slip and stumble at times, He steadies me and speaks to me through The Word, His Spirit and also,  through fellow believers and friends. Thank you for being one of them.   ~   I am so very sorry to hear that your family has had to deal with the pain and trauma of infidelity.   It is a devastating thing to bear.   Your daughter will not only survive, but will be stronger and better for the experience once it is behind her.   I have a lot more to the 1993  breakdown story which I plan to share when I have the time and the endurance 
to do so.    Even after so long a time, I still ache with the remembrances of  it all.    It is something that never goes away.   Some say that you haven't forgiven until you've forgotten. This is utterly untrue... and if it were, we would all continue to make the same mistakes over and over again... There is value in remembering and in searching through the ashes once the fire dies down... Were that not so, the suffering of it would all be tragically meaningless and unprofitable.   One thing I learned during that summer, was that Faith isn't always lumped in with Trust... and I had great faith but little trust.   It was a very good thing that I experienced that healing and growth in my relationship to God... for... were it not for that, the accident which took Erics' life,  (just three years later), would surely have taken mine as well.   I had very strong suicidal tendencies from as early as I can remember in my life... What Satan meant to destroy me and take my life with, strengthened and led to the healing I needed when the greatest pain of all came to me on that night in 1996 when the State Trooper and a deputy from our local Sheriffs' office came to tell me that the most wonderful part of my life had been ripped out of it forever.   I have love in many relationships and each one is "most  wonderful" in its' own way... but there is something about a child who is also a soulmate and where oneness exists, which is beyond description... but when it is taken - you are never, ever going to be the same person you were and your life never resumes - it begins again in another way and on another 
path/direction. God uses all things for good, and once you understand and believe that, you have perfect trust which sustains you through literally every and any terrible experience you face and survive.  
Your daughter will heal and your love for her will be part of that support and healing she needs.   Life is a beautiful thing and I do love to `smell the roses', as you said.   In fact, I have our last one of the summer on my kitchen windowsill right now. It was just ready to bloom when the heavy frost came - so I rescued it to allow it to fulfill its' purpose and grow to open and be the beautiful thing that it is.    We are all Gods' roses.  ~  Hope to hear from you again, Jeanette.  And do, I pray, forgive the length of time this response has taken!  I just somehow missed in the list and it had never been opened until this morning!   Love and hugs,  
Yours because I'm His, Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

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"Robert Samia Wilkes" <srw1@shentel.net>
Subject: sign-in - your homepage, from Rob (Wilkes)
Dearest Nina, I've only seen the first page, but I love it! Hope to return here when I can. 
  Love, Rob,  ps.- my love to Brandi & Peach, please...

Subject: Re: sign-in - your homepage, from Rob (Wilkes) 
My dear Rob, What a nice surprise to find you here in the grief-support (net-site) mailbox! *s*   Thank you for taking the time to visit and also to send along the notice!   ~   Here is one of the most special to my heart URLs http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Baptism.htm 
I believe that you and Samia would really love to see and read it - (Erics' baptism in the river in Maurertown). (did you know that the communion which we spontaneously shared in your home when Noel was visiting us and they both came over to your home, was the last one 
Eric ever had.<?>   It is a very special thing to remember how Samia even brought out the best wine glasses and we had real wine too!....  what a special Sabbath that was!    I believe that our angels must have guided us that night.   It is more precious to me than any words could express.... (this memory), I know that you will both know what it means to me that the closest (spiritually) brother and sister in my life, shared/provided) that.   I hope that one day we may find a time and a way in our lives to keep some Sabbaths together again in the future.  <excerpt>  ~The site is so large and varied. One of the most dear to my heart areas is the guestbook. I'm on #22 right now.... I guess I like it best because I truly feel that The Holy Spirit of God is, most often,
the author and through it He does comforting, healing and teachings, (which is what Jesus said that The Spirit would do).   I hope that you will work your way through those stories/entries eventually.   The current one is always:  http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/guestbooks/guestbook.htm but at the bottom of each page of that area contains a table where you can begin with "volume *1 and take the whole journey, one archived book at a time. *S*    The people you will meet there are, for the most part, very special people.  I don't enter all the mail, but I always respond to all of it privately in any case. These guestbooks are actually a series of e-mails/responses over the last 5 years.   ~  I'm only sending these along because the site is so very large and I know how little time and with what great effort your "surfing/visiting" is done and I thought it would make it easier/faster for you to use the absolute URLs here.  <excerpted here>  Looks like rain this morning.   Hope it will hold off until I finish the new rock garden we've been working on for a month now! *S*   ~  As always, you and your loved ones are always in our prayers (and our heart of hearts), daily.    Love & hugs from all of us to all of you,
Yours because I'm His,   Your Gypsy, (Nina)

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Subject: thank you
Karen desertmoon@hotmail.com   
I am just writing to say that I love your site and you are a very talented and touching writer.   Also thanks for those abortion links.   Here in Ireland they keep having referendums on abortion and each time it is voted against but the no vote is getting smaller each time.   I fear the government will keep pushing it for the vote until it is voted in .   So much for democracy. I am completely against abortion in all forms.  I also have a site.   Feel free to visit it. http://www.mpdfriends.homestead.com   
Kind Regards  ~  Karen desertmoon@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: thank you 
To: steve65 <steve65@unison.ie>

Dear Karen;   Please forgive the length of time it has taken me to respond to your message. This is the busiest time of year with the canning and freezing of fruit and veggies.... which begins in earnest in August   ~  Thank you for writing to me.   On a greater scale, I thank you for being against the killing of our children all over the world.  It is such a strong calling in my spirit to do all that we can to help.  You may want to check the abortion pages on my URL in September when I will be adding the work in progress now  to that section.  ~  I have visited your excellent site several times, but not yet all of it (again, due to the time of year when I surf the least!).   What I have seen has been wonderful. I will be adding linkage to you next month also, when I upgrade my site with additions. I am sending you two awards in the mail following this one. I will also sign your guest book when I am finished visiting your site entirely.   ~   Take care. I will be praying for you both as well...  Love and hugs,
Yours because I'm His,   Your Gypsy, (Nina) 
 

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From: Donna Winder <winder@uslink.net
Subject: Just a "Hi."
Hi, Nina.    I was looking on the web for a singer/pianist/humorist that I used to
enjoy (25 years ago) and couldn't remember his name, so I put in "piano
humor" and came to your frog joke page.    You had me laughing.    I went
to your fun page.   Oh, so much fun.    I did the USA quiz and then sent it
on to the social studies teachers that I work with. (I'm a library
media specialist.....school librarian.)     It was so cool. I've just
wasted an hour and a half on your site.    Thank you!    ~    I appreciate your spirituality.    You say,  "this is the way I see the
world and I believe it with all my heart."    You are a neat person, Nina.
Thank you for your website.   Donna

Dear Donna;   It was a pleasure and also a pick-me-up in these dark days of America and her people and all who have come together to put a stop to the
terrorism (which has gone basically unchallenged long enough....),  to hear from you.   Sharing how we are "found" is always of interest to me.   It seems almost miraculous that with all the proliferation of sites and information - we are still coming up and being visited.   I remember when I first began the site 5.5 years ago, I could do a search and find anywhere from a dozen to a few hundred "hits"...   Now, a simple search often brings a MILLION! *S*   ~   Wish I could help you in your search.   Even before 35 years ago,  I  enjoyed Steve Allen, who was all (singer/pianist/humorist) of that.    I hope that you did find the one you were looking for!  ~   Are you, as librarian and media specialist, well-traveled in the "net"?  ~  Isn't it awesome that we can so easily access whatever we are looking for?  ~   "I've just wasted an hour and a half on your site".   I hope that you don't REALLY feel that your time spent at ~Eric Of The Misty Blue Mountains, was "wasted?". *S*     "Thank you!", <- you are most welcome, and I hope that you will return.   ~   Thank you for appreciating ~me~ personally with your apt appraisal of me.    You are right about that.   "You made my day" with your compliments! *G*   ~   I hope that you will return to visit us more!  You may find it easier to navigate the site and its' myriad of facets if you use the Master Index:   
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/master.htm
Thank you, Donna, for your visit and response.  I'm going to be sending out a few of Erics' patriotic writings tomorrow and will put you on my mailing list if you would like that.   Please let me know at: gypsy@shentel.net  
Love and hugs,   Yours because I'm His,  Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

Hi, again, Nina, I was surprised and pleased that you responded.   ~   Please don't think that "wasted a half hour on your site" is derogatory.  You made me smile and tested me on and taught me about American history and both those activities are very positive.   ~   I thought you'd like to know that my social studies teachers were as excited about the   "All American Quiz"   as I was.  
<Excerpted here for personal information>    I've passed your URL on to some others, too, and not just for your great humor.  You've been through a lot, Nina, and obviously grown enormously.  <Excerpted >  Your sharing is a healing key to many, I'm sure.   Thank you for being there.    ~   
Keep it up and keep smiling.   Donna

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Just a note here, dear ones.....  I've been busier than ever before in the five years since I began this site and sort of slipped into a commitment to visitors and others who suffer loss/grief....   So please don't be offended if I am not putting much of it here - we are all already dealing with so much grief, shock and anguish at the horror of September 11,  2001.   I will be continuing the guestbooks - but for now,  I'm wayyyyyyy behind and will have to do the best I can.  I appreciate each and every message from you,  our caring visitors.

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From: tinkerbelle49@webtv.net (Barbara Martindale)
Subject: Your website
Hello       I can feel the pain as I go through your website, yet I know it helps
the family to heal as well. I am in awe of the thought of loosing a family member so close... God Bless you and the family, and always be with you.   Hugs and prayers from me to all of you.     ~    Thank you for puting this on the Internet, as I'm sure it has helped so many.     ~    Barbara

Dear Barbara:    Thank you for taking time to write and share your compassion and appreciation of Erics' memorial website,  Eric Of The Misty Blue Mountain.   
We are about to leave for my parents and some other family gathering there for our Thanksgiving day. Although every day is deserving of thankfulness... it is beautiful that we make one day especially for that so that it is a holiday and the ~gathering together~ reminds us of all the blessings we really do have.   Although Erics' absence is difficult and painful, I find that as more years go by, I remember
more of his life than his absence.   ~  I hope that you will be with your family/friends and have a blessed day today. You blessed me today.   Thank you, again, Barbara.
Love and hugs,  Yours because I'm His, Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

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Subject: Response
From: Pamela Richards <chalon@ozemail.com.au
Thank you very much for your web-site.   A lot of thought and work.    Eric must be there, he obviously has inspired you...   Mothers & sons.   Some of us are blessed with a wonderful,  trusting,  love & mutual respect.   You and I are the lucky ones....  You love your son....   I love mine and our love was returned.   Do you believe you will meet Eric again?...  And,  is he with you right now?   You must be a special person to put all this together.    I have two dogs,  Chalon and Johnnie,  and two cats,  Michael & Lazarus.    I live in Sydney,  Australia.   I am only 58 years of age.   Thank you again for the site....  I wish you and your family a special Christmas in your special place   (The New Jerusalem?)???
Regards,   Pam Richards

Dear Pam;    We are the same age, I am also 58 young! Have eight grandchildren
and one great-grandchild. My own mother is still here also and lives about 20 minute drive from us.   ~   How many children do you have?  It seemed you spoke of your son as past tense?    ~   As for Erics' presence, oh! absolutely!  I don't believe that souls of the saved are ever dead - only moved home.   Eric is so much a part of me,  of this house and of all my surroundings (he was born right here in the valley and lived his entire life in this home), where I will stay until I am also taken home at last. *s* I don't think there is anything I do or any experience I pass through - that he is not a very real presence - being mingled within my heart and soul. One cannot actually separate from a soulmate - for they are one with us (though entirely independent and uniquely individual...).   ~    Thank you for writing to me.   You have blessed me. Thank you....   ~   Australia is a very beautiful and soulful place which both Eric and I had always dreamed of visiting! (I believe that The Thornbirds and other epic dramas inspired us to love and wish to visit the land and people).   I have been in touch with a LOT of Australians... which reinforces that sense of how special the land and people are!   ~   As for seeing Eric... we have that promise in The Word and I believe that we will be together for all eternity. He just went home sooner than I....   
Love and hugs,  Yours because I'm His,   Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

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From: MsGypsy8@aol.com
Subject: A Christmas Thought for Eric and another Gypsy
Hi,    I was browsing and found the site for Eric.     I have to believe in divine intervention.    As I was looking for some clip art for one of my sites, your story jumped out and touched me.   Christmas is hard for so many.  We all have those silent angels that haunt us, and comfort us.   You have been through an amazing journey. It never seems right for any parent to lose a child.   Age is irrelavant, and time does not allow us to take the time to repair our inner self.   My name is Connor. I have lost two children, and the man who I am about to marry has also lost two.   All of them were taken in different ways and different places, but it is the time of year that makes it seem so much more painful.   We have spent countless hours attempting to make sense of it all.   There are so many who suffer as surely as we do.   I was feeling blue and introspective and when Eric's site was there,   I clicked. What a touching site it is. He was one of those people who touched many and indeed you have suffered immensely.   You must realize that in reading his story and your journal, it has had  an amazing effect on me. Here I am looking for mountains and blue velvet,  and you show up.   A gypsy!  I hope that you take a moment and think of yourself this year.   It is your turn.  You have to restore your self.   Actually, I have absolutely no idea why I am emailing you, as I am sometimes so slow in emailing anyone.   Just wanted to thank you and to also let you know that in my prayers this year will be that gypsy who made me feel better on a day, when nothing seemed to appease the hurt.   maybe it is to let you know that Eric still touches lives. Or perhaps it is merely sharing a mother's pain.
Please keep in touch and let me know how you are.  I care.   
another gypsy lady,   Connor in memory of :
Kimberly 1972-82 ~ Shawn 1977-1993 ~ Rocky 1981-1985 ~ Katie 1986-86

My dear MsGypsy (Conner),   Thank you for writing to me during this busy time of year when I know how difficult it is for any of us to find time to do that.  It added to the warmth and compassion you sent in your precious message.  Truly, you know exactly what is the heart of why I began the site and what means the most to me (the fact that Eric is able, as he stated his most important desire was, to have his writings and his life be read by others and by that, to make a difference in lives).    I agree that all the reasons you listed for writing are each valid - but
this one it the heart and soul, and greatest blessing of it for me.   
----> maybe it is to let you know that Eric still touches lives
^these words of yours gave me such joy!
Every so often - I feel the touching of souls between a site-visitor and myself and Eric too... I sure felt that in your loving message.   You blessed me greatly in writing and I would be honored to continue to touch base with you whenever you would like to write again! *s*     I agree also that Christmas, (and Thanksgiving, as well,) when there is so much emphasis on family and friends, warmth and sharing - being the painful times of acutely feeling the absence from our lives, of 
those so dearly loved and cherished... This is the sixth Christmas of Erics' absence in physical form... but I've also grown more and more accustomed to his presence with me in spirit and soul - just like when I carried him before birth - I carry him (and sometimes it almost feels the other away around...*small, wan smile*)... I carry him still. That presence and union never broke or faltered.... in fact, it still
grows as life goes on in our new spirit proximity (internal instead of both external and internal). 
----> I was feeling blue and introspective
^I've come to be accustomed 
to melancholy days which sometimes just pop up and surprise me...  with no particular reason that I can discern which causes it...  It can feel like a tidal wave
which comes up and engulfs me - or like a fine and gentle mist which actually carries a great tenderness in it - and on those occasions, I have learned to just give myself up to the melancholy and think of it as a sort of celebration of his life and love and an underlying joy that he came - which was worth the price and pain of his leaving.... (Like Garth Brooks, THE DANCE)   ~   How beautiful a thing that you have found a love and are about to begin a whole new journey/direction of commitment and support bound by love.    When is the wedding? (I don't even know where you are)... I will be praying for Gods' best for you both. *S*   When your site is up and running (if it is not already), I would like to visit you - so will you please remember to send the URL?     Gotta go and get to some gift-baking. I will look forward to hearing from you again. Meanwhile... have a blessed and loving holiday (both of those arising in the next weeks).    ~  You have blessed me and I feel warmth and strength because you took the time to send some of yours to me. Thank you so much.    I know that you will both be warmed and blessed in memories of Kimberly,  Shawn, Rocky and Katie as you share their memories with each other and feel the love and beauty of their existence which blessed and will  continue to bless you both.
Love, hugs and prayer,  Yours because I'm His,  Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

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From: "njfe" <norma@blazenet.net>

I just lost my husband,  to whom I have been married for 45 plus years.   He really was my true love.   He was a wonderful father, and kind and generous man.   They have told me it takes time to heal. I really wish that I could believe that is how it is going to be but it's so hard.    ~    I took care of him for 9 months and to walk around the house and not hear or see him causes me to just cry.  
Thanks for this website.   ~   Norma In Gettysburg.

Subject: Christmas without him....
Dear Norma;  How glad I am to hear from you while you are yet so overwhelmed in the pain and emptiness of your loss... glad that you were reaching out and found our site... and hopeful that you will visit more (especially the guestbook archives where so many others have shared their pain and various ways they assuaged that pain and drew strength from others who also reached out). The greater the love, the greater is the pain... so be comforted and reach out to, the great love and long years together which have carved out this chasm of sorrow....    ~    The first year is full of all of the terrible emptiness which comes fresh with each "first-without" experience after the loss.   Particularly so at the time of family-gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.   I'm not sure when you lost your soulmate, but just knowing that this is obviously the first Christmas... I know how terrible it is. I know, too, how even the simple changing of the year... from the last one he was with you - over to the first one without him... is another pain.    I remember how I dreaded losing that year and entering the next... and how achingly painful it was and how much I wished that I could be with Eric in Paradise instead of - left behind to wait for my call to join him.   ~   Please write anytime you feel like talking or sharing or just needing a support.   I will be here, caring and praying for you.   ~    Also... I found that rather than fight the anguish and pain - I felt, (and still feel) better if I just allow it to "have me" and I let the memories and the love we shared and past experiences which are so precious, to
fill and surround me like a warm haze which softened the starkness of his absence. Let your beloved be present and you will never be quite so alone again..... It takes time to do that... but you will find comfort and even joys again.... Tears are the rain through which there will be rainbows...  I assure you of that, Norma....
Love, hugs and prayer for you,  Yours because I'm His,  Your Gypsy, (Nina) 

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From: "crystal gray" <trinitygal@midmaine.com>
!   I too am setting up a christian webpage.  I feel for you nina.  I myself have a very sad testimony, but to tell you the truth it has made me stronger in the Lord. 
I love you my sister Princess

Subject: Adversity and strength of faith and character
Hello Crystal,  Thank you for writing to me and especially for the love (we are known by Him and by others by our love for one another) you sent along too. 
I hope that you will send me a link to your page when you get in up and running.   I will be interested in learning about your experience and victory over pain and adversity.   Whatever doesn't make us bitter, will make us better. 
Love, hugs and prayer,  Yours because I'm His, Your  Gypsy,  (Nina) 

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From: "Mary Ann Jackson" <blmaj@ccp.com>
Dear Nina,  I read the letter you had written to your son after his death.  I saw it in MMIAS.  I lost my 24 y/o son 12/24/98.  Grieving for your child is a long and difficult road.  Your letter was absolutely beautiful. It sounds like your son must have had a gift for writing and I have a feeling he got it from you.  I tried to access his web site several times and was not able to. Could the URL have been wrong?  I would love to see his site.  Could you send me the site address so I could try again?  Thank you so very much.   ~  Sincerely,   Mary Ann


Dear Mary Ann,  So sorry to hear about your loss as well.  *sad*  I guess that our sons were born a year apart?    To lose Eric just before Mothers' Day, Easter, and his graduation was accentuated by those occasions.  Losing your son on Christmas Eve must also have been the same extra painful circumstance/situation which, each new year thereafter, repeats the additional reminders and accompanies the grief.  In two days,  it will be the tragic anniversary.  We still gather and hold it as a memorial of what he was and did - rather than the ending of his life.  How blessed we are that he was born and spent 23 years with us... and is with us still... a part of all we are and do.  Thank you for writing and I hope to hear more from you and about your loss as well.   It is a good thing to share and have so many various experiences from which to draw comfort and strength for ourselves and also with those who reach out with needs....   ~ I did revise the site and asked those that were linked to us, (and the search engines too) - to correct the addresses which were .html, to htm....  however,  most have not.   I am sorry about that and appreciate that you called my attention to it.   I will contact them again.   I am sending you the links below.
Meanwhile,  here is the master index,
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/master.htm
or the entire site,  "Front door"
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/index.htm
Or...  just Erics' pages, begin here,
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Eric.htm
I hope that you have a blessed holiday weekend and are at peace.  I care, Mary Ann.   I am sending a warm, consoling embrace from one mother to another.  
Yours because I'm His, Your  Gypsy,  (Nina) 

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From: TristanCullom@aol.com
I just wanted to let you know that your letter you wrote for Brett touched my heart. On April, 28 2002 I lost my 4 1/2 year old son in a tragic accident.   I'm still trying to come to grips with the loss. As a mother, I feel helpless....but I know I have to be strong for my other two children.   My husband is the rock that holds me up. Anyway, it was a beautiful letter that says a lot about how I feel.   ~   Please feel free to visit my webpage if you would like to read about the life of my son, Tristan.  http://dolfangigi13.tripod.com/thecullomfamily  
                                                       Gina M. Cullom   ~   P.S. If you are still able to contact the parents of Brett, I would like to contact them about their loss.   (If they agree, via e-mail or telephone or whatever).   They know as much as I do that the loss of a child is the worst loss...but there are different types of losses (i.e., losing an infant, losing and adult child,  or losing a terminally ill child).   Not that any other parents loss is better or worse....it's just different.   Not many people in the world have lost their healthy 4 year old son in a tragic accident as I have (or Brett's family)...and it would be good to talk to someone in the same situation. Thank you.

Dear Gina,  Thank you for writing and sharing.   I am so sorry to hear of your loss of Tristan.   ~  If you would like to share about what took place,  I would like to hear more about the tragedy.   I visited your website and Tristans' page,  but you didn't mention how it happened.    ~   Since you only mentioned the letter to my church family regarding our little `brother' Brett and his mothers' pain,  I'm not sure that you visited any more of my site which was designed and begun as memorial to my only son,  Eric,  who was killed April1, 1996.   His story begins here and there are many pages to view.   http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Eric.htm
What I wanted to share with you though,  is that my guestbook and archives are not the typical "guestbook",  but mostly, a compilation of communications between myself and others who have traveled the path of loss and grief.  I believe that you will find much comfort and strength as well as support if you choose to write to any of the other grieving/healing and loving guests.....   Be sure to check them all out when you feel so alone and in pain.   
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/guestbooks/guestbook.htm
Over the years since then,  I have added many other offerings to the (now grown large) website.    I hope that you will browse the topics and visit more.
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/master.htm
Today is the eve of Erics' birthday,  (July 1, 1973).  Today is also my Dads' birthday (June 31),  and we are going to gather for a big family feast/major-cookout at their home...  This is the first time I have had the courage to attend such a gathering on this ~anniversary-time" of my beloved Erics' own birth.    It is difficult to try and be cheerful and in a celebrative-mood while in my heart,  I am aching so much.    Tomorrow we will be going to Freesoul as is our custom.   (The sixth birthday without him)  ~  Please begin the guestbooks and I hope that you will be blessed in them.   I care.   Write any time.    Sometimes grief can be very lonely when others think and say that you should be "Moving on and letting go".   Such an oft-repeated phrase!  So inappropriate. For neither letting-go nor moving on are equivalent to forgetting.   And as we remember,  we ache and we feel an emptiness.   Personally,  I choose to focus/memorialize the thankfulness I feel at having had Eric as a son....   I accept his death and feel the joy of his presence within me,   the parts of my life which are memories woven by his existence and death does not take that away.   With the positive,  the loss is inevitably present also and I just allow myself to have "melancholy days" when I need to.   Not morbid.   Not depressed.  Not unhealthy.  Just a mixture of it all.....   ~   Love,  Yours because I'm His,  Your  Gypsy,  (Nina) 

  more from Gina,  It wasn't until after I sent the e-mails to you that I continued to explore your website and, hence, found out that you too have lost your child. Please,   forgive my thoughtlessness and let me express my condolences.  Even though it's been 6 years since his death, I can only imagine that each anniversary and birthday (as well as holidays) are painful. I hope that your day tomorrow is a bearable one.   Even though it's only been 2 months since Tristan's death, I've already had to deal with his birthday. He would have been 5 years old on June 5th of this year. He was so excited to be starting school. He was a very intelligent boy.   He was also very excited to be moving to Germany. My husband is in the military and we were living in Izmir, Turkey at the time. We had just got the news on Friday (April 26) that we were getting transferred to Germany in July. Tristan loved planes and was thrilled to find out that we were going to have to go on a plane to go to Germany.  ~   On the evening of April 28th Tristan was playing on the balcony of our apartment. I was sitting in the living room watching him play.   One of my other daughters was getting into trouble in the kitchen so I got up to check on her and send her to her room. I got as far as the hallway when I get  an intercom phonecall. It was the lady on the 5th floor (we lived on the 6th). She asked me where Tristan was, and I told her. She told me to go check on him. So, I look out the balcony and he wasn't there. My initial thought was that he came inside to go to the bathroom....but my heart started to sink. I looked over the balcony and I saw him at the bottom. I started to scream. My husband came running from the bedroom (he was doing laundry) and went downstairs. And that's how my nightmare begun.  We were told that he died instantly. The fall was about 70 feet to the concrete ground. We gained some solace knowing that he was in no pain, but my only thought was that he must have been so scared. But, I am constantly plagued with guilt. Guilt for not being there, guilt for not being able to save him, guilt for everything! Only three weeks before, I had a nightmare. I dreamed that one of my children (in my dream, it happened to be my daughter, Tatum) had fallen off the balcony. I woke up crying. It was the only time that I had a dream of that magnitude.Usually, I don't even remember my dreams...let alone wake up crying from them. But anyway, that was my first thought when I saw my son at the bottom of the building. I saw my dream...but instead of Tatum....it was him.    It was also more unbelievable to us because Tristan was very responsible. He was always telling his sisters that certain things were dangerous. It was VERY unlike his personality to take chances like climbing on the railing and such. My daughter, Tatum, however...she is full of dare. I've been thinking that I wouldn't have been as shocked if this happened to Tatum....because it's like her to do something like this. I'd still be just as hurt...but not as shocked. And not as inclined to ask the question "why?" But Tristan was a different story.   ~     I'm still at the point in this situation that it still feels unreal. I've not come to grips with his death. I still wake up every morning thinking "how can I die today".   Not that I'm suicidal or anything...it's against my religious beliefs...but I wonder how death can get me today. Car accident?   Lightning strike?   I know it's not healthy for me to think these things....but I feel that I might as well have died the day he did.   The truth is, I did.   Much like Tristan, I died and was reborn...but instead of being born in the Kingdom of Heaven....I am living hell on earth. I feel that I died and was reborn into a bitter and cynical woman.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't cry.   I keep waiting for that day to come.  I feel angry a lot.  I won't be able to ever know what he will grow up to look like. I won't ever know what he will become in life. I won't ever be able to help him with his homework.   I won't ever be able to ask how his day at school was. I feel robbed!  Robbed of this precious child's life!     How long did it take you to cope with Eric's death?   Am I wrong for the way I feel? Will I ever get over my feeling of guilt?   Will I ever be able to maintain a "normal" life? What's my next step in dealing? I feel utterly lost.  ~    I hope that my rambling on didn't bore you.   This is actually the first time that I've been able to talk to anyone about this...I mean, anyone who actually knows what I'm going through. Your website has helped me some. Thank you.  ~  Gina


Dear Gina,  ---->   forgive my thoughtlessness          ^Please do not feel apologetic about anything at all!    I understood that you were not aware of the entire site when you didn't mention Eric.   You did nothing thoughtless at all, Gina.   As you already know - this has been a full and bit of challenge of a day for me and we have just arrived home.   It is late and Brandi and I are about to settle in for a movie and falling asleep to be rested for our outing tomorrow.   I wanted to let you know, though,  that I was greatly moved with both understanding and empathy with your pain.   I know all too well,  what it took for you to sit at the computer and write that long a message to me and to put into words the experience as well as your thoughts, feelings and deep emotion.  Brets'  parents,   though   ---->   I hope that your day tomorrow is a bearable one.
        ^In my life, now,  Eric has two birthdays,  the one where God gave him  to us,  and the one where he began his eternal life in Paradise where we will meet again and be together forever, never to part again...  
~~~
(interrupted here by visit from friends and now it's almost midnight and I came here to put this into a draft folder to finish tomorrow) ~~~  (11:49)
~~~
---->  Even though it's only been 2 months since Tristan's death,   ^I understand this so well,  for there was Erics' college graduation,  Mothers' Day and then,  our birthdays (a week apart)...  In fact, the whole first year is so painful as we go through all of the "firsts" of the whole year - then the seconds and so on....  
---->   On the evening of April 28th Tristan was playing on the balcony                  ^Oh, Gina..... how terrible a parting!   All are painful - regardless of when or how - but as you said in your first message to me,  each has its' own individual and agonizing set of circumstances.   In the beginning, we do tend to gravitate toward those who have had their loss in as similar a set of circumstances as we come to know and begin to share.    I remember that well...  for the pain is so awful and so indescribable... that we feel more at home and more camaraderie that way - sensing that the "other" mourner knows best or closest,  just what you are going through.  Later,   as more time passes and we begin to heal,  we feel the same comaraderie with all who suffer their loss of loved ones and the unity spreads out and encompasses in a less specific identifying....  After a time,   when we begin to heal,  we find the permanent pain which is universal...   After a time,  we come to realize that the specific details aren't nearly so important as the absence itself.   The permanence and pain of it are one and we know that for the rest of our earthly days... we have only memories to cherish and must wait to be together again.   That is why you waken each morning wondering if this might be the day of the reunion you so yearn for...  I think that the unexpected death leaves us even more caught there when the parting is so sudden and unexpected and we don't have time for a goodbye.   In each circumstance- there is special,  individual good and bad and if the choice3 were left to us as to the goodbye or not,  we would be hard-pressed to choose which way would be best.   ---->   We were told that he died instantly. The fall was    ^Gina,  did you know that when a person falls from a great height,  the reason they seldom scream or make a sound is because our brain KNOWS that it is fatal and instantly dis-associates the victim.   As you said,  Tristan was aware of the dangers of situations...  He most certainly did this,  else he would have screamed or let out a sound which you would have heard yourself.  Mothers hear even a small whimper of a sick child in the night which can and does awaken them to that call.   So if there is ever any doubt,  think about that and I hope that you amy gain some additional comfort in it.   ~   I remember that night so well,  facing what all parents fear most, once their children begin to drive and/or, are away from home...  the appearance of a State Trooper at their door in the middle of the night.   The first question I asked was... "Are you SURE he is dead?" (How can we believe that?)  And then,  "Did he suffer?  Was he alone?"     The absence of suffering is such a blessing once we can get beyond our own agony and see that our precious child did not have to go through what illness and injuries can heap upon our loved one/loving ones in the long hours, days... years, even,  of struggling to win in a battle for life which is lost....   ---->   But, I am constantly plagued with guilt ~     ^This, Gina,  is a very common thing for us as parents.  We, (most of us),   are given such inherent sense of responsibility for our children and no matter what age they are,  we feel that we have failed somewhere, in some way,  to maintain our protective guard...   It is all part of the uncountable ways we face the "What-ifs"   It amazes me how many ways we can devise the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" list after our loss.   The barest,  most obvious thing about that guilt is that although we loved, and always WILL love our beloved, our love cannot even begin to be akin to Gods' love for them,  and He could have done something to alter the situation...  but did not...  and when you think on that, (some even become quite angry and disillusioned in contemplating that reality),   you remember that this earth is not our REAL home and leaving here is actually entering His presence where there is no more suffering at all and where there are unimaginable and wondrous beauties too awesome for us to even gather visions to perceive from our earthly existence!    When I began to think upon that and see the reality of it,  God whispered a question within me and that one question was a turning point for me forevermore...   From that point on,  I had a perfect peace and acceptance which no one and nothing will ever take from me.    The question was,   "If I were to give you the choice and the power to bring Eric back into the finite realm of the world in which you still live,  would you call him to come back to you from here with me?"   And with all my heart I envisioned that and knew that I never,  ever,  would!    It sounds so simple a thing... but truly,  Gina, when you contemplate that question,  I don't believe that anyone who loved would choose to reverse that existence!   Would you?   ----> I had a nightmare. I dreamed that one of my children  ^This must have been a terrible association for you.   There are so many mysteries of our lives....  There are many mysteries in our lives that we see now through a
dark glass but "then" will see clearly and understand when we have transcended our finite nature and limitations.   When you have a chance to read some of Erics' poetry,  you will see that I, too,  (as have many others who read the words) have wondered at the chillingly prophetic nature of the words to many of his writings,  especially the following,  
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Poetry-E/ashes.htm
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Poetry-E/sum.htm
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Poetry-E/thisday.htm
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Poetry-E/whydid-U.htm
http://www.user.shentel.net/nbaker/Eric/Poetry-E/byyour.htm
----> I'm still at the point in this situation that it still feels unreal.
^This never really passes away.   We gradually let go of our focus on it,   but we never quite grasp the reality...  I believe that it must be because our loved one lives on in ourselves and in others who have loved and known them...  because he lived, many will carry a part of him as we are one in spirit (it need not be in flesh).    ----> I still wake up every morning thinking "how can I die today". Not that I'm suicidal  ^I still have these thoughts from time to time... the longing for being together again,  reunited to never part again.   How could we not?  ----> I feel that I might as well have died the day he did. The truth is, I did.  ^You are absolutely right.   All who knew him were/are changed at his leaving and none of the lives will ever be the same.   It took me a few years to realize this....  Your observation and realization is so wise and true....   ----> I feel that I died and was reborn into a bitter and cynical woman.  ^Yes, dear one....  you did die....  But,  I don't believe that you are bitter or cynical-  it just isn't "there" in your "tone" which I discern is indeed in great pain, anguish and shock... too soon not to be otherwise!    ----> There's not a day that goes by that I don't cry. I keep waiting for that day to come.  ^Most of us undergo a strange sort of sense of almost-guilt when we first smile or laugh again....  It seems that we are "forgetting" the absence... or something akin to that... and we wonder, reproachfully,  how anything in this world could be fun,  funny or carefree... ever again.   ----> I feel angry a lot. I won't be able to ever know   ^Anger is healthy and an entirely normal "stage" of the emotions we must work our way through until we have learned to accept it and allow ourselves emotions which might not reflect our thoughts and/or feelings.   (feelings are responses we choose - emotions are NOT... they are very different and often, not well subjected to out thoughts) ----> How long did it take you to cope with Eric's death?   ^Erics' death took only moments to accept....  but life without him will never really be adjusted-to for me.   He lives on in those of us who loved and knew him.    Every life he touched has him threaded through the tapestry of their being.  *S*   That is a beautiful reality.   That is why I still maintain his memorial - so that he can go on  touching other lives with his beauty, wisdom, depth and profound caring about the world and the people in it.   ----> Am I wrong for the way I feel? ^We are not wrong or right in feelings of any kind.  It is only what we
DO in response to those feelings that can, (and will) be judged by God and our fellow beings who witness our lives and actions.    I'm sure you've heard sayings such as,  "Our experiences will do one of two things with us - they will make us bitter or better,  according to how we react in the circumstances which befall us. 
----> Will I ever be able to maintain a "normal" life?  ^How does anyone define "normal"????  It is too conditional and too relative to the circumstances surrounding any given person or situation.    Only God can call that judgment and He does it by knowing our hearts ....  ----> What's my next step in dealing? ^Dealing?   You are doing that quite well,  else you would not be able to reach out as you are doing!   You have a strength and courage that many take years to attain.  Sadder still,  some never do at all!   You ARE dealing.   ----> I feel utterly lost.     ^It is Tristan that is "lost" from your view and everyday life... and this will never change and you will feel it all the rest of your days.   But when you think about what you DON'T have,  try to refocus on what you DO have of him.    Would you rather that your time with him be erased from your life and your mind?  I think not,  dear sister/mother....   So,  the price of pain for having had those precious years... could never be "too much" to pay... could it?    We were blessed to have loved and been loved by our sons... and that will also be with us forever.   ----> I hope that my rambling on didn't bore you.    ^N-E-V-E-R.    How could candid sharing,   the intimacy of pain being revealed one to another and the privilege of being brought together in this wondrous cyber-communication world in which we are blessed to be living within and receiving/sharing as we are doing.   People talk so much about the ugliness and decadence proliferating in the
cyber-world - but you and I,  and many others all know that God is also using the unity and interconnection to strengthen us through each other.  
----> This is actually the first time that I've been able to talk to anyone about this...  ^I know exactly what you mean.   Many of us do.  We are bonded in our pain, and in our love,  and in our courage to share and reach out to others both for our needs and for the needs of others who are following in our footsteps through the dark valley of the shadow of death...   ----> Your website has helped me some. Thank you.   ^This is so precious and meaningful each time I realize that because Ericlived and because he also died... others who are suffering are being touched,  comforted and strengthened.   Because he lived... yes... and also,  because he died....   Tristan will touch others through you as well,  Gina.   ~  Love, warm and comforting embrace and prayers go out to you with this message.   A gift from
God and from Eric (on his birthday).... through me,  to you and your family.   I do care and hope that we will continue to be in touch as you wish or need to be...   Truly... I am.... Yours because I'm His,  Your  Gypsy,  (Nina) 

From: "Mackenzie Burton" <calliarose@msn.com
Subject: mother killers!
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 00:09:50 -0700

why is it that people like you are only concerned about the welfare of americans while they are still in the womb? you have to understand that abortion is not a form of birth control it is a medical procedure done to protect the lives of not only children, but mothers as well. you would rather have still born, or those that wish they were, is it better to lose one life or two? educate yourselfs b4 you take up a cause. nothing good comes of an ignorant activist

Date: Thursday, 20 Dec 2001 14:06:01 -0800
From: nbaker@shentel.net 
Subject: Re: mother killers! 
To: Mackenzie Burton <calliarose@msn.com

Response,

----> why is it that people like you 
^Not knowing exactly what this term means, coming from you,  I have no comment here. 

----> are only concerned about the welfare of americans while they are 
still in the womb?

^Who said this? I am concerned for all people and  particularly, for all AMERICANS - not only those in the womb.   Assumptions are usually fraught with much delusion and error,  you had nothing whatsoever to base your assumption on either.

----> you have to understand that abortion is not a form of birth control 
^I never said this either... so I'm not sure why or how you came to think that this was my opinion. Although people often use most anything for various purposes other than that which the  "thing" was designed to do, their use does not alter or necessarily even reflect the designers' intent or purpose.

----> it is a medical procedure done to protect the lives of not only 
children, but mothers as well. 

^Murder, by whatever name, does not protect, it destroys.   Have you any idea of the toll which abortion has taken upon the mothers who submitted for that procedure only to later suffer guilt and regret, and in many cases, who committed suicide in the wake of such procedures? And some are existing forms of living death bearing the guilt. Women who choose to have abortions are not only rendered `no longer pregnant'.... they become mothers of dead children.

----> you would rather have still born, or those that wish they were, 
^Mothers who give birth to stillborn are not murderers,  nor are they guilty of choosing and purchasing assassination of innocents  nestled viable in their wombs. 
^As for a child who wishes they were never born? That has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion... It has to do with experiences and how they see themselves and the world around them. That wish (to never  have been born) comes not with birth itself, but from experiences thereafter.

----> is it better to lose one life or two? 
^This has nothing to do with abortion either. No one can say or see for certain, that a therapeutic-abortion can save either life... or that the refusal of abortion will result in even one death. How many of those aborted humans would have been mothers? So the title of your message, "MOTHER KILLERS" falls heavily, in my perception of these issues, upon the shoulders of all who kill and/or, help in the killing of, those future mothers and their children who never had a chance to ~be~ or fulfill  their inherent potentials?

----> educate yourselfs b4 you take up a cause. 
            ^I am thoroughly educated about any "cause" I take up, before I act to intervene or champion a cause. It sounds as though this advise would be well used by you, yourself.

----> nothing good comes of an ignorant activist
^You are absolutely right here! Again, I suggest that you take this advise yourself before you campaign for the continuance of murdering  innocents. We will all be held accountable for our actions and inactions - each one of them. Are you ready to do that and feel capable of justifying these murders?

Because I'm His, Nina

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