Friday, September 7, 2012

To Erik from Eric

Dear Erik,

I'm not sure if you remember me, but I last saw you at Princess Angela's wedding. I'm good friends with her and your mom and dad. Your dad and I get along especially well because we know all kinds of geeky trivia, like who Daws Butler and Paul Frees are. Great times.

I always felt a special kinship with you, for a number of reasons. You and I both have October birthdays. In fact, I was with Angela in Florida the day you were born, October 5, 2008, and I remember congratulating your dad on the phone.  

Princess Angela and Erik
The biggest kinship of all, though, is that we almost have the same name. I'm Eric too, only I spell mine with a C for cinema and you spell yours with a K - as in that kooky imagination you have. I didn't get to see you often, but I always had so much fun when I did. It was a kick (there's another K) just to listen to you come up with stuff like "roller-skating gophers." Lewis Carroll and his hookah-smoking caterpillar would have raised their eyebrows at your creations.

I most remember my two trips to visit you last year. When I arrived in February, we went to Animal Kingdom, and we were eating at Flame Tree Barbeque, a little ways from the Expedition: Everest roller coaster. Whenever we heard the train pass by and the people squeal, you piped up with "Volcano!" Never mind that the mountain had snow at the top instead of fire - every few minutes we heard WOOSH (Squeeee) "Volcano!" Come to think of it, that ride might be more fun that way, since the Yeti never works anyhow.

But even that pales in comparison  to your performances the week of Angela's wedding. I actually got to watch you a couple of times by myself. It was for only a few minutes each time, but boy, were you a challenge to keep up with. I remember you running around Legoland at Downtown Disney with me trailing after you and thinking "Oh, please don't run somewhere I can't see you!"

Sometime later your dad and I went to Islands of Adventure, where the wildest story of all happened. I was getting on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride while you guys waited for me. I had a little trouble getting on, and the Uni team member there said "Your dad will meet you at the end."

*CHOKE* My dad? You mean Tim, the guy who is only a year and change older than me? I may look young, but I'm not that young! I guess you can't see all these white hairs on my head in the dark.

But you unwittingly gave that a positive spin because that made you, for a short time, my "brother." While your dad was on the Spider-Man ride, I remember taking you by the hand and leading you to the store where they sell all sorts of wall-crawler things. How did I keep you from running off? By taking you to the toys that flashed and made lots of noise!  It was great to get a chance to play "big brother" again after my much younger siblings had grown up.

You were always a rambunctious guy, and I remember Princess Angela wondering how you would fare at the wedding. So what do you do but steal the show by ... completely passing out. I'll never forget that "aaaw" from the audience.

But I have one other wedding memory with you and Angela. The day before, at the rehearsal dinner, they showed a video that had Angela in it, and you exclaimed, "That's Angela! She's over there! This is a good movie!"

Now that's my kinda kid - a budding little critic.  And I couldn't have agreed more.

I wish I could have taken you to a movie sometime and gotten to know you better, but I'll always be grateful for the time I had with you. Thanks for everything, Erik, and I'll see you again someday. Until then, Godspeed, little friend.

Oh,  I'm told you know a  place called "pancake city." Do me a favor? Save me a plate for when I get there. I like mine with cinnamon. 

Eric - with a C.

Erik William McKenny ~ October 5, 2008 - September 5, 2012


  1. Eric, that was absolutely beautiful. Thank you.


  2. Eric,

    I never got the honor of meeting Erik personally, but nonetheless, I felt like I knew him through you, Son. I kept praying for him to pull through. As a parent who suffered the loss of our first child midway through your mother's pregnancy, and almost losing you, I can only imagine the pain Tim and Dianna are enduring now after four years of sharing their life with Erik, but my heart goes out to them and I continue to pray for their strength in perseverance and some comfort in their devastating loss.

    I read your tribute this morning and could perceive a level of compassion that was palatable while at the same time being highly sensitive to the pain his loved ones were now feeling. My own reaction was a sense of losing someone close with an accompanying emotional release of more than a few tears. Good thing I had my lens tissues to wipe away the salty moisture from my glasses and my android. If only there was something as effective at wiping away the pain. The best we can do in these moments is to share that pain and have gratitude for the tremendous joy and the blessings our children give us.


  3. What a wonderful tribute to Erik.
    ~Sister of his Grandpa Craig

  4. I'm a little late to reading this but this made me cry. I never got to meet Erik but from what I see from Tim online and this reading and everyone who did know him...he was so loved and cared for. I only wish he could be here now with hos family. I think he and Lydia would have been great friends and even greater siblings.