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|
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