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All or Nothing




From the time Erika was old enough to understand she knew that the only way to do anything was to give more than her best.  She learned to read at the age of three. She was always on the honor roll at school. I guess I never really treated her like a little girl. She was always my best friend.

She rarely made decisions without talking it over with me first. Even when I didn’t agree with her decisions I respected her right to make them. I knew that in order for her to grow it was important that I teach her how to make decisions and not make decision for her. She often remarked that I was too hard on her while I spoiled her brother. I taught her the finer details of shopping, balancing a checkbook and managing a household when she was just twelve years of age. I always carried my life around in a big ugly green book. She carried a brown one with her life in it until her journey ended. The three of us were a corporation. Patrick, her brother and now the only survivor of my immediate family, always kept us from taking things too seriously with his way of making us laugh.

When Erika was diagnosed with Aggressive, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March of ’99, she had, only a month earlier, announced her pregnancy. Not only was she a full time employee, a full time wife and mother, a part-time student at the University of MD, but she also attended Christian meetings, engaging regularly in the ministry telling others of her hope. It was always all or nothing for her.

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