Please understand that I’m not here to paint a bad picture of my daughter. I’m sharing ALL things and memories that I’ve got locked up inside my heart, mind and spirit. If this makes you uncomfortable, then I’m sorry. This is MINE and ERICA’S reality. It’s what life is all about. I would have given my own life in place of a better one for her.
When my father passed away, she made a CD for me with music on it. It’s very hard for me to listen to, but one song that really speaks to me is; ‘Mike and the Mechanics’ – “The Living Years”.
I’ve finally accepted the unacceptable. This picture of Erica. It’s every mothers’ worst dream/nightmare. To force myself to accept the lifestyle that she had succumed to. I always felt in my spirit that she had demons that she couldn’t control. She wanted so much with all of her heart, soul and strength to be “somebody”. To make a difference.
Her intelligence got her into UC DAVIS. With scholarships and financial aid. There, she was determined to be a Psychiatrist. Not just any Psychiatrist. She wanted to study people like Jeffrey Dalmer, etc. As she was taking her classes, she would call me later (or call me on her way home) to tell me about what she learned that day. She sent me links to the lectures that inspired her so much. She wanted this second to wanting Braden. More than anything else in her life to date. But…that wasn’t to be. Unfortunately, she was incapable of juggling college, being a single parent, and raising Braden at the same time. I had no idea she was drowning. She wouldn’t talk about it. She would have felt like a failure. Her ego wouldn’t allow it. She didn’t want to admit that she was unable to do both. Whenever I spoke with her, she always embellished her life. Considering I was 10 hours away, I had no way of knowing any different.
When God took her home, we discovered how the demons that she had been fighting all of her life had won. She had been living a life that she herself would have NEVER wanted for herself OR her son. She had a man who had moved her into the apt. she was living in. He was paying her rent and all of her bills. She was “making money” for him. My grandson was subjected to this lifestyle. She was leaving him home alone at night. She was trying desperately to break ties with this man who was “keeping her”. She wanted her life back. But, she didn’t do it in a productive, positive way. I discovered that she was making plans to move to Australia just to “get away”. It became her demise.
A police officer warned me about the conditions of her apt. prior to entering. It was in the worst condition possible. Had she called 911 when she was in the process of her heart attack, my grandson would have been placed in protective custody while she got psyciatric help. I learned all of this AFTER the fact. I believe that God kept me from her life. I believe that because His perfect will had to be done. I would have gotten in the way and tried to “fix things” myself. If you think for even one minute that you would never allow this to happen to you and/or your child, be careful! Please don’t test God that way! I learned (the hard way) that in all ways that I’ve judged, criticized and condemned others….I’ve experienced the same and worse. When the scriptures say;
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
This picture of her is in the corner just outside the front door of her apt. in Santa Clara, Ca where she and her son lived. She had sunk so low that she allowed these pictures to be taken. On August 19, 2012. Just 11 days prior to her death. There were several others, but this one speaks a thousand words.
God saved my grandson. Nobody will ever convince me otherwise. He couldn’t save Erica from herself, but He IS in control of the babies.
This wasn’t the life she wanted. For herself or her son.
What do I see here? I see my beautiful daughter who I gave birth to, loved, raised, taught, laughed and cried with, coached as she gave birth to my grandson. I see a beautiful soul who didn’t stand a chance in this earthly life. This picture is just a shell of who she really was.
When she was only 7 years old, I convinced the school district to test her. I knew since she was born that she was highly intelligent. She taught herself to read at 3 years old. She taught herself to tie her own shoes. She read books from a very young age that college students would struggle with. She didn’t even have to look the meaning of words up….she just knew them. She would use that language in everyday talking. It turned out that her IQ was 142. That was a bittersweet moment when I found that out. What do I do with a child like this? There was nothing I could do. I tried. But, living in a town like ‘Central Valley’, California, there weren’t options. I had no money to relocate. I was on AFDC and barely making ends meet. Poverty should NEVER play a role in a childs’ education…or their future! I always told every one of my kids that they could be whatever they set their minds to being. They knew from the moment they were born that I didn’t have the money to send them to college, but they could live at home and we would support them as much as we could as long as they went to school. We wanted for our children what we didn’t have.
I would like to tell Erica, Bryan and Lindsay that I’m sorry. I would like to apologize for their sufferings due to my ignorance. Is that appropriate? Is it even my fault? The title of this blog is Psalms 139, and there’s a reason for that;
God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience.
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.
3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
5 You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit ? Or where can I flee from Your presence ?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
God took Erica into the “everlasting way.” This world was too much for her. He knew her heart. He knew that when she was just a teenager, she gave her life to Him. He protected her the ONLY way she could be protected. He protected her son in the same way.
I’m finally able to have closure in her death. I still grieve. I still want her here. I want to talk to her. I want to hear her voice. I want HOPE for her. God says in His word; Jeremiah 29:11;
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope….Jeremiah 29:11
Not always does this mean that our future of a life of hope and prosperity will be in an earthly manner. Some of us will have this future in Heaven.
One day I will be with Erica. I will see the life that she should have lived on this earth, and share it with her. My future is in heaven. I cling to that. For now, I will live out my days and try to do what God wants of me.