Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 54 Epilogue

I started this journey alone in a lonely place, traveling unescorted through the circles of Hell. This memorial ride was not only a tribute to the glorious man I was blessed to call my son, but also a desperate attempt to sustain my sanity. I hoped to restore meaning and harmony to my life. During the two months of cycling, I have tested my physical limits, experienced much introspection, searched for the presence of my God, advocated for mindful driving, and embraced both friends and strangers.

I have shared my story innumerable times, and some modicum of good has resulted. But I bleed each time I relive Eric's senseless, mindless killing. The compassion of both strangers and friends has fortified me, I am grateful for the warmth of the human family, which reminds me to be cognizant and appreciative of the many blessings I have in my life. Clearly, I am not alone.

But I conclude this travel unrestored. My God has remained silent and elusive. Completing good works will not adjudicate Eric's killing. There can be no happy ending to this story. As the many hundreds of roadside memorials stand testament, there can never be harmony after the loss of a child.

Some injuries heal completely without residual or scar. Others heal without residual, but leave a disfiguring scar as a reminder. A few injuries aren't fatal, but linger and smolder,never to resolve completely. One must learn to live with them and not to be dominated by them. My challenge is to learn the live with this injury, but not become the injury.

Last night Eric appeared to me in a dream. Smiling, he ran up to me and then past me, neither responding to my entreaties nor looking back. He was happy and carefree. As Eric moved forward, so must I. I must strive to be a person with the compassion, acceptance, actions, and character that my children would be proud to call their father. I lack both the resilience and fortitude for the task, but cannot concede the struggle.

I want to thank all of you who shared this journey with me. Your support has helped me more than I can tell you. I look forward to sharing your comradary and fellowship as we address life's future challenges. With that, I conclude my blog.


  1. You understand your challenge well. Your injury will never be gone, because Eric can not come back to us. But, as you said, you must move forward. Your family and all of Eric's friends must move forward, but what you all know is that each moment with each other is to be cherished and we can all strive for those characteristics you described and demonstrated to us on your journey. Although I have never met you, I feel I know you somewhat and I want you to know that I am proud of you and I believe your son would be extremely proud of you, as well. Thank-you for sharing with us a wonderful glimpse of who your son was and how we are all connected in this world. All my best, Paula

  2. You have shown your love for Eric in a tangible way.His passing is unwanted,unwelcome,and uninvited.My hope for you is that God will touch your heart and help you understand how you now are uniquily equipped to help others.There is know way to trivalize the sorrow and suffering.But even in grieving your loss we can remain confident of Gods wisdom,power,and most all His love.If we put our trust in Him then Eric's passing is not a period but a comma.Let us hope that the results of his passing, benefit our perspective towards our Heavenly Father.He has a place in His heart for all that answer His knock.We love you Dr Bob!

  3. Dr are the man that Eric was proud to call father...and during this journey to honor him, you gave the rest of us who tagged along a look into you're heart that holds him close. Now rest ... it is well deserved! Thank you for a wonderful gift.

  4. Bob,

    This has been an extraordinary trip and a moving tribute to Eric. We are so sorry for all you've been through. From what we read in The Occidental, he was an exceptional young man who made the world better while he was in it. And how could this have been otherwise given who you are.

    With sympathy and admiration,
    Lynn Holland
    Occidental '77