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Source: (consider it) Thread: Family and friends
Simon

Editor
# 1

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One of Erin's friends from Florida, Katie, has emailed with a message for us. If any other real-life friends are reading this board and want to send messages, please just email me at simon@shipoffools.com and I'll post them here. Thanks.

Katie's message:

With regard to the passing of Erin Etheridge of Florida, I wish to thank you all in the SoF community forum for such love and honor to my old friend, Erin. She was, among being a no bullshit kind of girl, absolutely brilliant. I'll bet few, if any, knew she made a perfect score on her college boards. I hope Christ is a Gator fan because there'll be hell to pay if not. Carry on and honor Erin. Best, K

[ 11. January 2011, 23:42: Message edited by: Simon ]

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Eternal memory

Posts: 3787 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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Thanks for that, Katie. It's comforting to know that Erin had real-life friends who really "got her". I envy you that you got to laugh with her. I can only imagine...

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

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Simon

Editor
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A message just in from another friend, Jo-Anne:

Hi Simon,

I worked with Erin and she was also a friend. I am so glad that Jason sent you a note. I still can't believe she is gone. Well let me know if you are coming to Jacksonville. I would like to meet you. Erin was very passionate about ship of fools. Take care. Jo

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Eternal memory

Posts: 3787 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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Thanks Simon. I thought I was somewhat over this, but posting tributes from RL friends as well has set me off again.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Rowen
Shipmate
# 1194

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Me too. The tears welled again...

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"May I live this day… compassionate of heart" (John O’Donoghue)...

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Ye Olde Motherboarde
Ship's Mother and Singing Quilter
# 54

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I met both Joanne and Katie today and they are just as sweet as can be.

Firstly, I asked Joanne, if she were the same one Erin and I had trouble with. She wasn't! [Snigger]

Katie corroborated a story that was told about a slumber party.
One night, Erin, Katie and girlfriends had a slumber party. Some how guys from school found out about it and decided to crash the party. So, they parked their trucks down the road, and start sneaking up the road to Erin's house.
The girls are having a great time, making a mess with the chips and food, so Dad decides to take a broom and clean out the house mess onto the porch. AT THE SAME TIME that the boys are sneaking up to the house. Now, in the dark, all they see is a big man with what looks like a rifle in his hand. The boys freak out! and one says "he has a gun!", and they start running as fast as their legs can carry them to their trucks.
Next day, at school the story comes out, and the boys find out that they ran from a BROOM!
The story brought such laughs at the wedding and the family are still talking about it. Now you all know it. [Biased]

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In Memory of Miss Molly, TimC, Gambit, KenWritez, koheleth, Leetle Masha, JLG, Genevieve, Erin, RuthW2, deuce2, Sidi and TonyCoxon, unbeliever, Morlader, Ken :tear: 20 years but who’s counting?..................

Posts: 4292 | From: Looking for more trouble to get into | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon

Editor
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This morning we've received this message from Erin's father:

My name is Gil Etheredge and I am Erin Melissa Etheredge's father. Needless to say, I am now experiencing the worse time of my life and I pray to God, daily, that I wake up from this nightmare and my first born, Erin, is calling me on the phone to remind me that the Gators have won their post-season bowl game and then ask me how did the Bulldogs (Univ. of Georgia) do in theirs. But that hasn't happened and I must deal with her passing and it ain't easy! My grief has been eased significantly by the support of her sister, Mandi, and the tremendous sturdiness of my son and Erin's younger brother, Jason.

I first logged on to Ship of Fools some years past when I first learned of Erin's affiliation and I decided that this was not the approach to Christianity that I wanted to pursue. Until this past week, I've purposively avoided the Ship. However, and notwithstanding our differences, I have been extremely touched not only by the mere number of people who knew of Erin through her affiliation with the Ship, but by the very comforting words of sympathy and adoration your readers have expressed for Erin. Indeed, Erin will be greatly missed by every member of her family and her friends, which now I have learned are so many and so caring. As we are all children of God, I pray that He bless you all and I thank you for your most sincere and poignant condolences.

Today we had her memorial service and the amount of love and caring that was demonstrated by those in attendance was overwhelming. Her coworkers, her friends from the Ship, relatives and family friends were so full of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and I'll be forever grateful for their attendance and expressions of love and respect they gave. Thank you God for the experience we had with Erin, albeit too short, and thank you God that You are there to give her a place in heaven.

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Eternal memory

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jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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Mr Etheredge, it is so kind of you to take the time, in the midst of your grief, to send such a wonderful message to us here on the Ship. I think we all now have an idea of where Erin got her loving kindness from.

Thank you for sharing her with us. May God grant you peace as you deal with your loss.

Jennifer

Posts: 17391 | From: Just a Town, New Hampshire, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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Considering the Broom Incident, it's also clear from whom she inherited her creative use of perfectly innocent tools to Create Abject Terror. [Tear]

God bless you, Mr. E, and thank you and the family so much for sharing Erin with us.

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely message, Mr. Etheridge.

Many prayers for you and your family.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Barnabas62
Shipmate
# 9110

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How wonderful and how humbling that Erin's dad, in the midst of his grief, could be thoughtful enough to send such a gracious message at this time.

[Votive]

[ 08. January 2011, 16:17: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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QLib

Bad Example
# 43

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Gracious and straight-talking in one post. Awesome.

[Votive] Prayers for strength and consolation. [Votive]

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Tradition is the handing down of the flame, not the worship of the ashes Gustav Mahler.

Posts: 8913 | From: Page 28 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Viola
Administrator
# 20

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quote:
Originally posted by QLib:
Gracious and straight-talking in one post. Awesome.

Like father like daughter eh?

Thank you so much for your message Mr Etheredge. I'm relieved that we sent the nice shipmates to the service!

Keeping you and all your family in mind at this very sad time.

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"If ye love me, keep my commandments" John 14:15

"Commandment number one: shut the hell up." Erin Etheredge 1971-2010

Posts: 4345 | From: West of England | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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I hadn't cried until now. That did it.

Where's a crying loveheart smiley when you need it?

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

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well, I'm crying again when I thought that particular spring was tapped out.

Thank you, Mr. Etheredge.

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Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

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Wesley J

Silly Shipmate
# 6075

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Thank you, Sir.

God bless and comfort you and yours, more than we could ever comprehend.

[Votive]

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Be it as it may: Wesley J will stay. --- Euthanasia, that sounds good. An alpine neutral neighbourhood. Then back to Britain, all dressed in wood. Things were gonna get worse. (John Cooper Clarke)

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Japes

Shipmate
# 5358

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Thank you, Mr Etheredge.

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Blog may or may not be of any interest.

Posts: 2013 | From: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rowen
Shipmate
# 1194

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Dear Mr Etheridge, Thankyou for you kind words to us.
Your note made me cry again...
I honour your daughter, and will keep you all in my prayers.

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"May I live this day… compassionate of heart" (John O’Donoghue)...

Posts: 4897 | From: Somewhere cold in Victoria, Australia | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ags

Knocked up
# 204

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Thank you, Sir. May you and those you love know the peace and comfort of Christ.

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I think that we are most ourselves at our best, because that is what God intended us to be. The us we really like, the us that others love to be with. Moth

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Qoheleth.

Semi-Sagacious One
# 9265

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Thank you, Sir. Praying for you and for all whose lives were touched by Erin in real life. Important to us, the Ship was only a small part of her life.

[Votive]

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The Benedictine Community at Alton Abbey offers a friendly, personal service for the exclusive supply of Rosa Mystica incense.

Posts: 2532 | From: the radiator of life | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
jedijudy

Organist of the Jedi Temple
# 333

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Thank you for your comments, Mr. Etheredge. I'm so sorry I wasn't able to talk with you at the memorial service. I pray for God's comfort for you and your family and friends. [Votive]

OK, there go the tears again.

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Jasmine, little cat with a big heart.

Posts: 18017 | From: 'Twixt the 'Glades and the Gulf | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anna B
Shipmate
# 1439

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Mr. Etheredge, thank you so much for your kind words. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May the love of our Lord Jesus Christ comfort you.

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Bad Christian (TM)

Posts: 3069 | From: near a lot of fish | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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I thought I was cried out.

Thank you, Mr. Etheredge. You and your family remain in my prayers.

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I'm not dead yet.

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dolphy

Lady of Perpetual Responsiblity
# 862

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Adding my thanks to Mr Etheredge and the family.

[Votive]

[ 11. January 2011, 15:58: Message edited by: dolphy ]

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Looking forward to my rock moving closer again.

Posts: 15134 | From: my camper van | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ancient Mariner

Sip the ship
# 4

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Thankyou Mr E. Hearing such touching words from you (Erin had a father!) brings something of an holistic closure to a sad time for us all. My own God-fearing mum (no longer with us) and dad have never understood the ship but supported me in its outworking, nonetheless.

Be assured of our prayers for you and your family at this time.

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Ship of Fools' first novel, Rattles & Rosettes, is the tale of two football (soccer) fans: 16-year-old Tom in 1914 and Dan in 2010. More at www.rattlesandrosettes.com

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Simon

Editor
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This just in from Katie, Erin's friend...

The service was nice. It was very... Anglican, if you know what I mean. I am personally jaded when it comes to funerals. I think they should express/reflect the life and style of the person grieved for. Maybe Erin was the High Holy service kind of person but if she was, that wasn't the Erin I used to know. However, in this case, it was obviously FOR the family and that I cannot disrespect. Yes, I'm the kind of person who thinks that caskets in the shape of books or cars or surfboards (while totally gauche) is kind of cool.

The highlight was meeting people from Ship of Fools. I was amazed that people just dropped everything and flew to Jacksonville. What love! I spoke with one person with whom I discussed my internal debate over revealing parts of Erin that she would never have exposed, herself, and I was encouraged to just spill it. While that sounds fun, I'm worried that since it has been so long since I really spent time with Erin that the things I remember aren't the Erin she was as a fully fledged adult.

I mean, do people really want to know she was a ridiculously embarrassing Andrew Lloyd Webber fan? That she made me see Aspects of Love (awful!) AND bought me a copy of the book for Christmas one year? Oh, God, and Starlight Express! It made me put away my roller skates for years! Of course, Cats and Phantom... I think after she saw Phantom at Her Majesty's Theatre in London during a high school trip she would have driven a stake through Sarah Brightman's heart to get to ALW. The only thing that made me question her taste more was her love for Disney theme parks and movies.

Erin was a reader. She read everything... fiction, history, science, sports stories, science fiction. Over the years I would read things and think, "Erin would dig this," namely the awesome works by Mary Doria Russell (you MUST read her!! The Sparrow and Children of God are mind changing) and the funny irreverent works of Mary Roach. She was a Calvin and Hobbes fan... the cartoon, not the philosophers; however, she was more Hobbesian than Calvinistic FOR SURE.

She turned me on to the boring wonders of American baseball. We both held secret competing crushes on Steve Avery, the youngest major league pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. I secretly (secretly from Erin, of course) became a Yankees fan. The only thing that kept me from calling her from the World Series games in New York in 2000, when the Yankees beat the Braves, wasn't a sense of propriety but I was too drunk to remember her phone number.

Erin took me on my first visit to the Kennedy Space Center to listen to some geek talk about the Mars Polar Lander and Rover way back in 1993 (yawn!). We took my young son and looked at all of the historical remnants of US space exploration, held moon rocks and ran our fingers through moon dust. When the Polar Lander, fully realized and launched, vanished on touchdown in 1999, I could hear Erin's frustrated groan in my head, even though we'd been out of touch for a bit prior to that. And I would have given anything to have Erin's take on accusations that the moon landing of 1969 was a fraud.

It is no secret that diversity makes people interesting. Diversity of culture and of mind. Erin's mind was as vast and complex as the Milky Way. Her interests developed into computers and, a bit surprising to me, religion. I was the one who went off for a degree in Religion and I found it an almost sure fire shot into cynical agnosticism. Erin, it seems, was more heartfelt regardless of her own finely tuned cynicism.

I wrote a story for Mandy about Erin which is, above all of the things that I'll never forget about Erin, the one that clinches the deal. I, being a harlot in our Catholic high school, got knocked up and brought my baby son to graduation with me in 1989. When he was 3, Erin was over for dinner one night like she was regularly after she came home from college at the University of Florida in Gainesville. We'd been to the beach earlier and entertained the dog and kid while the sun was going down. I can recall details because we had taken a roll of film at the beach that evening.

Back at my house, we were preparing to eat and Erin went into the living room to tell my son that it was time to wash up for dinner. She came back to the kitchen, completely coming apart with hysterics. It seems she'd walked into the living room and my 40 pound bundle of raw masculinity was prone on the couch, in his underwear, watching the Little Mermaid (Disney, of course) with the top of his hand tucked into the waistband. Without even looking up, he'd told Erin that he'd have his dinner in there, on the couch.

She said that she'd never question the nature vs. nurture argument ever again. Nature had won because she knew that no son of mine (with a completely absent father) would ever presume such ridiculously sexist behavior, that it must be completely ingrained in their DNA to behave like that.

And now, she is moon dust.

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Eternal memory

Posts: 3787 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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And stardust... Thank you, thank you, Katie. [Tear]

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

Posts: 13788 | From: Below the Bible Belt | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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Katie is exactly the kind of friend that I imagined Erin would have- loving and quirky.

Thank you for sharing those moments.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

Posts: 21377 | From: CA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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That note is a gem. As is Katie, it seems. [Big Grin]

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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Katie! You absolute treasure, you.

Thank you.

Posts: 15274 | From: Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

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Ah Katie - I can relate. Sons! what can you do. (I was the high school harlot too)

I'm glad Erin had you. I'm glad you had her. and you still have her, you know. it's just a little different now.

and you've got us. should you ever need us.

--------------------
Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17024 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
basso

Ship’s Crypt Keeper
# 4228

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Katie, thank you for that note. It's just ... so Erin.

I think you were lucky to have known each other.

Posts: 4358 | From: Bay Area, Calif | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lynn MagdalenCollege
Shipmate
# 10651

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with much gratitude to Katie and to Mr. Etheredge for sharing their Erin with us-- vaster than empires, and more slow. A single human life contains so much complexity and contradiction; it gives me great pleasure to think of Erin reading Mary Doria Russell and loving ALW (I'm more of a Sondheim fan, myself, but Phantom paid a lot of bills during its run in Los Angeles). Thank you for allowing us to see little glimpses of Erin that were sheltered from the Ship.

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Erin & Friend; Been there, done that; Ruth musical

Posts: 6263 | From: California | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Niteowl

Hopeless Insomniac
# 15841

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Thank you Katie for this wonderful description of your friendship with Erin.

And yes, boys are definitely a different species...

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"love all, trust few, do wrong to no one"
Wm. Shakespeare

Posts: 2437 | From: U.S. | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged
Simon

Editor
# 1

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Another message from Katie...

I spoke with Erin's mother this morning. Her computer is out of order right now. She asked me to please thank you and the entire community of Ship of Fools for so wonderful an outpouring of sympathy. She's deeply touched and overwhelmed with how much Erin was esteemed.

And with regard to where she got her no bullshit kind of demeanor, it was definitely a familial trait. Her parents are exactly the same.

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Eternal memory

Posts: 3787 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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God Bless, Mom Etheridge!

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Geneviève

Mother-Hatting Cat Lover
# 9098

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quote:
Originally posted by Simon:
Another message from Katie...

And with regard to where she got her no bullshit kind of demeanor, it was definitely a familial trait. Her parents are exactly the same.

Ah, as we say in the South, "She came by it honestly."
Posts: 4336 | From: Eastern US | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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She was a Shippie off the ol' crocs?

I wonder how she'd react to a whole segment of the Boards being devoted just to her...

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

Posts: 13788 | From: Below the Bible Belt | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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I am just so glad that Erin's family and friends are finding the time in their grief to read our posts on the Ship and discover how much she meant to us. Much less make the effort to send us messages.

I truly can't imagine the huge hole she has left in those who had her as daughter, sister, auntie, friend.

Posts: 17391 | From: Just a Town, New Hampshire, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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It is impossible to put into words the effect that such a cult of personality called Erin had on my life. And I appreciate the notes from her friends and family in this thread. I am praying especially for her family in coping with earth's loss, heaven's gain, of Erin. [Votive]

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♬♭ We're setting sail to the place on the map from which nobody has ever returned ♫♪♮
Ship of Fools-World Party

Posts: 11197 | From: Do you know the way? | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged


 
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