Hi everyone. This is Jim's youngest grand-daughter, Christi.
I know that I have posted various replies, putting in my two bits about grandpa on different threads, but tonight I want to make a special thread to simply say 'thank you' to everyone.
Thank you to all of you who have posted your thoughts, stories, and prayers about grandpa. Your words have meant more than any words of my own could express. They have brought comfort to our whole family in the worst of times. I printed out almost all of the postings in the first week or so, so that the family could read them while they were sitting around and I separated them out according to the different threads. If we needed a laugh, we looked at the "tales of jim erickson" pile. If we needed a good cry, we looked at the huge stack of "erickson missing". And if we needed to know that someone bigger than all of this was looking out for [even] him, we went to the pile of "prayers for jim erickson". So to all of you who took the time [whether it be hours, days, or minutes] to write something that you found important enough to be said, thank you so much.
Thank you to Jennie and Bill. Thanks, not only for helping out with this site, but also for being there for grandpa throughout the years. He really needed you guys if you think about it. Whenever he needed someone to talk to, you had an open phone line and an empty chair ready and waiting just for him. So thank you for all of your friendship and down-right dedication to the man that we all grew to love.
Thank you to all that were able to attend the memorial service. Looking out from that stage and seeing all of you [and also knowing that the downstairs and outside were packed] with loving and caring eyes and hearts was so overwhelming, I couldn't even cry at that moment. The feeling of warmth and love that poured over me and the other grandkids was so amazing. It was just what we needed that day. Thank you for being there to help us honor the most ambitious, talented, extreme, loving man that I will ever have the pleasure and luck of knowing.
Thank you also, to all of you that were unable to attend [including the people that got up to the doors of the church and had to leave because it was "sold out"]. Some of you stayed and stood outside the whole entire time and a special thanks and 'way-to-go' from us to all of you guys, but some of you simply had to leave all together. Our deepest appologies to you, but the thought was there and we appreciate it more than words can say.
Now that all my 'thank-you's' are over and done with, I would like to say a few words about the man that I will surely never forget.
I will never forget the way he:
*smiled with his broken teeth.
*always talked highly of his family.
*was content with what he had.
*cried at his 50th wedding anniversary. [tears of joy of course.
*fascinated me with his never-ending knowledge of the sport that he loved.
*never missed a day of good river or ocean.
*was fearless about everything in life.
*loved with all the love in the world.
*laughed with his whole upper body.
*was never too proud to ask for help.
*always had some piece of good advice about everything.
*so greatly impacted the person I have grown to be today as well as every person that "had the pleasure of knowing him."
His legacy lives on in me and I will be sure to take his advice and always look for the leasons that are to be learned in every experience in life. [*uh oh. here come the tears*]
**thank you grandpa for every non-material thing you gave me. I will use them to the best of my ability for the rest of my life. **
the legend lives on always,
p.s. thank you to my family [especially my dad] for all the opportunities you gave me to be with grandpa and for being there for me when i broke down about all of this. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I L0VE Y0U ALL!
p.s.s. I also love all of the people on ifish dearly. You mean the world to us and you meant the world to Jim as well.