A Family – Forever Changed

by: Trisha Novotny
24/7 MOMS

“This is my passion, it was what I was meant to do.” — Erin Eachus -Reed

September 29, 2005 was a day that forever changed my family – I remember vividly that early morning when my Mom who had arrived the night prior for a visit came into my room and said “Trisha, the police are at your door”.

As a mom of 5 kids I quickly took inventory of my children’s whereabouts in my head and then I thought the dog got out. Why would a police officer bring my dog back home? no idea why that was my thinking, but in the middle of the night that is what went through my head. I was not prepared for what I was about to hear when I walked down my stairs to answer the door.

I peered out my side window to see two figures standing on my porch a Police officer and what looked like one of my sister Erin’s best friends, as I opened the door I knew at that moment that I was about to receive life changing news.

As I heard the words ” There has been an accident a NW Airlift Helicopter has gone down and your sister Erin was on board”. I looked at the two figures on my porch in disbelief and said something like “no, you are wrong she was not at work, how do you know it was her on board?” not wanting to accept the now life changing news I wanted to convince them they were wrong and they should find another family to share this horrific news with.

On September 29 2005 our family lost a daughter, a sister, a aunt, a friend, a nurse, a mentor, a hero.

When a family losses a member of their team it’s like playing a baseball game without a pitcher. It doesn’t matter how many players ( siblings) we have on the field or how great our coaches (parents) are. We are no longer a complete Team, we are missing a valuable part of our Team and we have to find a way and reason to continue the game of life.

Erin lived her life with intention and passion. She taught me that “I can’t” was not to be part of my vocabulary, that life wasn’t all about ME but about others and how we needed to make a difference in the lives of others. Erin was my big sister my Hero.

Over the past five years we have all felt the loss, we have all grieved differently and looked at life through a new set of glasses, we each have different memories of Erin and how she influenced our lives. Her life and death have forever changed our family by challenging us to live as she did full of passion and intention in order to make a difference in the lives around you.

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” — Albert Schweitzer

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