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Miracles of Erin

Like every birth, Erin’s was a miracle - angelic face, delicate fingers. Little did we know how many miracles she would bring to us- both in life and in death.

As Erin failed to reach the “normal” milestones, we went to many specialists trying to “fix” her. One day as I was crying about everything that she wasn’t doing, she looked up at me and laughed and laughed. As my friend said – “she’s pretty terrific the way she is”. The first of many lessons learned from Erin.

At public school, she was a leader in “inclusion”. What can a child that doesn’t walk or talk do in the class? The kids knew – if you asked them. And by listening to them, they were empowered to know that everybody belongs. Because she was so vulnerable, they could let their “masks” down and she could touch their hearts. Erin had begun her miracles.

Erin loved the water, being in it, watching it. Trips to the aquarium brought all the fish over to her wheelchair as they shared silent communication. “A mermaid in another life,” I always said. When she was 21 she moved into her own home across the street with roommates and neighbors as her care giving “team” in a house with fish tanks and waterfalls. We saw over and over again the “magic” she wove among those that knew her and the community created around her.

Doctors said she wouldn’t live much beyond 14. Every birthday was a celebration of another year. Each surgery and hospitalization survival yielded more appreciation of every day. Erin continued to smile.

July 2010, at age 31, it finally caught up with her. The night she died a yellow butterfly fluttered outside her window. The next days we held a vigil while dozens of butterflies clustered out in the yard. At her celebration of life, hundreds came to speak about this one who had come into the world so vulnerable and yet so strong, who had touched their hearts and changed their lives.

A month later, I took to the ocean 2 locks of Erin’s hair. Before casting them into the sea, they formed a perfect heart in my hand. Releasing them into the water, I turned around and suddenly noticed an empty wheelchair on the beach. Turning back to the sea, 4 dolphins appeared leaping in a circle as if in joy. Erin had come home.

Comments

jadefrank's picture

The miracle of Erin

Dearest Cynda,

Erin's life continues to inspire. While I did not have the joy of meeting Erin in person, I have had the joy of witnessing her beautiful world in Colorado. And reading here on PulseWire, about her miracle of life, of the butterflies that celebrated her spirit, and the dolphins who honored her love for water, of her ability to break down barriers and allow those around her to be vulnerable, open, and joyful, is an honor. Thank you Cynda for sharing Erin, your miracle, with us. And thank you Erin for teaching us that we are perfect just the way we are.

Love,
Jade

Cynda's picture

Thank you Jade - yes Erin

Thank you Jade - yes Erin taught us all so much and I am so grateful.
with appreciation,
Cynda

Darcey's picture

thank you

That is really beautiful. I am glad that you wrote that on here, and it is amazing how the world around can celebrate a life that touches others. I am sorry for your loss, but happy for the joy that must be in your heart of having loved, and loving her.
thank you for sharing this,
Darcey

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
— John Lennon

Cynda's picture

thank you Darcy - I am so

thank you Darcy - I am so touched by the caring of so many. - Cynda

Carol Guerrero-Murphy's picture

joy and surprise

Dear Cynda, My women's studies students and I were discussing the article in Moonrise about the founding of World Pulse, and I put up pulsewire for them to see and lo, there you were and there was your beautiful story. Of course, they know you are coming to speak about women's leadership, and when I said, my goodness, oh my goodness, it's Cynda! and as they learned a bit of your life's story involving Erin, we all felt deeply connected to miracles. It is wonderful to see your essay there and to hear Erin's lessons continue. Love,Carol

Cynda's picture

joy and surprise is good!

Thanks Carol - it all flows together. Looking forward to coming to Adams State.

Celine's picture

Thank you Cynda

Thank you Cynda for sharing the life of Erin. She lived far beyond age 14, that is significant and sign of Miracle, which she lived out. She left footprints with the sands of her time. In the eyes of human, she was vulnerable but to the Creator, she was a fulfillment of joy of creation.

Celine
Divine Foundation for Disabled Persons

Cynda's picture

connecting

Hi Celine,
Thank you so much for your kind comments. Yes - Erin was a miracle and gave us so much. Life is hard without her but she is present in everything we do.
I spent some time reading your postings and I love the work you are doing. Were you able to get the funding to go to PWESCR’s Leadership Institute in Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? Are you going to the 2nd part in June? Erin had some money left over in her account which I am using to help other people with disabilities. Let me know if I can help out.
Cynda

olutosin's picture

Thanks for sharing

It seems as if I knew Erin, yet I never set my eyes on her, you brought everthing back to life in this short piece. Thanks.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Cynda's picture

and thank you for your comments!

It's amazing how many lives Erin touched while she was here and continues to touch now through World Pulse. I am new to using World Pulse and have been so touched by the comments of others.
I am so impressed by your story and the work you are doing. I will be going to this conference in May with the Nobel Women, http://yfa.awid.org/2010/12/call-for-participants-conference-with-nobel-...

olutosin's picture

Great

I would have loved to attend too but I am running a year programme on Transformation in Cape Town presently. I will return to Cape Town in April till June ending. We will meet soon.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

juliapp's picture

Erin's story is beautiful.

Erin's story is beautiful. She brought humanity and specialness to the world. I honor Erin.

Cynda's picture

thank you - it's been

thank you - it's been wonderful to spread her story and share her love with the World Pulse community.- Cynda

Dear Cynda and Erin,

Thank you for reminding us of what is important in life: to love unconditionally and fully, be accepting of oneself and others, celebrate our imperfections as touchstone of humanity which is where grace and beauty exists and the enduring power of love is magical and for eternity!

Erin's story and spirit inspires so many people in such a profound way. Her beautiful butterfly spirit exists now in each of us, it is her gift to the world and we are so grateful.

With deep gratitude and love,

Linda Ando

With Gratitude,

Linda M. Ando

Cynda's picture

Thank you LInda - Your

Thank you LInda - Your language and your song is beautiful. We find butterflies everywhere- recently on a retreat in CA I unexpectedly came across a winter-over place for the monarch butterfly migration. What an amazing experience to sit amongst dozens and dozens of butterflies. Erin's spirit is everywhere. - in appreciation - Cynda

Linda M. Ando's picture

Butterfly Love and Beauty.....

Dear Cynda,

I believe our spirits are reflected in animals, nature and other living things. It is no surprise to hear Erin's spirit is embodied in the Butterfly, symbolic in the journey of transformation and freedom to Be. Butterflies are angels with wings and bring such wonder of beauty, grace and magic when we are lucky enough to be in their presence.

My mother believes her parents, my grandparents are embodied in "dragonflies" and they return every spring in our garden. I love knowing this as it fills my heart and spirit immensely.

If you ever visit Seattle, please let me know as I would love to meet you. There is a Tropical Butterfly House Exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, near the Space Needle. I believe they have over 500 tropical butterflies in a tropical landscape of trees.

Pacific Science Center's Tropical Butterfly House: http://www.pacsci.org/butterflies/

I send you and Erin a heartfelt hug and butterfly kisses from the heart, where we carry loved ones forever!

linda

With Gratitude,

Linda M. Ando

Cynda's picture

thank you with much love

thank you with much love

ccontreras's picture

Beautiful!

This is a great miracle, thank you so much for sharing. I feel so touched by this story! :-) She has touched one more live! (mine)

"I embrace emerging experience. I am a butterfly. Not a butterfly collector." - Stafford

Cynda's picture

Beautiful quote! Thank you

Beautiful quote! Thank you so much for responding to Erin's story. My heart if full of gratitude - Cynda

olakitike's picture

I am touched deeply by your

I am touched deeply by your story. Erin's life was indeed a miracle, not just because she lived longer than medical science expected her to but because she touched the lives of those around her.
Thank you for sharing.

Cynda's picture

and thank you for commenting.

and thank you for commenting. I have been so touched by all those who have reached out to me. Erin continues with her miracles. With appreciation - Cynda

Celine's picture

Thanks Cynda

Dear Cynda,
I know it will be hard for you to live without Erin, but I think Erin has fulfilled her mission and would have to leave. It is a necessary end which will come when it will come.
I appreciate your concern. The PWESCR program was messed by visa processes. There was a mix-up of information from the organizers to the Embassy in Lagos. Since I did not make the 1st phase, I will not go for the 2nd phase in Nepal. However all hope is not lost as I am selected for a six-week course by Women's Human Rights Education Institute of the University of Toronto in Canada. The program comes up in May. I am still sourcing for funds and hopes to apply for visa through the Abuja office of the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria and well on time. Jade is aware of it and is upholding me in prayers for the program to work out. I will need fund for round trip airfare, accommodation and feeding and probably course fee if I am not given a partial scholarship. I am presently sourcing for funds and will so much appreciate any assistance, which I believe will go a long way in uplifting me and assisting in accomplishing my objectives. I can send you the program details and contacts of Angela Lytle, the Executive Director of the Institute, if you don't mind.

Regards Cynda and lots of my love
Celine

Cynda's picture

connecting

Yes - please send me the program details and contact info. Why don't you send directly to my email address -

Celine's picture

I am so thankful

Dear Cynda,

I am so thankful. I sent them to the email address.

Celine Osukwu

Celine's picture

Do you have

Dear Cynda,

I tried sending the mail using my official email address but it kept bouncing back. Do you have another email address apart from

Dy's picture

Beautiful

How often we define strength using destructible, mortal terms - hers was a true strength, an enduring love that was felt by all she loved.

Dy

Cynda's picture

Thank you for letting me know

Thank you for letting me know that her strength came across in my writing. Words felt so inadaquate to convey all that she was and all that she meant. Your post this morning came as a timely comfort as I still struggle with her death 9 months later.
I took some time before responding to read your posts - wonderful writing.- Cynda

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