Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Long and Winding Road

Our Journey took many twists and turns. Together our hearts soared over many mountain tops and crawled through the deepest dark valleys. We took a vow 19 years ago; For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. We were called to test every one of them. Though it seemed that in the end this disease called cancer would try to devour our hearts and love for one another, I will remember the intimacy that we shared on the mountain tops of our long life together and the strength and endurance we acquired in the valleys; and that no matter what, we prevailed; we endured to pass the test. You have reached the higher calling, Eric, and now sit at the right hand of the Father in Jesus. You know and I know. God Knows...and that is all that matters. Your spirit lives on in the legacy that you left with the love we created through our children. I will miss our morning coffee, the touch of your hand on mine and our walks in the quiet morning mist.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Life in Pictures

Click on the link above for the video I made for the celebration of life- with some music added on. We all miss you dearly!

Love Vivian, Arlette, Billy, and Justin

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Into The Mystic - With Eric

A year has passed in the blink of an eye

At once it seems like a long time and another it seems like yesterday. We all should be reminded of how little time we really have in this life. Whether we live a long one or a short one as Eric did. He packed so much living into the time he had. He did this his whole life, not knowing that one day he would battle cancer. If the only legacy he left was it..DO IT NOW...that we all should...push the limits...

When he passed there was little that He regreted or wished that he done. He and I lived our lives without restraint. Took chances, reached for our dreams. Even if they never came true. Some of them did...some fizzled..but as That Old New York Song goes..Eric would have said...He did it His Way..

And now, the end is near; And so I face the final curtain. My friend, Ill say it clear, Ill state my case, of which Im certain. Ive lived a life thats full. Ive traveled each and evry highway; And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Regrets, Ive had a few; But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do And saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course; Each careful step along the byway, But more, much more than this, I did it my way. Yes, there were times, Im sure you knew When I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall; And did it my way. Ive loved, Ive laughed and cried. Ive had my fill; my share of losing. And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing. To think I did all that; And may I say - not in a shy way, No, oh no not me, I did it my way. For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows - And did it my way!

We will all see you soon, Eric (in 30 quick years as you once said)...... until then I'll continue to LiveStrong do it My Way!!! and your by my heart and not by what others think I should do...

Soar high..with the Eagles and perigrene falcons...

Eric's Song by Gabby Peccoraro

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eric Hatschbach - His Life & Vivian's Eulogy

Today is my birthday and I am very sad that I will not be hearing from my brother or my Mother-In-Law, who we buried yesterday after a 9 week battle with lung cancer. As they say ... the first holidays are always the hardest; I never truly understood what they meant until Thanksgiving and Christmas which came and went. And now my birthday. It has been a long and difficult road for the family and in honor of my brother, I would like to post my eulogy to him. I hope everyone enjoys it and the pictures, much love to all, Vivian Maher.

Read by Vivian @ Eric's Memorial Service:

My name is Vivian Hatschbach Maher. I am Eric’s sister. My brother was born 14 months after me on March 27, 1962 in NY Hospital on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to Walter and Christa Hatschbach. Our parents met on the Upper East side of Manhattan in the late 1950’s while vacationing in NY and decided to stay in the United States. It was the four of us here in America, my brother and I first generation German Americans.

Growing up in NY I started calling Eric, Bobby when we were little and this name stuck with him amongst our friends in the neighborhood and relatives; however, amongst his school and work friends he was known as Eric. When I later asked him if he minded being called Bobby he said no because the people who loved him since he was little called him that.

We enjoyed a comfortable life growing up in Queens New York, going through the public school system, riding our bikes to Whitestone Park under the Whitestone Bridge, fishing under the Throgs Neck Bridge, walking to the Whitestone pool, going to the park across the street from our house to play handball, running under the sprinklers or just hanging out. We spent the weekends in the summer, when we were not in Europe, going to Jones Beach with our parents and visiting Manhattan or Bear Mountain in the Spring and Fall. Saturday mornings were spent at German School which my brother hated -- he couldn’t wait for me to graduate so that he would no longer have to attend.

Since it was only the 4 of us we never had weekend family obligations so Sunday’s were spent at home with the morning set aside for an outing to buy toiletries with our dad, then taking a walk in Whitestone park where our father would teach us about the forest, because he considered us real city kids.

When we would return home from our Sunday morning outings with our father, you would smell the German meal which was being cooked by our mom. We would eat around 2 PM, my dad would nap in the afternoon and then we would all get in the car and take a Sunday afternoon drive to buy gas and hang out exploring the marshlands of Queens and Long Island in the Spring and Fall. Winters Sunday afternoons were spent sledding under the Throgs Neck Bridge or ice skating at Bowne Park or Moon Lake. Around the Christmas holidays we would take car rides into Manhattan in the evening in our pajamas and would enjoy the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the lights of Broadway from the car. Year round mom would always take a newspaper and read in the car.

Many summers were spent in Europe with our extended family. Sometimes we would spend up to 2 months there, 1 month with our mom, grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles in Germany. Our dad would take his 2 week vacation and fly over and take us to his home town behind the Iron Curtain where we would spend fun times with our relatives in the forests of my father’s youth. My brother was especially happy when our aunt and uncle decided to move to Ampuriabrava in the Costa Brava region in Spain. This is when Eric’s amazing love for being on the water and windsurfing first surfaced. We ended up spending many fun summers in Costa Brava with our European cousins. One summer when we were 15 and 16 years old, we Euro-Railed with our mom starting in Germany, through the Alps and down to Italy. We enjoyed Munich, Venice, Rome and the little villages in between, winging the whole trip and staying in little B&B’s along the way. When we graduated college our parent’s bought us a trip on the glacier express train through Switzerland. Each trip started with a stay in Germany and ended in Spain at my aunt’s house.

Eric’s love for windsurfing and skateboarding continued in the States. One time, while my husband and I were still dating, we were sitting at Oak Beach Inn overlooking the Atlantic ocean on a sunny cold January day, enjoying a hot toddy by the fire. Suddenly we saw a lone windsurfer zipping across the bay from Robert Moses State Park. We knew that it was my brother because I recognized his sail -- but most of all we knew that no one else would be crazy enough to be windsurfing out there with a dry suit on in the cold water. Bobby would always delight us with his sea tales whether it would be about the big fish he caught or the baby whale that was circling around him while he was windsurfing and wondering where the mother was.

My brother also had a love for skateboarding. He had a newspaper route and he was the only kid in the neighborhood as a teenager who delivered his papers via skateboard. So even then, his later California dreamin’ and Tony Hawk like tendencies were shining through. One afternoon, during the beach off season in NY, when all of the parking lot’s of the Long Island Beaches are empty; I drove out to Gilgo Beach with my friends and saw this kid with a giant sail board crossing the parking lot. I laughed from afar because there once again, I recognized that windsurfer’s sail, but this time Eric was sailing on land on the skateboard he had been building for months in our garage. You see always the engineer tinkering with and building stuff.

While we were both living at home attending local universities, my brother continued his nature adventures, but once he got his driver’s license he found a new love, tinkering with cars. I would come home from school and often find him taking the whole engine of his Volkswagen apart – saying to my mother, “don’t worry it will all be put back together in time for dinner.” One of Billy’s first recollections of meeting Eric was with all of his VW engine parts laid out on a blanket on a Queens street.

Once we graduated our respective colleges and started making money, I took up my love for skiing and took a share in Billy’s ski house in Vermont. My brother was real excited about that; however, he had to make it complicated -- because of his love for snowboarding, we would drive Eric to Stratton, VT and not ski our local mountain, Mt. Snow because boarding was not allowed at Mt. Snow.

There was Eric, always the nature pioneer, snowboarding on the same Mountain with Eric Burton who created the first snowboard.

We spent many fun times with both my brother and Nancy skiing/snowboarding in Vermont as well as watching my brother windsurf and fish along the shores of Long Island.

Once my brother moved to Oregon, Billy and I would go out and continue to experience those adventures with my brother, Nancy and eventually Luke. I still remember the time we all went camping at Crater Lake and Luke was just 2 years old. We should have known better, but a 2 year old in a campground with only black dirt. Luke looked like charcoal from morning to the evening. Then in the early evening my brother would give him a washing in the bathrooms and we would play pass the baby in the backpack around all evening. We didn’t want him to touch the ground because that meant a silt covered baby once again. It was really funny.

Once the Hatschbach’s discovered California, the Maher’s got to enjoy it with them. We came out quite often and my brother took us to many of his favorite spots whether they were along the La Jolla coast or to an oasis in the desert. Every trip included at least one outing to Joe’s Crab Shack on Pacific Beach where my brother would enjoy the coconut shrimp, his favorite dish. He especially enjoyed Tuesday’s Child, as soon as he saw that boat he knew that he belonged on it, he said to me once, you know Viv, I was born on a Tuesday. He shared many stories with me about his sailing adventures with the crew. The story about how the whole crew survived being stranded off the coast of Mexico was especially moving.

We saw that Eric, Nancy, Luke and eventually Elise really loved their new life in California and my kids were real excited to go meet their cousin’s in the summer. I will never forget the time my brother said to me I want to take Arlette, my daughter and Elise for a little kayak ride in the ocean to the La Jolla caves. While they were traveling out into the ocean and I saw that kayak kept going further away, I started questioning my judgment. I was happy my mom wasn’t around because she would have not have been happy. Unbeknownst to me, once Nancy showed up she said Elise was not allowed in the ocean. Well, thank God they returned safely – but I must admit it was a long 2 hours for me.

Our son, Justin especially looked forward to visiting with his uncle. Justin has a love for fishing and the outdoors just like my brother and he especially enjoys the skateboard parks in California. He still talks about the Easter we all spent on Mission Bay where my brother was skateboarding while flying a 2 handed kite. On my last trip out to see my brother, as I walked into the room and once we greeted one another with his laptop by his side, he had a map of the whole coast of the Long Island sound from the Bronx up to Connecticut and he said tell Justin the best fishing is at Orchard Beach 15 minutes from your house out on the getty. We always have the fishing gear in the trunk of our car from the Spring through to the Fall, and I feel like it’s the old days with my brother, there is Justin saying the same thing: come on, just one more minute, I’m about to catch the big one.

Now my brother has begun another journey and I will forever picture him sailing, fishing, skating or just hanging out and enjoying his family and friends. He liked to keep things simple. I will be forever grateful to him and my parents for having created these wonderful childhood memories for me. Love, Vivian