This is the second post by guest blogger, Dan Erickson (www.danerickson.net).
thinking about dad: 666
(Originally posted on June 6, 2012)
It’s been two years to the day since my dad died. On June 6 at about 6pm of 2010 my dad made the transition from this life to the next. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony. He died on the sixth month, on the sixth day, at six o’clock: 666. That’s exactly what dad would have done, too. He would have laughed.
My father, Onnie Victor Erickson, affectionately known as Bud, was one of the kindest people I ever knew. He was non-judgmental and forgiving. When things were stolen from him he’d say, “It’s alright. I can always get another one. They need it more than me.” He said this knowing he couldn’t replace the item because he had very little money. When people would judge my dad based on his unique set of spiritual beliefs he’d simply say, “That’s okay. It’s part of their experience. That’s where they are in their life. I understand, because I’ve been there, too.”
Dad was also a seeker. It was his relentless desire to know more about God that got our family into a cult in the early 1970s. He thought he’d found the right path, the right group. Although he’d later leave that group, I’m not sure he’d claim it had been a mistake to get involved in it in the first place. His attitude was that everything we do and experience is destined. He’d say that we went through the cult experience because we were meant to at that time. He’d claim that coming through that experience helped us to learn something about God and would take us to the next level of our spiritual walk.
Dad later joined another fringe group and stayed with it until a few years before he died. Coming from the ministry himself, one thing may dad’s choice of spiritual leaders always included was a Christian-based belief system. He always believed that God and Christ were at the center of each group he attended, just not exactly as tradition might claim.
In the last few years of his life, dad forsook larger groups for studying a large variety of spiritual-based literature in smaller groups, small circles of likeminded people. In the end, I believe my dad had tapped into some ultimate truths concerning Christianity. He believed that the seed of Christ is in every soul that has ever lived, is living, or ever will live on earth. He called it “The Christ within you,” and he always did his best to live up to that phrase. He was honest, peaceful, loving, and fair. He was always there when a brother or sister, or a son or daughter needed a helping hand. We spent hours sharing our thoughts and feelings about God, Christ, and the state of the world. Dad was an optimist. He believed everything would work out for the good of God and all humanity in the end.
I started writing my first book A Train Called Forgiveness about ten months after dad died. Many of his ideals and values about God, Christ and religion are weaved into that story. It’s something I hope would have made him proud. Dad would have turned 75 on June 14, 2010. He was eight days shy, but now lives on infinitely. So, dad died on 666. But he’d say, “It doesn’t mean a thing. People are superstitious. God’s not superstitious. God is a beautiful representation of love.” God is a lot like “dad.”