This past week, I lost a very special person who has been a part of my life for almost 40 years, Nicholas Erzic, “Dedac” to his family.
I met Dedac one summer afternoon in the year 1974, when I befriended his daughter, Donatta, where we both shared the same class together in grade school. Dedac was a tall and good-looking man; the kind of man that you made the effort of giving a second glance to. His accent was as thick as his mustache, which graced both sides of his loving smile. The hugs that Dedac extended resembled his charm… strong and embracing. Kissing Dedac hello, you took in the fresh scent of his cologne that lay softly upon his cheeks, which gave you reason to go in for a second kiss.
Dedac was the closest person I had to a father figure, taking over where my grandfather had left off. He may not have been my father by blood, but in heart, he was my father by the Spirit of God. Dedac watched me grow up from a freckled 12 year old young girl to a mature young woman. Over the years, he shared in the joys of my marriage, he watched as my babies were brought into the world, loving them unconditionally as if they were his own grandchildren, along with rejoicing in all our triumphs that every family shares. With every holiday we spent together, along with summer barbeques, and many birthdays, my family and I were extremely blessed to have him a part of our life celebrations. Dedac was as much a part of our family as we were his.
Dedac would welcome us with open arms, while saying, “You are fine, how am I?” Well, Dedac, we are saddened by your loss. We will miss your kisses, your hugs and seeing you decked out in your snazzy bolo tie. We will miss your jokes, especially the one about Rod “Blowjobjevich.” We could tell that you enjoyed repeating his name as much as we enjoyed hearing it roll off your tongue in your Croatian accent. As much as our hearts will miss you, yes, we will be fine.
And, how are you? You are now in God’s hands, walking effortlessly through his beautiful paradise, among the angels, with no sickness or pain. Your smile is as broad as the heavens above, as God fills your heart with His peace and eternal love. We know that you are looking down, watching and protecting us. Please look down upon your family and heal our broken hearts as I know God has healed yours. We know that you will be with us now and always… during hard times, good times, during holidays and get-togethers, along with many birthday celebrations. Perhaps, at the next birthday party, you will close the bathroom door while taking a pee… wink, wink. Yes, Dedac, you are doing wonderful.
We’ll always love you,
Jack, Frank, Arlaraye & Tanner
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
~ Anne Lamott