Hello Everyone- This Wednesday will mark the 5th observance of my son Eric’s sudden and tragic death at the hands of a drunk driver. He was a freshman in college, home for Thanksgiving, and three weeks shy of his 19th birthday. He was a passenger in the right-rear seat of a car driven by one of his high school friends who was legally drunk(.12% blood alcohol level),  and stoned. The car was traveling at a hideous rate of speed when the driver lost control, went into a 180 degree spin and crashed into a tree, snapping it in half. Eric took the full brunt of the impact and was dead within minutes from a subdural hematoma. All of the other occupants walked away from the carnage with minor injuries. I stopped asking myself “Why?” a long time ago, because I realize there is no answer to that question. Although I still occasionally drift back into the surreality of thinking none of this happened, I snap right back into the present…and continue to move forward with the life I have left in the most positive way I am able to. This senseless loss has changed the lives of my wife, surviving son and myself forever. We relate to each other differently, now. It has been a tremendous strain on our marriage, but with professional counselling and determination, we are making it work day by day. Our son, Matthew, has graduated from college, getting his feet wet in the business world and engaged to be married this summer. My wife has found a new job after being laid off, and I continue to work in my profession as an insurance wholesaler.So we move forward with the support and encouragement of friends, neighbors, and loved ones. But frankly, the holidays suck now. Part of me can’t wait for them to be over with, but I’m finding with each passing year that I’m embracing them a little bit more. Perhaps as time goes by, the old magic and spirit will get back closer to what it used to be like….especially if I’m blessed with a grandchild or two that I can spoil the hell out of !!  Eric’s passion in sports was football…..he was the nose tackle on his high school team. After his death, his coaches and former teammates established a scholarship fund in his name, and hold a memorial touch football tournament after Thanksgiving each year at Medfield High School. It has been a huge success and has enabled us to contribute to the college education of a graduating member of the football team, as selected by the coaching staff. They have also retired Eric’s number 40. What wonderful way to preserve his memory ! I invite you all to check out his memorial website (  to give you all an idea of how we have turned our grief and devastation into something so positve and powerful. I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I am personally thankful that I was blessed with such a fine son as Eric. I cherish the years I had with him as I watched him grow from a toddler into a young man. As his Father forever, nothing can ever take that away from me. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on December 10th !!!   (Mike’s a great host !)

Joe Perkins


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