There are so many people that I want to quote to explain this Heart Movement but I won’t. Here is my heart instead. Eric’s Promise, “to be more giving,” is a Lenten Promise that my brother made and professed to my Mom on February 13, 2002. He had always given up candy for Lent, because that is what we were taught to do in school. Everyone would say, “What are you giving up for Lent this year?” Well, people usually give up their favorite thing. This year though, Eric was moved by the Holy Spirit. He didn’t want to just give something up, he wanted to spread kindness. He always did but this year he wanted everyone to know it was because of his relationship with Jesus Christ. Lent has the power to do this within all of us. All we have to do is Surrender.

That night of Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2002, he was cleaning his room and put together a handful of bags filled with his clothes to donate to Saint Vincent de Paul Society. There was something extra special about this request as my Mom had always dropped things off at Goodwill. Eric made it a point that it was important for these items to go to Saint Vincent’s. He was surely moved by the Holy Spirit. Surely.

The next day, Valentine’s Day, Eric had given $5 from his Grandma to a friend so he could buy his girlfriend a rose. I mean, who does that?! Eric does! He always put others first. Always. That is why people loved him and still love him. They felt seen and heard by him. They didn’t feel like just a number or some soul walking by that didn’t matter. He was always looking to make the lost feel found, the blind to see, the sad to laugh, the confused to feel clarity, the dead inside to feel alive and on and on and on. That was Eric and that IS ERIC. He may not physically be here but surely he lives on in so many speakable and unspeakable ways.

Eric Henry, 17 years old and a Senior at Marian High School, died in a single car accident, the day he gave the Spirit of the Rose to his friends, Valentine’s Day, 2002.

To me, that’s everything. He is our forever Valentine.

May we all carry on the Spirit of the Rose and do so through the Blessed Mother Mary, her beautiful Saint Joseph, the Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, God and all of the amazing Angels and Saints in Heaven.


Much Love, Melissa, Eric’s sister