I would like to start with something I wrote in the program for Erin's memorial service to put her life in some context.
A Mother’s Tribute
Our Erin was a happy, easy baby always smiling. Our priest, Father John McDonough, gave her the perfect nickname: Bubbles.
Her older sister, loved fixing Erin’s beautiful, long, dark curls. She thought Erin looked like one of her baby dolls. Once, she placed Erin on her bed next to a row of her dolls and took her picture. You couldn't tell the doll from the baby.
Being the center of attention and making people laugh was Erin’s specialty. She was a little fish, learning to swim and jumping off the diving board at the age of three. She loved that all eyes were on her, lunging fearlessly from the board and dogpaddling to the ladder to the applause of all. She was so dramatic that by the time she was four she was taking acting classes in Las Vegas. Her rendition of a slice of bacon sizzling in a frying pan put us in stitches. Later, in Florida at the age of seven, Erin dressed up in my beach cover-up, put all my rings and jewelry on and did a dance on the table at our favorite outdoor beach restaurant to everyone's delight.
Erin also was a prankster. When her relatives came to see the family off at the airport before our move to the Philippines, Erin decided we weren’t anxious enough before the long flight to the far away place. She yelled out "flight canceled” and had us all jump in alarm.
Erin’s high school years included joining both the varsity swim team and an acting troop in Hawaii—where, at Mililani High School, she also worked for her school newspaper. She came into her own as a talented writer at D.C.’s George Washington University, where she excelled academically and became deeply interested in politics. Erin joined H. Ross Perot’s campaign and then after college graduation, worked for senators Tom Harkin, Bennett Johnston and the current Majority Leader, Harry Reid. Eventually, she moved into the private sector as a legislative analyst for Answer Corp but nothing made her as happy as when she married the love of her life, Josh Stewart.