Life Goes On –
July 5, 2019 – That was July of 2008. Eric Van Horn was fresh out of an addiction treatment center. Katie had gotten clean about a year earlier and met Eric, a painter from Washington Township, Gloucester County, while they were both in recovery and going to 12-step meetings in Ocean City. Eric grew up vacationing there, surfing off of Seventh Street, fond memories from a happy childhood that bolstered his urge to get sober. Katie said Eric was tall, good-looking. The usual. She was flattered by his attention too, because she’d thought so little of herself for so long.
“What I liked about him,” she said, “is that he really liked me.” Katie, now an ICU nurse, said she never quite fell in love with Eric. It was more like two broken people who crashed into each other and managed to create something better than themselves. Eric was in treatment at least twice during her pregnancy. She remembered him sweaty and yawning during a child-birthing class at a stranger’s home, trying to soak in the lessons. When he lingered too long in the bathroom, Katie grew angry. “I just knew he was rummaging around in the bathroom cabinet,” she said.