Eric is one of 4 Daddario boys who grew up south of Boston in Medford Massachusetts. As a young boy he loved to play sports especially hockey, because it gave him a positive escape from feeling negative about himself due to getting bullied in school for his learning disabilities.
Eric’s love for hockey would eventually take him away from home to live at prep school in Canaan New Hampshire called Cardigan Mountain school and South Kent School in Kent Connecticut. The summer before Eric left for prep school, he suffered an eye injury which left him completely blind in his right eye.
With an extreme amount of hard work Eric came roaring back. He threw everything behind his hockey career. With only 1 good eye he went on to become USA Hockey’s player of the month and eventually played 4 years of Division 1 hockey at Clarkson University.
As Eric was excelling at hockey, his younger brother Brendan was harboring a dark secret. Brendan was secretly struggling with addiction, a struggle that would last for 10 years affecting him and his family’s life.
On March 19, 2016 Brendan lost his battle of addiction due to a heroin overdose.
Before Eric’s brother Brendan passed away, he got clean for 2 years and did a lot of work on himself. During that time he became a completely different person. You could tell he was doing a lot of personal reflecting and was at peace with life. The kind of peace some people spend their whole lives looking for. You could see it in his eyes he sounded wise, like he had figured something out about life that the rest of us were missing.
Always The Artist
During this period of personal reflection Brendan wrote this poem “Footprints”. It’s beautiful and honest, while at the same time utterly haunting. He’s realized that he had lost his way, and was fighting to find his way back to us. Unfortunately addiction is something that never leaves you no matter how mmuch distance you think you have put between it and yourself, it follows you for life. Nevertheless when I look back and think of Brendan I don’t remember him as the addict, all I can remember are those 2 years when the real person came back out. And that is more than I could have ever asked for.
This path I walk on is empty and cold.
It’s a path that leads nowhere, so I’ve been told.
I follow the footprints laid in the snow
not knowing exactly where they will go.
I’ll fend for myself without any help
What I didn’t expect was to go through such hell.
I’m not sure anymore if this path is right
because I keep walking with no end in sight.
I’ve walked for so long my spirit has froze
I’m beginning to regret this path that I chose.
I feel it closing in with every step,
I walk a bit closer to my certain death.
Misled by the prints; I’ve made up in my mind
To finally turn around and not look behind;
Because to walk alone this path that’s unknown
when I have a family that loves me at home.
To all the people who have followed these tracks
you’ve meant nothing to me because you’re not coming back.
For once in my life I finally get it
for once in my life I know where I’m headed.
I’m willing to walk as long as it takes
because this time around I know what’s at stake.
So it’s time to stop walking in the prints that are shown
….. and choose to make footprints all on my own.
Eric has been through a lot in his life and he’s managed to find meaning through suffering. Part of that meaning is sharing his message with others because he finds joy in helping people.
Would you like Eric to come speak at your organization?
Reach out and contact Eric for a quote. Be sure to be as detailed as possible and make sure to let him know what you can about your organization and who he will be speaking to.