As he got older, he suffered from seizures and had eye problems. Surgery on a brain cyst in 1975 left him partially paralyzed, Tischendorf said.
“Through it all, he remained cheerful and well-adjusted,” Tischendorf said. “So many times Erik showed us miracles of survival as he overcame one problem after the other. He was our strength. I never imagined his life would end like this.”
District Judge Lori Walkley sentenced Blocker to life with the possibility of parole. Blocker will have to serve 85 percent of the life sentence before being eligible for release. A life sentence is considered to be 37 years under the state Corrections Department's system, Walkley said.
Tischendorf said she was satisfied with the sentencing but was surprised at how quick the court proceeding was over.
“It was over in five minutes. It's a long ways to come for that, but I just felt like I had to be here,” she said.
Tischendorf said she has come to grips with her son's death by remembering the good times they shared.
“I'll remember the times we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt, the birthday candles that lit up his face as he blew them out, the movies we watched together, the meals we shared … the joy of putting him to bed at night when he was little. These are the memories I will keep in my heart, now and for always,” she said.