Sunday, December 30, 2012

30 Days

Well, it's been almost a month since the accident.  It feels so fresh, so brand new.  I know it hasn't been long, thirty days isn't much but it seems like only a few days.  There has been so much that has happened so quickly I somehow lost a few weeks.  There's a lot that seems blurry to me.  The deadlines on wake and funeral decisions were so fast and furious my head was spinning.  Thank God my family and friends stepped in.  I'm so fortunate so many people helped.

I ventured out a little this weekend, something I haven't done unless I was headed to a fundraiser - or something centered around the kids. My tendency has been to stay in but I know that isn't always good.  I have to get out a bit.  It was a snowy weekend as you know, and I just felt like doing something, even briefly.  The house seems to get smaller and smaller the more I stay in.  The rooms look messier and the stacks of papers and cards and mail take up corners of my desk and tables and I don't seem to put a dent in them.  I felt the need to step outside for a change.  This was good!  I went out just to go out.

Saturday I headed out for a very late breakfast, IHOP in Clifton Park.  They recognized me when I didn't expect they would.  The restaurant team bought my breakfast.  Thank you very much!  My sever, Lisa and I had the nicest chat.  I'm going back to see her again sometime.  She told me loads of SHEN students and parents had been in recently.  I know it was a place Chris enjoyed with many of his football buddies.  He even filled out a job application there last summer.  
He liked those fattening cheesecake stuffed pancakes with whipped cream on top and I always got some sort of light and fit meal.  He would devour his happily. NUM, NUM!!", as Chris would say!  I'd tell him mine was healthier.  He'd shrug and keep forking it in anyway.  I suggested he get a job there if he liked it so much so he applied.  I told Lisa that while we talked.

I bought an IHOP Groupon back in November, fully intending on using it with Chris.  He could easily spend $16 on his meal.  I brought it with me on Saturday but since the restaurant paid my tab I gave it to Lisa to use on another customer.  No need to save it.  I'll consider that my second act of kindness.
I've got to do more random acts of kindness.  There's so much room for improvement in my life and it feels good doing the right thing.  After seeing so many kind gestures people have done for me and in honor of these four great kids, I know I can do better. 

I headed to the Empire State Plaza after that.  A trip to downtown Albany in the snow, it was so beautiful out.  I wanted to get a look at the Olympic skater Paul Wylie.  I'm a fan of figure skating.  I love watching it on TV and I actually went to the 1980 Olympic women's figure skating in Lake Placid.  That was so great!  I love Lake Placid and head that direction when I can.  The hiking is amazing and the village so inviting.  
But anyway, when Stars on Ice, (the Olympic skating tour) would announce their yearly schedule I would grab tickets from the Times Union Center and bring my mom.  We used to hold up "10!" signs at the end of each skaters performance as if we were handing out judges scores.  (silly I know!!) My mother loved it, she's a huge fan of Scott Hamilton.  Such great times.  So... it peaked my interest to go see Paul skate right before my eyes again.  I've seen him several times before but never up close, only in the arena.  I thought I could snap a picture if I could get close enough.  Turns out the crowd was so spread out I got right up front.  I got a better photo than I expected, look here we are!  
 That was a huge pick me up :-). Thanks Paul!!  :-)

Sunday was quiet until afternoon.  I had visitors!  
The Winds and Hardys came over.  I haven't had Matt to my house yet and I was hoping he would like to spend some time with us and see Christopher's room.  I hope it brought him comfort.  I love it in there as does Bailey and Chris's friends.  I was praying Matt might find it peaceful.  I'll have to ask him later.  Coach Clawson and his wife came over as well and a few of the football players.  It was a nice houseful of friends that would never have been sitting in my living room had circumstances been different.  I'm glad they spent their afternoon with me on their vacation.  I couldn't have asked for a nicer Sunday afternoon other than to have Chris there in person.  I know he was there in the room though.

I met an Olympian and forged new relationships with friends this weekend.  I shared a smile and some funny stories.  It was so uplifting.   Remembering Chris with those that loved him makes me feel so warm inside.  It made my weekend bright.  

Thank you for reading.


  1. You're learning well what I have learned, that it is 100% okay, good, and to be expected to be sad, but the only way to heal is to laugh, smile, and think happy thoughts twice the number of times that you have sad or lonely thoughts.

    I have good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments in my own struggles. Just today, I woke up fine, went downhill (probably because I was hungry--I eat a little like Chris must have) went back up (after making a turkey sandwich), back down, back up, REALLY far down, then REALLY far up.

    I think happy thoughts these days and take it as it comes. As Bailey's twitter (used to) say, "Oh well."

    In the storms of life, we tend to forget that somewhere, a lighthouse is pulsing a gentle light to guide us home. Right now, I know that light is out there. Sometimes, I don't believe it. But what matters is right now I do.

    Thank you for sharing. Once again, you make me feel not so alone and hopeful. You inspire me with your strength, courage, and wisdom.

    Cry once, smile twice. (Oh, and go ahead and eat those IHOP cheesecake pancakes. You only live once and hey, why not enjoy it a little?) :)

  2. I am so proud of you for going out :) Good for you, Regina... I cannot imagine how much easier it would be to stay in, but it sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. Bailey and Matt look great and it is so nice that you all have each other for support.
    Yum I am in the mood for pancakes now ;) and IHOP's are really the best!
    Much love... stay warm!

  3. Glad you were able to venture out and enjoy yourself. I am also glad Bailey, Matt and the others visited. As each day passes I continue to pray for all of you. I also continue to be amazed by your strength and continue to learn from your writings. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Regina-
    I am so happy that you were able to get out, and for you. It is so important to keep living eve as hard as it may be.I am so happy to hear how great all the people are in your Shen community and how great Chris' friends are. Sometimes I feel that it is rare to find people like that.

    As I have written before, I lost my best friend to a car accident.. will be 6 years ago yesterday, though at times it feels like it was just yesterday. I had needed her parents as much as they needed me. I went over there everyday after the accident, and continued to do so even after they moved out of the house. (It was too hard for them to live there, the constant memories-- it was devastating to me. I grew up around the corner.) They moved to Florida and I continue to visit and call them everyday. Memories are what keeps you going and to keep living doing daily things. I am so happy to hear of the wonderful support system you have... I know that this is what will help you get through this awful time, and this is what will help Bailey and Matt and the rest of Chris' friends get through this hard time. They too will make great friends out of you and your husband.

    Keep writing, you are an inspiration to me as well. (This is what I did everyday after my bestfriends accident. First fear that I would forget a memory, and then because I enjoyed writing to her. I more so wrote it to her, I needed her to know what was going on in my life. I only hope she sees everything.. but is with her parents who need her far more than I do.)

  5. Regina,

    You continue to be an inspiration to all! You are truly a special person with a special gift. I am so happy for you that you found your gift of writing as a source of healing. Your words are beautiful!

    I know it will be a struggle for you but I do hope and pray you and your family have a New Year filled with healing , love, and signs from your Chris that he is well.

    God Bless you and yours on this New Year's Eve.

  6. I, too, am a devoted reader of Regina's blog everyday. It's the first thing I do when I wake up. I haven't commented before; I usually just quietly read each word and marvel at the strength and courage our baby sister has (Regina is the youngest of 11 children); but after re-reading many of the posts I feel inclined to comment, too. Regina has been a true inspiration to me as well. I don't know if I'd have the strength to blog about the loss of one of my children each day like Regina does. I'd like to think I would be able to since we're both from that same tough German stock! But I honestly don't know. I admire my sister so much and love her unconditionally. She is an awesome sister; a terrfic mother; a great friend; and a talented writer. It's wonderful she is able to share stories about Christopher with so many people; and it's so amazing and comforting to know that there are so many people out there that are sharing in our family's grief, and continue to pray for all of the families that were affected by this tragedy. There is strength in numbers and the power of prayer is amazing. All the support has helped make the days a little brighter. I'm so happy, Reg, that you were able to venture out yesterday and see Paul Wylie up close and personal. You deserved some time just for you. You'll always be a "10" in my book, sis! Keep on writing!!! Love you.

  7. What a great weekend. I wish you a New Year filled with peace in your heart and many many SIGNS! God's blessings on you and your family.

  8. It is great when the visitors and friends come over to the house. We met so many of my son's friends that we never would have. I'd like to think having the kids come over helped them as well as it helped us. A few days after our son's accident so many kids came over and we let them take a piece of his clothing to remember him by. He was famous for having a million hoodies so they each took one. Some took his soccer jerseys and a previous girlfriend got her Pandora bead that she had given back to him. I made sure I took my favorite hoodie. His younger siblings did as well.

  9. It's nice to hear you had a great weekend. I can only hope for more of them for you. The weeks and months ahead will get longer and longer. The more we can stay connected, the more I believe we can lift you in prayer and your spirits. All the Best Regina! Happy New Year and I'm hoping Chris comes to hang out with you for a bit. Xo Lela