Thursday, December 20, 2012


I got some texts from co-workers recently who sent "thinking of you” notes and also of appreciation for the job I do in the office.  I know while I'm out someone is stepping in, probably several "someones" to handle all the various tasks. If each does a little, operations will run seamlessly to the outside world (although on the inside it may not be as perfect as they would like).  I'm looking forward to getting back to some sort of normalcy to my week.  Until I do it got me to thinking of all the tasks in my life that has now changed.

At work I just know there are many pitching in to do what's necessary in my absence, it's a business. One we work hard at and are proud of.  Some may be handling paperwork, ordering supplies, answering phones, greeting customers, scanning documents - the list goes on.  But the office is open until 5pm whether I'm there or not.  It may not be running as smoothly as when I am there but it’s running.  They don't shut down because of my loss and that makes sense.  It's work - and soon I will get back to it gladly.

Well, at home this house has to run whether Christopher is here or not.  It's not going to run the same and I definitely don't like it but the home doesn't close. Everyone still needs me and I need them.  I will take of things, I'll feed the fish, walk the dog, fill the bird feeders, make meals, do house chores, wash clothes, stack the firwood, carry in the groceries, etc.  It will be a while before I do some of them happily, because Christopher used to do them for me, but I'll do them because they need doing. 
Some tasks will shift to Jeremy.  We'll need to change it up a bit.  But the house will continue to run in a different way.

I have quoted before to several people "nothing changes if nothing changes".  I may have even made it up, I have no idea.  But read it again and see if you know what I'm saying.

The way I see it, if Christopher was still here, I would still be at work, and my co-workers might not have appreciated me like they do now and I would not have met you.  If given the choice, I still want Christopher here, and I could do without the work appreciation and you could live without me but somehow I think we've all found a bit of good in this.  If nothing had changed we wouldn't be where we are right now communicating with one another, praying together and inspiring each other as well.  You give me something to look forward to and I need that.

I found a small talent I didn't know I had in writing.  You tell me I help you in some way to greet your day or embrace a challenge you're facing.  I want my son.  I want him to tell me about his school day and text me to see what's for dinner and hear him playing Xbox when I walk thru the door at 5:30.  I want him to yell "Hi Momma" down the stairs and I want to find his snack dishes in the sink and then have a conversation with him about there being no maid service in this house.   It's not going to happen.  I'm heartsick about it but I know it.  I’m glad I have the memory though, it warms me.  But if I can give you strength to see your tasks thru then I have had a good thing happen in my day.  This I will settle for because I need to find the good so I can stay afloat.  My family needs to stay afloat and moms seem to steer the ship.  I can’t go down.  And I think you need to see that your burden may not be as heavy as mine - at least I hope not.  If I can do it you can do it. God gave me a really good sized one to navigate.  Super-sized in my opinion.  Christopher happened to like super-sized meals and he was a super-sized guy so it seems to make some sort of crazy sense. 

Chris and I shared a happy go lucky outlook on things and thankfully I'm grasping it tight. 
I'm gonna hold on and swing when I can’t get my footing till I can stand up and feel the foundation under me again.  Please don't let your troubles pull you under.  Dwell on the good and hold tight. The tough part will come but it will only linger for a bit.  Let it happen but don't let it stop your day.  You too have a home to run.
Thank you for reading. God bless you today, I'm thinking of you :-)


  1. Once again, you give me such enormous amounts of hope.
    We are thinking of YOU.
    God bless

  2. Good Morning Regina,

    Your writing is beautiful ... I look forward to reading it. I find my glasses, I settle in with a cup of coffee, I embrace every word you've typed. From there I know, I too must steer my ship and start my day, but your blog grounds my footing and slows my pace. Thanks for helping us along the way. You are am amazing writer ... and an inspiration to us all.

  3. Good Morning Regina!

    "Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes" is just so unbelievably true!! As I thought of your words they apply to everything in one's life. It takes courage most of the time for people to make the "change" whatever the "change" may be. You are a wonderfully courageous woman. I read your blog daily and I am constantly amazed at your Courage, Grace , Faith and Strength!! I really hope you write a book of your compilations of thoughts and feelings in the wake of your tragedy. I believe your words will be a source of healing for others as well as inspiration. I was explaining your blog to an old friend that I am in contact with from high school. This friend and I are nurses. She is a hospice nurse and I felt not only would she see clarity in your writings but I think we both would have considered you a friend had we known you outside of the cyberworld. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family daily. God Bless You!

  4. Your courage and grace are a true inspiration. Although we have never met, my thoughts and prayers have been and continue to be with you, and I thank you for being there for me. God Bless and keep you on this journey of change.

  5. My morning read...I can not believe how much sense it all makes....

  6. Wow. Every day, I sit down and (with tears in my eyes) I read your beautiful words. When I've finished, I sit back, stare at the screen, and simply say to myself "Wow". I am in complete and total awe of you and how you have chosen to carry yourself through this pain. We are just one small family in this community that makes up our very large Varsity "football family", and our son "Alex" is fortunate to have gotten to know Chris this past season out on the field. Thank you, Regina, for giving all of US the opportunity to get to know Chris better through your writings. Through your stories and your pictures, that boy is still making people smile.

  7. Thank you again for writing. I look forward to reading your blog each morning and you truly inspire me, make me smile and bring tears to my eyes. You do have a gift and the comments that I read show that you are touching people in your own sweet way. Thank you for introducing me to your sons and to allow me to get to know you through this blog. I hope you have a nice day.

  8. Thinking of you everyday Regina. You give everyone hope by your strength. Stay strong and my prayers are with you everyday.

  9. Regina, you do not know me and I did not know Chris. I live in the Village of Stillwater, not to far from you. I am sorry that you have to bear this heavy burden and my heart aches for you. You and Deanna's family are in my prayers everyday. You are a brave and courageous woman. I read your blog everyday and it truly inspires me. I have two sons, one 31 and one 29 and I could not imagine my life without them even though they no longer live at home. From your writings and from the outpouring of love for you son, I can tell he was a wonderful person and I know he is looking down on you with a smile on his face saying to everyone, "That's my Mom!" Your writings are wonderful!

  10. Good Morning
    Another day begins and it now starts off with reading your blog. Once again, you inspire me. Each day your words continue to make me more mindful of what really matters. They somehow make me a more relaxed Mom. I am somehow allowing all these little things that once would cause stress for me to now roll right off my shoulder. It feels good. I hope that I can continue to let it roll. Thanks for helping me to realize this. Jeremy and Chris have an AMAZING Mom. God Bless you today as well.

  11. Thank you for your uplifting words. Nothing changes if nothing changes. I read your blog every day and am affirmed by the depth of a mother's love for her children. I hope my 17 year old daughter reads it as a way to better understand the depth of that love. You articulate it so well. I sincerely wish that you did not have to bear the burden of the loss of your child. No mother should ever have to bear that heartbreak. Tears stream down my face just thinking about it.

    I'm not much of a believer in "signs" or symbols but are the 4 family last names in the wrong place at the wrong time a coincidence? I keep thinking about it. Wind and Rivers are constant forces of nature and important to our well being. Hardy means resilient and strong. And Stewart sounds like steward which is a person who cares for that which is entrusted to them. And the car - an Explorer. From all accounts Chris was a steward to those around him and now you, through your blog, are too. Not in a high expectations, burdensome way but in a healthy hopeful way (although I agree that it would be so much better if you had your Chris and life back the way it was).

    Thank you for rising to the situation you have been so unjustly handed.

  12. As I read this today, little comments you made take me back to instances in my own life. I wrote a poem "Life Goes On" years ago after the loss of a good friend. It comes back to me every so often, like today. I actually google searched the name of the poem, and my name and it came up from past postings. I'm so glad I found it to share with you...

    Life Goes On

    While at a gathering for the loss of a friend,
    It was so obvious that here, life does not end.
    While children ran and played,
    Adults cried and undoubtedly prayed.

    I sit in sorrow and contemplate,
    How strange is this thing called fate?
    What happens every minute, is God’s overall will,
    However, it plagues me still.

    The saying “Life Goes On”
    Tends to make me angry,
    But watching the children run and play,
    One would unfortunately have to agree!

    I learn from my children every day,
    And while mourning, I still have to say,
    Life does go on -- which is proven through them,
    They give us the strength to start to mend.

    ©Justine Crowley-Duncan
    Latham, NY July 8, 2005

    Comments you said over and over in your blog this morning brought me back to those times and I wanted to share. Life does move on, and you are proof of this, in writing your blog, in talking about changes, and talking about the positive you are trying to see in this, and who it is changing you to be. The changes are happening because you are open to them, and they will allow you to slowly heal. (If you read this you will probably think, what choice did I have? Who is this woman to say this to me) but your words cut straight to my heart "If given the choice, I still want Christopher here, and I could do without the work appreciation and you could live without me but somehow I think we've all found a bit of good in this. If nothing had changed we wouldn't be where we are right now communicating with one another, praying together and inspiring each other as well. You give me something to look forward to and I need that." I don't think any of us would feel right saying "find the positive" in this, but your words said it so beautifully and they are your positives to find, with us standing witness, and possibly to help you in some small way.

    I don't know you, but I want to help you. In a way you are helping us too. I have said it before, your life with your boys is so similiar to my life with my kids, in that we do some of the same silly stuff and those moments will always be cherished. These blogs are a confirmation for me, not a reminder to enjoy the simple things. So for that I thank you.

    God bless...

  13. You write so beautifully. Thank you for allowing God use you to touch others so powerfully. Continuing to lift you in prayer often.

  14. I find it amazing that you can reflect on such difficult subjects shortly after the passing of your son. It takes a ton of courage and strength to do what you are doing and I admire it. I write in my blog every day. My subjects are nowhere near as inspirational as yours. Thank you for doing this and I look forward to reading every blog post you put!

  15. I need to tell you as so many others have, that I need to read your beautiful words everyday. I can tell you that my husband was killed in front of my house as our then 23 year old 9 month pregnant daughter watched, our 21 year old daughter and our 11 year old son that was only 7 feet away watched a tow drive drive over my husband. Nothing has ever been the same, nor will it ever as you know. I wish I could put into words my feelings like you. I know its not like yours, I cannot and do not ever want to know the feeling of losing a child. I am so deeply saddened for you as well as for Deannas family. You are more powerful than you know, and Christopher has given you a gift for helping others. I know because you are helping me. I want to simply say thank you. My prayer for you is that every day, every hour and soon every minute gets a bit easier. thank you. Sheri Kosloski

  16. Good Morning Regina,
    I am so incredibly inspired by your words each and every morning. I find strength and empowerment in your writing and thank you for sharing your blog with all of us. I was so heartbroken for you and your family when I heard about the accident (we were down at our winter home in Florida when we heard). I continue to pray for you, your family and your friends daily for strength and healing. God Bless you.
    Mitch Suarez-Molesky

  17. I think of you multiple times throughout the day. Mostly in my vehicle. I pull out my phone and note things I need to say to you. Something that might be useful. I wrote a tearful reply to your post over the weekend which for some reason didn't post. You have all these beautiful people holding you up. This blog full of generous reciprocity. I want to hold you up. To say anything that might be meaningful. To share my similar experiences not knowing if it will be helpful or not. I've always known grief to be private. I even thought to myself at one point in the last few weeks that I wished the media left everyone alone “let them grieve”. Then Newtown and my thoughts were the same. However at some point you said you hoped people would never stop talking about Chris and Deanna and I realized I am not to judge or dictate how people grieve. As I navigate through these losses myself I have to constantly remind myself. For I am readying my home for a holiday. In which I will be surrounded by people I love. I keep pinching myself because I feel selfish. I want to wrap my arms around you. Around Newtown. Around America.
    Through much self-reflection of my own parallel circumstances I realized there was much I hadn't said to certain people. Especially those closest to the situation. You've reignited so much in me. I now believe that grief shouldn't/isn't/doesn't have to be private. I believe I need to reach out 15 years later to a “mother” I considered my own. Who experienced the same loss you are. I wish I could put the two of you in the same room. For hope.
    There is so much I want to say to you. I want to do it sitting in front of you. I don’t believe I will ever have that opportunity. I want to tell you and you’ve reaffirmed my belief that those that leave us will always be with us. I know this. I’ve felt this. It’s true.
    Thank you Regina

  18. I have commented on your blog before and probably will continue to do so because I want you to know that your words aren't just out there in an abyss of nothing. They enter my mind and my heart and touch the place inside of me that still grieves for my husband and my old life. One thought I wanted to share, after my husband's accident, as we waited in the hospital for them to donate his organs as he wished, morning was breaking. I went to the window at the top floors of St. Peter's and I stood in absolute amazement that the sun had the AUDACITY to rise that day... that the world ACTUALLY did not stop turning. I was soooooooo angry that nothing was changing even though for me everything had changed forever. I remember not wanting to walk the road I knew I had to walk - I didn't want this new life. NOT INTERESTED! I pushed back with all I had and yet somehow I never won. The stupid world did keep turning and that damn sun kept rising. And it still does. And it still hurts. As time goes on, I see my life as two totally separate pieces - BEFORE THE ACCIDENT (BA) and AFTER THE ACCIDENT (AA). That's how my family looks at life, that's how my brain processes it. My therapist assures me this is normal. And somehow, the accident has colored everything in my life both before and after. Like a giant paintbrush over the canvas of my entire existence. I have no magic words to offer you, just the solidarity of shared grief and a struggle to find a way down a path neither of us ever wished to take.

  19. Your words amaze me. I find myself feeling better after I read your articulate posts and I thank you for that. I have 3 boys who go to Shen schools (one in elem., one in middle school - named Christopher!, and one in hs). I have prayed for you and each family and cried like they were my own. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your blog. Please know that I will continue to keep you and each family in my thoughts and prayers as you travel down a path not chosen. I have your back!!

  20. I'm glad that I am able to share all of this with you. I too, think of you several times throughout my day as well as Chris. I pray at night time before bed for you as well. All my love, Lela

  21. My daughter is a senior at Shaker. The night of the accident she and her friends were driving up the northway. They were THERE about 20 minutes after. They were stuck in the traffic. She saw the ambulances driving past. When they reached the accident she knew immediately how tragic it was. she knew there were fatalities. Soon after she and her friends found out who was involved in the accident. She was devastated. One of the friends with her was a good friend of Deanna's. When she told me I was unnerved. My first thought was how lucky she and her friends were that they were not in that place 20 minutes earlier. Someone was watching over her that night and I am eternally grateful. It could have been my daughter that night instead of Chris and Deanna.
    She and I are very close. she is my best friend and I am hers. Our relationship is even stronger now if that is possible.
    I read your blog in the quiet moment of my day. You have changed the way I see things, I have been studying my kids hands, giving more hugs to my friends and family, trying to figure out what makes me special. You have made me pause and reflect on many things. Your words are full of strength and inspiration. Thank you for sharing yourself and Chris and your family.

  22. The world has changed as of Dec.1 and it will never be the same and it doesn't matter if I knew Chris or not I feel the power he carried! Together a lot of people will give a little of their power and we will offer it to you and pray it can slightly refill the void you carry. We love you and it is going to become a new normal with new friends and we will carry on beside you.

    May God continue to bless you,