I thought it might be fun to share some of the stories I've been hearing since Chris passed. There seems to be a common denominator... He enjoyed eating, A LOT - and in many places.
There are the obvious spots like McDonald's, Subway, Buffalo Wild Wings and Bailey's favorite The Recovery Room but the stories I've been enjoying most these last few weeks are the personal ones I never knew about, or not in great detail anyway. Good things do come out of a loss. I most likely would never know these funny stories had they not been shared while grieving with friends.
Chris once went to the Buss boy’s house (twins Ryan and Kyle on his football team), walked in, found they weren't home but was at the neighbors playing video games. Before he wandered next door to join in he made himself a bowl of pasta and took the whole dish with him! Last week the Buss family came over, brought pasta in honor of Chris and shared this story over dinner. Come to find out, when Karen went shopping she would text Chris that her house was restocked! She called him Master Stewart and loved to cook for him.
At the Shellenback's, another football family, Chris had his own private snack cabinet to run to so when the community treats in the basement family room were gone he had a source of sustenance no one else had dibs on. I know Mr. And Mrs. Shellenback were in on this... They kept it stocked for him! They also stocked the freezer with chicken patties, a filling and somewhat healthy meal that didn't break the bank. Brian Shellenback told me Chris didn't bother with buns, he would just dip the patties in sauce and eat them as finger food.
I had no idea that as groceries were being purchased around the Clifton Park region, traveling down the conveyor belt, that some would be headed into my son’s cavernous belly! He was a budget item in many homes... (That warms my heart!!!). It never occurred to me.
One of Chris's earliest and best friends was Patrick Tompkin. Pat's mom stopped over with little brother Pete just yesterday and shared with me how one evening she made what turned out to be a crummy homemade pizza. For some reason it just didn't come out right so it sat in the kitchen and the kids passed on eating it... until Chris arrived. He had several slices and told her it was just fine. I think he made her night. Chris always tried everything once.
At home Chris was not particular; his favorites were chicken nuggets and tater tots. He wasn't fussy and seemed content regardless of what I made. No wonder... He had already eaten somewhere else. My dinners probably just took the edge off any hunger pains! His friends also told me he kept things stashed under his bed for quick nibbling when he was engrossed in Xbox and was too lazy to go downstairs to the kitchen. I haven't looked under there yet. No wonder the dog loved to be in his room…
I saw a video of Chris at a football breakfast gathering with his friends, they were making omelets. Chris Miller flipped the omelet in the pan, it missed and hit the floor.... Yep, Chris to the rescue... He inspected it and ate it. Gross but apparently funny.
At the Wind residence I know Chris knew his way around the kitchen. I've heard he could cook, bake and barbecue and he was welcomed to do it. He could also help whatever he made disappear.
I remember having “car talks” with Chris on the way to family parties. I'd remind him there were lots of people attending and to only fill his plate a little. He could always go back for seconds when everyone had some. Of course he always went back but it sure wasn't for salad. Sometimes he must have really been hungry or just forgot our chat. I’d see him sitting with a stacked plate happily eating and chatting. I'd give him the evil eye from across the room and he'd usually shrug and flash a grin. I'd roll my eyes.
I'd like to roll my eyes again at Christmas dinner...
On our last day together, December 1st, I was fortunate enough to have spent the better part of the day with Chris. He had cereal for breakfast and went upstairs to play Xbox. Nothing unusual. We had to be at Shaker by 12:30 for the All Star Football banquet.
Just before he put his suit on he came down and made a hamburger. I said "Chris, you're going to eat lunch there, it's part of the banquet today". He said "Yeah, I know". So he had two lunches that day because after the ceremony he filled his plate with pizza and wings (and that makes me very happy now).
So to all the parents who shared in filling my boy’s tummy with all the foods he liked and all the meals he ate with your families may I say THANK YOU! To all Chris's friends who enjoyed his company and healthy appetite I THANK YOU too! I take a lot of comfort in knowing that you cared for my son like he was your own child or brother. Chris was and is a part of so many different households I couldn't be a prouder mom.
Blessings to you and thank you for reading.