Friday, December 28, 2012

I'm struggling

I have so many things I want to say that my thoughts get jumbled.  I have post it notes and scraps of paper on my nightstand of things that run thru my mind that I know I want to share.  I still feel like if I don't get them out on paper somehow I'm going to forget and I'll never get the memory back.  I'll never understand the mind but I do have faith that even if I lose track of something I want to say, eventually it does resurface.

Something I've been meaning to state, but I don't know if you realize, is that I only speak for me.  I NEVER discount Deanna, Bailey, Matt, my family or friends but the one thing I am sure of is that I can only talk to you on behalf of myself. I pray I never speak for the group.  This blog is my selfish way of bragging about my son and everything that centers around him from my point of view.  If ever I come across as something else I'm sorry.  Jeremy told me a while ago not to speak for him, I try to respect that and hope I do.  Sometimes I may forget but I'll try to only speak from my heart.

It was day two back to work for me.  I feel as though I did pretty well.  I seem to have my moments when I'm overwhelmed.  Luckily there aren't too many coworkers in the office this week.  I'm trying to re-acclimate myself to things that have happened since the first of December.  I notice a huge difference in how my brain processes.  It's sluggish and I don't like it.  It's unlike me to look at contracts and files in an effort to organize them.  I'm finding I need to ease into it.  I had a few hundred e-mails to look at.  I gave myself that one and only task yesterday.  I had to delete anything that started with "My Condolences" or "Sorry for your loss"... I looked at the senders name but never read your note. I already know what you wanted to tell me.  I'm sorry too... I logged your name in my brain to go along with all the people who have said the same thing to me.  I truly feel your pain.  I'm so thankful you reached out.  I wish I was not in the position to get your mail.  It stinks.
Someone was talking to me the other day and accidentally called Jeremy "Christopher" in conversation.  He was so apologetic, feeling as though I'd be upset.  That doesn't upset me.  You don't need to worry about that.  I love the name Christopher and I want to talk about him or hear that great name.  You don't have to dance around speaking about him.  It's only been three weeks but it doesn't matter if it’s three years or thirty years... What parent wouldn't want to blab on about their child??? I know I do.  I love the stories and I love sharing mine.

I went to dinner last night at McGreivey's in Waterford.  Ever hear of it? Amazing food, fabulous staff and a feel good atmosphere.  I had a little trouble but I managed my way thru it.  Christopher worked there.  He washed dishes probably twelve hours a week.  I felt tremendously sad but also proud he had a part-time job.  He paid me for his car insurance with his paycheck.  That was the deal if he planned to own a vehicle.  I used to go visit on nights he worked and he would come out to see me - of course once my food was on the table so he could sample it.  Smart boy... He would be a sweaty mess and I'd joke with him to get back to work because the patrons would be grossed out.  It was so hot back by the commercial dishwasher he would be dripping.  He typically brought a second tee shirt since he'd soak the first.  The staff had fun with him too.  They're a family.  Tonight they all came over to visit and share stories.  This was his first "real" job working at a business.  It was fast paced on the weekends and he would come home exhausted.

I felt like he was in the kitchen as I ate and I kept waiting for him to come see what I ordered and stick his chubby fingers into my plate to have a taste.  Last night he didn't do it... or not that I noticed anyway.  There was nothing missing from my dinner plate.  That was a shame.  Another night where I didn't get to roll my eyes at him or tell him he has bad manners with a smile on my face.  I wish I could.
There are long portions of my day where I feel I'm fully aware that Chris is gone.  Then I have fleeting moments when I completely forget and then I find myself spiraling backward, reeling because it just can't be true.  I feel as though I don't know what I'll do.  I don't like struggling.  I don't like this new "me" of sorts.  I'm not used to feeling out of control, even if it is brief.  I don't like anything about it.  I don't want it nor do I wish it on anyone.  It's terrible, so irrational and an unusual a feeling.  I want my November 30th life, the one where I worried about how to pay for college and hoped for a scholarship for Chris to help offset the costs of two going to school.  I want that back.  That's a great worry in comparison to the worries I carry now.

Thankfully I know that my moments of struggle will subside.  I like to listen to Joel Osteen.  Do you know that name? 

Check out his podcasts if you don't have a chance to watch him on TV on Sundays. He's very helpful when I can't carry the load God asks me to. He helps me out of the pity party I'm throwing for myself.

It seems you like to read what I say because for some reason I help you in your day.  I can't be happy enough to hear that.  I don't know what it is I do to make that happen but I'm thankful.  I believe I'm just an ordinary person.  I just seem to need to talk to you about the tragedy I'm experiencing.  I've never written in my life.  I'm not ever a real writer so far as I've ever known.  I do like to share though - at least now since all this happened.  Maybe I just don't know what to do with myself.  In any event, I'm glad we have each other for a few minutes each day.  I like hearing your notes back to me about your experiences too.  I actually have been able to read more of your replies lately.  I plan to back up to day one and go thru each blog.  You'll hear from me eventually.  I appreciate spending time and I'm overly grateful you're here.

Thank you for reading.  


  1. Good Morning Regina,

    I read your blogs every morning and maybe I think is because I think you are such a strong woman and a great mom to your boys. My daughter is 16 and will be 17 in January. Reading your blogs have made me realize more things to create some memories with my daughter and some for her when it's my time. That is always something I use to worry about, did I or we ( her father and I) make enough memories for her. I hope you have a good day and thank you for putting some of your feelings and thoughts into this blog. I know it's filled with love. Have a great day.


  2. Regina, I can't say anything to you that millions of others haven't said. Today's blog you mentioned Joel Osteen, as a Catholic I would like to tell you the comfort the Rosary has brought me. There is so many things in life that we have no control over, and when those times overwhelm me, I say the Rosary and I receive instant comfort. Things seem to become bearable. If you don't pray the Rosary, I hope you give it a try! I say a Rosary everyday for Chris and your family. God Bless

  3. Regina, first off, thank you! Thank you for your strength and words of inspiration you are spreading to everyone. I think you have a natural knack for writing, even though you say you were never a writer! Also, I love Joel Osteen, I watch him every Sunday morning. Very positive, inspirational individual. Hang in there sweetie. I know nothing anyone can say will ever bring your life back to the way it was before but just stay strong, as much as you possibly can. I know it's hard to read and hear people say sorry and send their condolences, it is only a natural human reaction but overwhelming. You just focus on you and your family right now and keep your faith. I came in to see you yesterday at your office and I was unsure if I should of come to see you because I knew you had just recently returned to work. I couldn't stop myself from doing it. I had to, I had to just come over and give you a hug and tell you I read your blog everyday and tell you how amazingly strong you are. I hesitated because I knew you were already overwhelmed but I just couldn't help but do it, so for that I apologize. Christopher is with you, he is everywhere with you through your good and bad moments. He gives you that little push at times you feel you can't do this, you can and you will. Thanks again for writing. God bless!

  4. I always read your blog and I think it is wonderful that you started one.. for you. To get your thoughts out on paper (or computer screen). I live in Waterford about 5 minutes away from McGrieveys. I cannot believe how strong you are.. just keep doing what you're doing. Chris was so lucky to have you, and you were so lucky to have him. I taught in Bailey's school (elementary and subbed in Jr high/high school) but I never had the opportunity to meet your wonderful son. Keep writing and pushing on the best you can... Christopher is proud of you. We are all proud of you. May God and Christopher continue to watch over you and your family xoxo

  5. Regina,

    Though I have not had a loss quite like yours , being a controlled person , I think I understand where you are coming from and where your overwhelming feelings are. I too do not like to feel unorganized or out of the control position I put myself in. Sometimes it helps just to breathe and I would imagine in your life to think of Chris above and let him help guide you.

    As far as your writing abilities I believe it will not be long before you are discovered for your talent. I have a feeling your entries will become a compilation that will be helpful for all.

    As we have heard often enough, take one day at a time. Take time out to breathe fully!

  6. Regina, I read your post everyday and I have to say thank you. Thank you for sharing the wonderful stories of Christopher. Thank you for doing what every mother should do when they suffer the loss of a child. My name is Amanda Sousie, and while the loss of my son was not as traumatic as yours I know the pain that looms in ones heart. I wish even I had some words of comfort to offer you, but the truth is there are none. What I can tell you is that slowly the pain, overwhelming feeling and the inability to focus will ease. While it will never go away, days will slowly become easier. Smiles will start to come more often and days will start to seem shorter again. I want you to know that the loss of your son, while in no way compared to your pain, kills this entire community. We stand behind you and the Wind family. Your family, and the Wind family have joined a group so to speak. While it is a group no mother or father wants to be in, the truth is we exist. This group is of those who have lost children. If I might give you some advice, and you in no way shape or form need to take it, find a group of these people. They love to hear the amazing stories you will share, but also will be there as a shoulder to cry on. I found when my son passed, these people provided me something that no one else could. Regina, I wish also you could go back to the 30th of November. I hate to hear the pain that you suffer. Just know that when you feel alone, and that you have no more strength, Christopher is there. He is the reason that you get up in the morning,make it through your day, and continue to write this blog. I only wish you the best, and I thank you for sharing your son with all of us. God is with you, and Christopher is as well.

  7. Thank you, Mrs. Stewart. Your blog is now part of my morning routine. I gain perspective and strength from your words. You and your family in my thoughts everyday. Sending prayers that peace and comfort find you in this difficult time.

  8. "Sometimes it's ok if the only thing you did today was breathe."

  9. Regina, I read your blog every morning. I look for it from my iPhone before I even get out of bed. I live in Saratoga and my son is Christopher's age. I was heartbroken for you and the other families. As the mother of a teen, I was so happy the authorities quickly announced that your Christopher was not at fault. Why do others always assume the worst of our beautiful teenagers? Maybe it makes them feel better that if the kids were doing something "wrong" then maybe nothing as tragic as that could ever happen to their own children. But I digress. What I came here to say this morning is that was strikes me the most is all the pictures you have of Christopher. Not just pictures from special events, but pictures of him doing the most everyday tasks. My 17 year old just does not let me near him with a camera. One of the lessons I learn from you is to not sweat the small stuff and to savor each moment with our children...even the daily tasks.
    I pray your heart feels peace soon.

  10. Your blog is part of my morning routine, and you help me in my day. I love how you remember Chris and I would want to do the same. I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.

  11. I, too, look forward to reading your post every day. You are a fabulous writer, and do a great job of helping all of us get to know your Chris. I didn't know him well at all - I only knew that he used to hang out over in Lexington Commons and played neighborhood football with my boys. I also believe that my youngest has been wearing lacrosse gear passed down years ago from Chris to Peter Tompkins, and soon he will be ready to pass it along to someone else. I see the boys (nearly men) in my neighborhood, Matt, Dylan, Patrick, all part of the Class of 2013, and I think of your son. My heart goes out to you and your family. I hope that you continue to write your blog for as long as it helps you heal, and I will continue to read it and wish that I had paid a little more attention to the kids in the 'hood, walking thru the yard to get to Stewarts, or playing manhunt in everyone's yard, or wiffle ball on the cul de sac. Those are the thing that I will try and remember when I think of your son. God bless.

  12. Your blog is a part of my morning as well, but I don't look to it to help me. I read it, and decide what I want to write back in a way to possibly help you. I have recognized by reading your blog that I am a lot like you in the way I parent and in the way I process things. I never thought I was a writer either, until after my son's injury and I was so full of thoughts and confusion and how his injury changed our life, and his. When counseling didn't work, I turned to writing poetry. What ended up on the paper surprised me and anytime something affects me (good or bad) I tend to turn to the computer or pen and paper and write a poem about it. I have a lot of them! And they even started to help other people. Sometimes when I'm so apprehensive or uneasy, I just write and then the feeling goes away. It's a neat way to process and just sit with one's self and clear the mind. It's also a great feeling when, after I write, I can move on. It does happen, I promise.

    Writing is a comforting way to start to heal. You will have times where you look back at a few of these blogs and you might not even remember writing some of them. And down the road, your focus might change, depending on what you are going through. It's all such a positive way to move forward.

    After the memorial service at Shen (I brought my daughter (junior at Shaker) because she really felt she needed to be there). I was so overwhelmed with how to feel, since I did not know Chris, Deanna and Matt, but they are my daughter's age, and the same age my son was when he got injured and it had my emotions in an upheaval. So I wrote this poem after Chris' friend's speech... I think this is the perfect time to share it with you:

    Through the tears, a grieving teen said “we must smile”,
    How true I thought, because life is so fragile, we are here such a short while...
    It is our life to live to the fullest each day,
    Making each day count ~ it is the only way.

    The only way is to make a lasting “footprint in the sand”,
    Those who are reading this, are sure to understand…
    To make our life count ~ so when we are gone,
    Those who knew us will reflect, and help us live on.

    Live on through the examples we set,
    Those whose lives we have touched, this message they will get...
    It’s okay you didn’t know us until we were gone,
    God works in mysterious ways, our presence will now go on.

    Do not let those who pass before you be in vain,
    Help those around you, their happiness to sustain…
    Try to move past the sadness and tears,
    “Smile” each day, as you walk through your years.

    We are in heaven looking down,
    A smile on your face we want to see, not a frown…
    Be happy our lives were rich and full of love,
    Go on with your days, and we will be watching from above.

    ©Justine Crowley-Duncan
    December 5, 2012, Latham, NY

    I hope my poem helps you in some way, and I hope you continue to write...

  13. Regina,

    If blogging helps you continue, losing your child is so different than losing anybody else, take your time healing and keep blogging, when you give birth to a child you carried for nine months, letting go is not an option. Christopher and Jeremy know your heart after all they are the only ones that heard it beat from the inside. I think when you are dealing with your grief as a mother(not just the grief of losing your child which is just unimaginable to begin with) but the grief you are experiences over losing Christopher pales I am sure in comparison to watching Jeremy grieve. Feeling helpless to take Jeremy's pain away on top of feeling lost without Christopher I am sure is just overwhelmingly difficult. I encourage you to continue blogging, but also, talk to your priest, go to a grief loss group, if it is not for you then stop going, but at least try it, often times your church offers them, I know our church does. And go somewhere with mike and Jeremy it will be hard I know but start making new memories with Jeremy that are now his alone with you and Mike. Every single first you go through without Chris will be hard, but you have strength, faith and love of so many on your side. Lean on those here for you. You are in my daily thoughts and often I re-read your post wondering how you are doing. God Bless you and may He bring peace to your heart and healing to your soul. Keep blogging...

  14. Regina, I came across this Irish funeral blessing when a friend's brother passed away a year ago. She told me she and her mother thought it was beautiful. I hope it brings some comfort to you as well. I look forward to reading your writings each day. Like the others who've posted, I too believe you have a gift you are sharing with us. Thank you. I hope each day you find a little more peace in your life.

    Longing For One More Day
    When we lose someone we love it seems
    that time stands still. What moves
    through us is a silence... a quiet
    sadness... A longing for one more day...
    one more word... one more touch... We
    may not understand why you left this
    earth so soon, or why you left before we
    were ready to say good-bye, but little
    by little, we begin to remember not just
    that you died, but that you lived. And
    that your life gave us memories too
    beautiful to forget. We will see you
    again some day, in a heavenly place
    where there is no parting. A place where
    there are no words that mean good-bye.

  15. Thank you for writing this blog. My son Taylor has been in school with Chris since I believe Kindergarten. I actually just looked back through all his Tesago class pictures and we had moved here for the last three months of Kindergarten so no class pictures for that year but it says Christopher in his friends list of his school years book for Kindergarten. Then each year of Tesago they were in every class together. My son said he had at least one class with him every year. I remember they were in flag football together and I saw Chris and thought Wow, thank God this isn't tackle :) My take on Chris was that he looked like he could really hurt somebody but his smile and the way he carried himself said he was a big Teddy Bear. Respectful, fun, and just an all around great kid. I'm so sorry for your loss and I am glad you have so many people to support you and pray for you and your family. I do. I prayed especially on Christmas for you. There are so many people here for you if/when you need us. You will never be alone. Keep writing, if its a great help to you!!! If it helps someone else thats a bonus. You are such a strong woman, and an inspiration. I pray that your heart heals and that Chris stays with you making sure that happens. God Bless you and your family. Thank you for not only sharing Chris with us but for sharing yourself as well.

    Debbie Clark (Vavruick)

  16. Regina, K-Love radio station, 94.5 FM is a Christian radio station that brought me much comfort after the loss of my son. Three and half years later I'm still listening to it. Uplifting music and commentary, awesome music ministry, I love it. Do you know of it?

  17. Goodmorning Regina, I have to say once again your blog touched me again. You are another part of my morning routine before I start my day, I make sure I fit in time to read your blogs about your Christopher, please don't feel selfish in any way talking about Chris, this is just your way to express your emotions and feelings at that moment, keep it coming Regina. Well I hope the rest of your day goes well for you, your family is in my prayers!

  18. You are a very strong woman and if you feel the need for a pity party you should have have suffered a loss no parent should have to suffer.when I read your blodgs I smile to myself BC my 12 year old soon to be 13 year old son(on Chris's bday)reminds me of your Chris.the way he likes to eat,his funny disposition and his caring way for others.i pray and think about you every day and pray I never have to experience what you are,but if I did I hope I can be as strong as you are and help others by writing

  19. Regina,
    Your blog continues to give me a moment to "recheck" myself daily. I, too, am terribly sorry for your loss and believe that writing is a wonderful form of expression whenever one is struggling (I've even found myself typing little "notes" into my Ipod late at night when thoughts are weighing on my mind). I have three young children and can not begin to imagine experiencing the loss of a child. Just within the past year, I've switched to being a stay at home mom after working in a demanding "management career" that kept me busy 24/7 and had been missing out on many of my kids' events. Over this year, I've struggled with missing my professional life, feeling overwhelmed by the chaos of being home with the kids, and feeling like I miss my "me" time. Reading your blog helps to center me on what is truly important - the TIME we have with our children. Very simply put. Each day, I check in and your words bring a tear to my eye, I say a prayer for Christopher to give you strength to get through that day and I remind myself how lucky I am. Then, when the kids are arguing or I'm hearing "Mommy" for the hundreth time later that day - I stop myself before reacting think of you. I wish for you that you could go back to November 30th; however, whatever plan God has for you - I hope that you know how much your words touch others. Thank you.

  20. I have read your blog everyday. I have not once thought that you were talking for anyone but yourself. Also, you have every right to brag about Chris and your family. If this is what helps you heel even just a little bit, then do it. I love reading stories about him. Since I started reading your blog, with all of the stories, you make me feel like I knew Chris. Keep doing what you are doing and stay strong!

  21. Dear Regina,

    Please start attending Eucharistic Adoration at a Catholic Church in your Diocese,Our Lord is fully present in the Blessed Sacrament and will reveal to you everything that will help you.

    I have been praying for you and you're family at Adoration and I know that Christ would want you to attend.

    Mother Teresa of Calcutta explains just how powerful Adoration was to her and the other Sisters in coping with every day tragedies they faced in Calcutta...



    Without the Eucharist we are nothing, but with the Eucharist - the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus - we have everything. This was the secret of Mother Teresa, the secret which is present in all of our Catholic Churches. For she wrote, “Where will you get the joy of loving?-in the Eucharist, Holy Communion. Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that adoration.” She continued:

    “In our congregation, we used to have adoration once a week for one hour, and then
    in 1973, we decided to have adoration one hour every day. We have much work to do.
    Our homes for the sick and dying destitute are full everywhere. And from the time we
    started having adoration every day, our love for Jesus became more intimate, our love
    for each other more understanding, our love for the poor more compassionate, and we
    have double the number of vocations. God has blessed us with many wonderful vocations.”

    When people asked Mother how many convents she had, she answered “We have 584 tabernacles.” Without the Presence of Jesus, the work of the Sisters would be impossible. This is why she wrote: “We shall spend two hours a day at sunrise and sunset in adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Our hours of adoration will be special hours of reparation for sins, and intercession for the needs of the whole world, exposing the sin-sick and suffering humanity to the healing, sustaining, and transforming rays of Jesus, radiating from the Eucharist.” It is through the Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament that the life of Mother Teresa was transformed, to remind us of God. It is through the Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament that her life continues to radiate His hope to the world.

    Dear Regina,

    Here are some Catholic Churches not to far from Clifton Park that offer daily Adoration and some even have 24 hour Adoration Chapel 7 days a week.Your local Church has Adoration on the first Friday of each month

    Here is a list

    Christ, Our light has Adoration 24 hours/7days a week
    Christ, Our Light Catholic Church
    Founded - 2009
    1 Maria Drive
    Loudonville, NY 12211
    Phone: (518) 459-6635

    Saint Francis Chapel has Adoration Monday through Friday from 10:30 am(after 10Am Mass) to 11:45 am. Confession is also available during these times
    145 Wolf Road
    Albany, NY 12205-1125
    (518) 459-2854

    St Clement has Adoration Mon-Friday 8:30 Am to 7PM
    St. Clement's Church
    Founded - 1916
    231 Lake Ave.
    Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
    Phone: (518) 584-6122

    Your local Church Saint Edward The Confessor has Adoration next Friday after 9AM Mass

  22. Regina, I wanted to let you know I get up every morning and before getting out of bed I read your blog. I am a 25 yr old mother of a 2 year old. When I heard about the accident my heart sunk as becoming a parent has changed my outlook on life. But your words are inspirational!! I now hold my son's little hand every night. I to want to know what his hand feels like. I didn't know your son but I do know that I feel like I have gotten to know him through your blog and other posts. He was an outstanding person who was full of life.I can only hope my son will be the same way. your strength and courage has helped me as I questioned my faith when this tragedy happened. It warms my heart knowing you are still in contact with Bailey. She seems like a beautiful person who your son loved very much. I hope she can find strength in her words like you have!!! The same for Matt!! It seems as if Deanna and Chris were great friends and I believe they are with all you. I pray for you all. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thought of your family. I can only hope that I will be half the mother you are!! Thank you for sharing your son with us!! He sounds like the son every mother/father would want for their daughter!!! God bless

  23. You are not the only one who struggles day in and day out with loss. You aren't. Last night was a hard night for me. I cried for hours over my own loss and also because my heart breaks so much for you, Bailey, your husband, and Jeremy. (I so wish I could know you guys.) Sometimes it seems like it will never end.

    I hope it does. We'll take baby steps even though you don't know me, even though I'm much too young to have a son, even though I could never imagine what you're going through and you could never imagine what I'm going through. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You give me hope and, at the very least, a reason to pull my butt out of bed in the mornings when I just feel like, as you put it, "throwing myself a pity party." Please don't stop writing. Ever.

    Sending love.

  24. i don't know how you are staying so strong and living each day and finding the good in each day as well. you are an inspiration! that's why I keep reading and commenting on your blogs. You are teaching me to see my life in a better light. thank you.

  25. I must have been struggling a lot in 2006. I don't even remember writing this...

    Simple Prayer

    Lord Jesus Christ ~ Have Mercy On Me
    A small, simple prayer as you can see.
    Just one simple line, with meaning so deep,
    Say it many times a day... waking up and falling asleep.

    The power of prayer is so cleansing,
    Needing to do it more, I'm sensing.
    Mind starts to wander to flashbacks and fear,
    Lord Jesus Christ... stay near.

    Walking through days feeling numb,
    Needing to remember to focus on "The One".
    "The One" who can help, because "He" always hears,
    Focus on "Him" to calm my fears.

    even simple words to make things calm,
    A repetition that should begin at dawn.
    Breathing in ... and out ...
    Say it quietly in your head, no need to shout.

    Lord Jesus Christ ~ Have Mercy On Me
    Say it over and over you'll see,
    So much better you will start to feel,
    A simple little prayer, so short, no need to kneel!

    Lord Jesus Christ ~ Have Mercy On Me
    Always there for me, I can see.
    Lord Jesus Christ ~ Have Mercy On Me
    Forever in debt to you I'll always be.

    (c)Justine Crowley Duncan
    June 2, 2006 - Latham, NY