Thursday, January 17, 2013

College plans

I was really looking forward to sending Chris to college.  I know I already mentioned it before but I’m really going to miss that.  It makes me sad to think about.  For some reason I keep dwelling on the loss of it. 
I so loved the process of looking at schools with each of the boys. It was exciting when Jeremy got his acceptance letters, weighed his options and chose his college.  I want to see the process thru with Chris also.  It’s unfair.  He didn’t even get to open his acceptance mail. I did; without him.   

We visited schools for several months on and off and we were getting used to the idea of his upcoming graduation from SHEN and the big move to a college campus.
I want to experience that bittersweet time of mixed emotions of driving away from the university knowing a new milestone has arrived and my son is taking on a new adventure.  All the uneasiness that goes along with worrying that he’s eating, wondering if he’s making new friends and if he’s getting to class on time.  I did it all with Jeremy and wish for it again.

I’d like the financial burden of wondering how to pay for two in college.  I’d like to be tugged in two directions to visit them both in one weekend and I’d like knowing they’d both be home at the same time for a holiday break or for the summer.  I was looking forward to all the juggling.  I’m so proud of them for being good students and going off to college.  None of this is playing out as I expected.
It would have been fun to hear Chris talk about how different college life is.  I can imagine he’d fuss about the small dorm bed… that his feet hung off the end and he missed his temperpedic.  I’m sure I would tease him about how comfy I was sleeping in mine.
I plan to keep in touch with Chris’s friends to see where they go.  I’m sure I’ll go watch them play football wherever they settle in but SHEN football will of course be nearest to my heart. I’ll go watch that too.
I follow some of the kids on Twitter now and occasionally tweet them.  That’s new for me; I never used Twitter until Chris passed.  I wonder if they think I’m weird.  I try not to say too much, mostly I “lurk”… I just read but don’t respond.  Maybe you’re a lurker to my blog?  That’s fine.  I can understand just wanting to read along for the content.  I hope they don’t mind though.  I like to read what they have to say.  I find it very interesting to tell you the truth.  I get to know them better and I can understand their stream of consciousness – what they’re feeling at the moment.  I even read Chris’s old tweets which never dawned on me until a couple of weeks ago.
I had nothing in particular to share today, other than the recurring sorrow I’m feeling about college.  I don’t know why I falter back on that so often because there are many other things I’m sad about.  I know I’ll get past it in time but I just figured I’d talk about a pressing issue on my mind. 

I wish, I wish, I wish.  But I also know, I know, I know… 

Thank you for reading.


  1. I can empathize. While not the same thing, as I'm getting older and only one year away from graduation, I can't help to think about the far that the most inspirational people in my life are the ones I won't be able to hug after I walk across the stage to get my diploma.

    I'm so incredibly sorry for this. Truth be told, this has made me sad too... knowing that the world was right before these kids but in a blink of an eye it all changed.

    Don't worry. I like that you tweet. It makes me feel like not only do I hear you, but you hear me. It's nice to be supported by someone who doesn't have an obligation to support you. Did that make sense? I'll tweet about upcoming college visits and where I'll go to school too, I know, so again, there will never be a lack of people to follow if that's what you want to do.

    God bless you Mrs. Stewart and thank you for day in and day out inspiring me to be a better person. You are truly special and a gift.

  2. As a mom who has sent two offspring off to college, I can especially relate to today's lament. I think it is so admirable that you plan to remain connected to Chris' (now your) friends as they leave SHEN and go off to college. Hold onto those feelings. They won't make you whole again, but they will help you heal. Despite the fact that I know how much you would give your membership up in the club you'd rather not belong to in a heartbeat, I find myself looking forward to reading your blog each morning. It's become part of my routine and reminds me of nursing my babies while listening to the daily travails of Regis and Kathie Lee (yup, she and I were pregnant at the exact same time BOTH times). I hope it helps a little bit to know that strangers sit here bright and early each morning, our eyes glistening with tears. I look forward to tomorrow's cyber sound bite du juor. And that each day is a little better.

  3. Regina,

    I hope you feel the virtual hugs that are sent your way each day. I wish, I wish, I wish you didn't have to go through these stages of grief but I admire the way you have tackled this tragedy in your life. I hope your day passes with wonderful memories of Chris and I know he is guiding you through. Through your pictures I can see the special sparkle in his eyes. Never do the pictures depict a "not another picture Mom" look, he is always smiling for your camera.
    God Bless you and yours!

  4. Haha I am a lurker. I have been reading your blog since the beginning. I just now decided to comment. As a Mom I can actually feel your pain through your words. Like the saying goes "our loss is heaven's gain" and I believe that this is just an absolute terrible loss. I am a stranger from Brunswick and I cried and still cry over your loss. Keep writing and keep healing. With love, Katie Cerulli
    PS Sending you a virtual hug!

  5. Regina I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I wish so much that you didn't have to. I read your blog every day and I now take the time to really listen to my children and look at everything they do alot closer than I used to. I just want to thank you for opening my eyes. My heart goes out to you and I want to thank you for sharing your boys and your feelings. God bless you and here is a virtual hug.

  6. Ongoing prayers for hope and healing. <3

  7. "For some reason I keep dwelling on the loss of it." For over at least a year now, the plan was to guide Chris in the right direction. You being a part of that process, and then let him go to explore college life and the next phase of his life. Of course you dwell on the loss. The dates on those letters are December 18 and December 20. So new, although those dates probably feel like a lifetime ago. Thinking about the not so far off past that you were planning with Chris - emotions that were going to be bittersweet, yet exciting, was haulted instantly. You have talked of this college process often enough for me to see how much you loved it. With Jeremy and then with Chris. Of course you are going to want to go back to that. From your explanations, college planning was such a big piece of the last year or so that you actually got to share with Chris. "I don’t know why I falter back on that so often because there are many other things I’m sad about." Planning trips; going on college tours, they were all things you actually shared with Chris. Chris going off to school; practice; dates, he did with his friends. You (and possibly your husband) were a big part of those college visits and plans for the future. Of course you revert back! I know I would. I'm sure all of them were wonderful times that you were so present and a big part of. The dreams, the hopes, the excitment. I'm starting that process with my daughter and I know the billions of scenarios that are already running through my head. So different from what went through my head when I did this with my son... They are so different and she will be going at 18, he went away to college as a transfer his Junior year. We had no college visits, no figuring out which school fit his major perfectly. His advisors at HVCC and NSRT did that for us... Reverting back and holding on to those memories will hopefully make you laugh and smile at some point. They are beautiful memories you have shared with us. After my son's spine injury, his life changed forever. He was a 3 season track runner in his prime when he was changed forever. I went to every track meet - cross country, indoor and outdoor. In a split second, at the hands of someone else, that all changed. When his recovery was still new, I reverted back to those memories so often (still do occasionally wondering what would have been for him).

    The nothing particular you shared today was a big particular!

    God bless Regina...

  8. Hi Regina,

    Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to change whats happened, but what you are doing here in this blog is helping not only you but so many others. God Bless You!

  9. Regina, generally, I am one of the lurkers. I find most things I want to say to you just don't come out right when I type them. I read your blog everyday. I cry for you. As a mother of two young children, it breaks my heart to think of the loss you've suffered. Thank you for sharing Christopher with us. I pray for you daily. God Bless you!

  10. I do lurk...sometimes I don't have the strength to read the whole blog...most times I do...I am a mom to an 18 year old son...your blog puts me in your shoes for only a moment and I think about what if you were me? What if my son was your son? Is the fact that he left his cereal bowl in his room for yet another day REALLY that important? No because I don't want my yelling about the bowl to be the last he hears from me (either way...even if I suddenly pass). This morning it was more important to wake up and say "be careful driving to school...the road may be icy"...I pray for you...that you have the strength to concur every day...that every day you remember a special moment with your son...and that you share with us what a wonderful young man you raised...

  11. as far as the twitter lurking on kids twitter ..."no comment"..hahaha! I plead the 5th!
    im thinking you probably keep going back to college and being sad about it, because right at the moment thats what many of the seniors are trying to figure out..where to go for the next 4 years.
    I am so very sorry that you wont be doing that with Chris. I pray you will continue being strong and somehow get thru these hurdles. God bless you.

  12. I'm so sorry for your loss and your pain. I cannot relate to the unbearable pain u must be feeling. But what I can relate to is a sudden loss. My cousin lost her life in a dwi accident in April. And most recently I lost my dad to cancer in November. I know every morning I wake up with this feeling of emptiness. The feeling is something I really cannot put into words. I've followed your blog and today ur words really did hit me. There are going to be alot of big moments in your life, moments you want to share with your son, I understand that. I also find myself questioning gods plan, but I will never get an answer. Sometimes I'm angry sometimes I'm sad and it feels as though no one understands. It is so comforting to know that there are people in this workd who care and who understand. I do not know you or your famy but I have got to say thank you for giving me a glimpse of your life. It certainly has affected me. May god continue to bless you...

  13. I'm mostly a lurker but I have commented a couple of times. I sent 3 kids off to college and it was a wonderful time in my life and in their lives. I completely understand why you feel the way you do because you really have been cheated. You and Chris both deserved to share this experience together since you both worked hard to get him to this point. I'm sorry that you won't be able to experience all those little moments. This probably doesn't make you feel any better but I thought I'd add my virtual hug to the mix. Take care of yourself.

  14. Regina...I'm hear to admit I'm a lurker on here. I look so forward to hearing what you have to say, but I respond little. Your blog has become a part of my routine, I love hearing about Chris and how your doing. You are such a inspiration and I'm seriously going to try to respond a bit more~ Sending you hugs from Upstate NY.

  15. Regina
    You have every right to feel the way you feel.something special has been taken away from you.having 3 kids in college and one at home I know what you mean about looking at the schools and finding that perfect fit.our second oldest is 2hrs away at Plattsburgh.,oldest is home now doing her masters at sage for education 3rd child is in north would never see the first go that far.second child wouldn't first year but is now our world traveler.3knew unc was for him as soon as we stepped on campus.i wish you could have your experience with Chris like you did with Jeremy
    Maybe you could go to the college that you think Chris would have attended to watch a football game.

    PS if you ever feel the desire to pay another tuition bill we have 3.just kidding.hope it would bring a smile.

    You sre an amazing the way congrats on the acceptance letters

  16. Regina-

    I am a lurker too! I look forward to reading your blog entries each night when I arrive home from work around midnight. I work in Albany and live in Ballston Lake, so every night when I am on the Northway coming home, I think of Chris, Bailey, Deanna, and Matt. I have three children (8, 6, and 2), and as a parent, I find it so unbelievably admirable how strong of a woman you are. You are truly and inspiration. Thank you, and take care!

  17. I think Chris would have LOVED Cortland. Thank you for this, and God Bless.

  18. Regina,

    First, I want to say congratulations on Chris getting accepted to his college choices. I cannot imagine how bittersweet that is for you and your husband. I am truly sorry you are being cheated out of the experience of Chris deciding on his college and then sending him off. I so wish, as I know the other readers do, that we could change time back to 11/30 and change the outcome for you. But sadly we cannot.

    As a mom of four, I've already sent two off to college who went away, my third went to HVCC and my fourth is going to HVCC as well. Since 3 and 4 chose HVCC they did not look at other colleges and I was disappointed not to have that same experience of touring campuses with them that we did with our first two. So I cannot imagine what you are going through. I keep you in my prayers and thoughts each day. Each day I pray you find a little more peace.

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