Friday, January 18, 2013


Some things really stink – or I should say – don’t stink these days; my laundry.  It doesn’t smell like a sweaty boy.  I don’t need to open the laundry room window for fresh air.  Chris’s clothes aren’t filling the three bay hamper.  I hate that.
I miss the chore of washing all his big clothes.  Chris wore XL or XXL.   His shorts could fit two of me inside the waistband with room to spare.  It didn’t take but three or four pairs and a couple tee shirts and that was a full load for the washer.  Now I don’t have much and it’s done quickly.
Chris’s laundry basket never has anything in it anymore.  I used to grab its contents by the armload from time to time when I passed his room because I knew if it sat too long it would make his room smell (worse than it already did).  I would toss his dirty clothes over the railing down to the bottom floor and once I got downstairs I’d pick it all up and sort it into the appropriate laundry bin.   I want that dirty laundry again.  I want to take a peek in his hamper and pluck out his stinky clothes. I want to unwrap his balled up socks and flip his shirts right side out.  I want to once again wrinkle up my face at him and say ”ewwww” like I used to when he’d be sitting on his bed playing Xbox.  He’d do that eye roll thing at me and shrug his shoulders.
I’d pretend it had cooties and that it grossed me out.  Truly, I didn’t mind.  There’s nothing nicer than taking care of my boys.  Thank God I still have Jeremy’s laundry to wash and fold until he goes back to school.  I check his basket as I did Chris’s and take things out by the arm full.  Thankfully he doesn’t object.
During football season Chris and I had a rule… he did his own football uniform on game nights.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want to do it but because he got home after I was already in bed and those nasty clothes could not live in his equipment bag overnight… they smelled too bad and were loaded with sweaty bacteria.  So, he literally dropped his dirt stained clothes off in the garage, on the floor, yanked the pads out of the pants, pulled off the belt and carried everything into the laundry room. He would toss it all in the washer and in the morning I’d change it over to the dryer.  It seemed to work out fine for us.
Many times I’d be sound asleep but awaken to hear the rush of the water filling the washer.  “Chris is home” I’d think to myself and conk back out.  Sigh.
He used to leave his cleats and shoulder pads outside the front door so they could air out too… OMG were they fragrant.  Yuck.  I think the smell was even too much for him sometimes!  I used to get annoyed because I’d trip on them if I wasn’t looking when I went out the front door.  Now I’d like to take a header if only they were in the way once again.  His cleats now live in his room on his window seat.   
I can’t possibly trip over them even by accident anymore and his shoulder pads belong to SHEN so those won’t be in my way anymore either.

Interestingly enough, I just so happened to stumble upon a new favorite laundry detergent in November.  Couldn’t have been two years ago in November, had to be the month before Chris passed.  Go figure.  But, I did find a new one that I like a lot and it doesn’t require laundry softener too… Just one pour and that’s it.  I’ll share in case you want to try it, it’s my new favorite and I like buying it because it reminds me of Chris.  Tide Sport with Febreeze.  It will make your stinkiest clothes fresh.  Wish I had been turned on to it sooner.  I used to go thru bottles and bottles of cheap fabric softener before.  I sound like a commercial… but I'm not getting paid for that endorsement.
Well, I wish you happy laundry washing day.  I envy you.  Yes, I know you might be thinking “Hey Regina come on over and do OUR laundry if you’re looking for a chore!”  Well, thanks but no… I only want to do this family’s laundry but you go ahead and do yours with a smile on your face.  And next time you shop grab some Tide or at least consider smiling at it as you pass it by in the store.  Seek it out on the shelf and say hello to Christopher if you would.  It would mean a lot to me.

Thank you for reading.


  1. We use that detergent. I have a brother who plays soccer and PHEW! He leaves all his soccer gear in the garage.

    It's the little things we miss the most. I understand that. You're doing so well. God bless

  2. Thanks for sharing tide with frebreeze I think I will give it a try and I will think of Chris. My son is a lacrosse guy and trust me I know that icky sweaty smell all to well! Who thought a skinny lacrosse guy could smell as bad a whole football team!he does and worse! This is from a boy whose aunt used to say to him when he was 14 "how come your armpits don't smell? My kids had armpit smell since they were born?!"

    Well she wasn't here after lacrosse or hockey(mmmm frozen sweat now there is something special!) or football or basketball and soccer too yeah he played all 5! 3 in high school, but just lax in college. He and his friends claim to love that smell...I have heard them say "do you smell that? It smells like lax! Mmmmmm!" um you mean Yuck!hahaha

    He is off at college now, but I will pass the tide with frebreeze suggestion to him and I will definitely try it here.

    God Bless! XO!

  3. I will smile today and think of your son when I do my laundry today:)

  4. I will pick up Tide @ the store...just because it will mean a lot to you...Thanks for sharing.

  5. I will get the tide. My youngest will be playing travel baseball and he will also be playing spring rec baseball and I know the stinky clothes. The socks ohh the socks. Thank you for the tip and for sharing another part of yours and Chris' life. God bless you.

  6. I'm buying that Tide with Febreze tonight! When I do that first load of stinky sports gear I will think of your lovely, bittersweet post. But mostly I will think of your boy, who in our eyes, becomes more endearing each blogpost. May God walk beside you as you strive to make your way though each day.

  7. I've lurked on your blog for weeks now, thinking there isn't anything I could possibly comment on that would make life easier for you. However, your ability to tell your story through such difficult times deserves commending. I'm not sure I could do it. I'm a young mother of 2.5 (I'm 29 weeks pregnant with my 3rd) and I cannot imagine your sorrow or yearning to hold your son. I no longer live in the Capital District, but went to Colonie High and played softball v. Shen and Shaker for years. Deanna and Chris' story struck a chord with me when I heard of it from friends still in the area. You've all been in my thoughts since then. I only pray that all of the prayers your families are receiving each day will help in some small way.

  8. I often complain about my husbands "stinky" clothes when he comes home from the gym. I won't complain anymore, I will simply do his laundry and smile :) Thanks for opening my eyes (again), it really is just the little things! Have a good day Regina.

  9. I now have a new appreciation for doing the laundry for my three kids! Thanks for sharing : )

  10. As the mother of 5, my kids got taught how to do their own laundry while in middle school. I, quite honestly, gave them that chore/responsibility to alleviate my own feeling of being "overworked." (Though when we took our first child to college we were amazed at the number of parents whose big concern was "What if Johnny can't do his own laundry?"--and were glad our son would not have that worry.) As they all grew up and washed their own clothes, I found myself with free time and I didn't always know what to do with it. It felt weird. I felt unneeded and like I was being phased out. One of my favorite "surprises" to give my kids was a pile of clean clothes on their bed long after they learned to do it themselves. Thanks for reminding me that we show our love in the little things we do and for making me sit and remember some great memories. You are in my prayers always.

  11. Thank you for this, and God Bless.

  12. I use that detergent too!! Especially for when I do the laundry for a group that I dance with. Gross city but everything comes out smelling so great after one wash. It's a scent that you may start smelling on other people's clothing. That happened to me after using it for some time.


  13. I feel weird responding about laundry... My mind is in a much deeper place today for some reasons so your blog threw me. But focusing on the laundry detergent, for me would be easier then how I was originally going to respond. It never ceases to amaze me what you chose to write about each day. This one threw me. I don't know what to write in response. I started my response to you a few times. I'm having one of those scattered days. What I can say is that I know that laundry detergent well. My daughter's ex-boyfriend used that -- a Shen student -- a stinky racecar driver and mechanic... I guess he liked to smell Tide Fresh. I even bought it a few times but felt weird smelling like a fresh laundered teen racecar driver/mechanic boy. It's the smell I associate with him. Wouldn't he be thrilled to know that. I have, in the past walked past it in the store and smiled. He's a nice kid. We even joked and teased him about how good he smells. Now when I walk past it, I will have 2 people to think about. If the people who wrote above, and the people on facebook buy it after reading this, the sewers will sure start to smell better after laundry day! I'm thinking I should start to watch Tide's stock chart to see if it goes up after reading today's blog. Especially since you did say that you sound like a commercial… but are not getting paid for that endorsement. If I start to see the shelves where Tide Sport with Febreeze resides, looking low, I'll sure know why!

    Now that I know more about Chris from your blogs, I can say: I know what he looks like; I can imagine a little bit about how his hands felt; I know his eating habits; his sense of humor; his athletic ability; his ability to be an amazing friend; boyfriend and son; and now, most recently shared.... how he smelled (both good and bad)!! The clarity and depth in what you write not only has (from what I also read) has people thinking about how they want to focus differently with their pet peeves with their children, maybe parent differently, but you have shared your stories with us and made, at least me, want to reach out and help you. To send you {{{cyberhugs}}} and maybe even make you smile a little bit with a whitty response (when warranted).

    God bless...

  14. I completely understand the emptiness of even the little things you miss about Chris.
    I already use the same laundry detergent .. But today when I do laundry i'll think of Chris.
    I think of you and Chris many times through out the day.. As well as the Rivers family. We identify with you as a Mom , a neighbor, etc.. You are one of us. The major difference is that you have become a model of Grace under pressure, how we'd all like to be if ever faced with a similar situation. We admire, marvel and want your strength to rub off on us.
    The truth is ..I think we all feel we've been given a gift.... Learning how to appreciate even the not so wonderful things in life. Live our life to the fullest, making other people's lives better with our compassion. This blog is some of the best advice I've ever gotten. I've been more compassionate than ever, I've done more random acts of kindness , complain less, love more.
    I'm grateful for people like you Regina.. We are the lucky ones who've learned so much from you. Please let us know what we can do for you.

  15. Wish I'd discovered this detergent! I remember those stinky sports days...LOL! Hockey and football players in my household! I remember driving home on bitter cold winter days, heat blasting and windows open my head leaning towards it so I could breathe! On hot summer days, it seems I was the only parent ever available to pick the boys up from football practice, the windows would all be down and the a/c blasting. I remember my son, Connor, asking why the windows were open when the a/c was on. I looked at him and said so I can breathe! LOL. I swear if I close my eyes I can still conjour up the memory of that awful teenage body sweat smell! So many wonderful memories of years spent in hockey rinks and on football bleachers! Thanks Regina. The next time I need a box of Tide I will look for this one. Hopefully they make it for the front loaders. Once again, you have managed to make us look at something we certainly did not appreciate and turn it around! I wish you still had those stinky clothes to wash and shoes to trip over.

    Thank you for making me slow down, not yell as much and appreciate me life more. I thank God for bringing you into my life although I am very sad for the circumstances that have brought us together. I think in another time, another place we might have been friends though because we have so much in common. Thank you for sharing yourself, Christopher and your stories with us each day. Sending you hugs and wishing you peace.

  16. Dear Gina,
    I read your story this morning before leaving for work, and as luck would have it, my wife had a pile of my clothes folded up last evening after doing laundry. So, the first thing I did was smell them, and they had no scent. I haven't really noticed before for whatever the reason, but when I got home a few minutes ago, I checked what detergent has been being used.....Ultra Ajax, unscented. Guess what's on the grocery list now?
    Thank You for sharing this and all of your beautiful stories with us everyday. My last few replies have gone to The Angels again, but I shared my thoughts and feelings on each story everyday with Christopher and Deanna. This morning I let Christopher know you missed doing his stinky clothes, and I asked him to send you a smell. I hope it comes to you. I asked Deanna to send one to her Mom and Dad, maybe a perfume she wore, I hope it came to them also.
    I would have never guessed something like laundry would mean so much, but I now realize that everything has a special meaning. My eyes get opened wider everyday. You continue to amaze and inspire me, and I look forward to reading and sharing anything you feel writing. Hoping this one makes it to you! Always In My Thoughts And Prayers, Love You, Eddie

  17. Regina, hahahaha.. My daughter is only 16 going to be 17 on Monday and I was turned on to tide sport with Febreeze about October when she came home from basketball practice or a game and I would smell her clothes. I could not believe a young lady could ever smell like that !!! I now have a new appreciation to doing her laundry ! I think she enjoys throwing the clothes out of the bathroom on game days for me to do and hearing me say yuck.. these are nasty soaking wet and smell!! I hear her giggle in the bathroom. I think she even likes to see the faces I make when I do touch them hoping they are not still soaking wet from sweat. Thank you for giving me a new appreciation to everything she does ! Prayers and thoughts always for and with you.


  18. Regina.. your blogs inspire me.. My dad passed away on November 30th and while I know losing a father is nothing like losing a child my heart is broken too. I have wanted to reply to many of your subjects but today's I just had to.. I laughed when reading the part about the stink clothes.. I sure wish they had Tide Sports out when my son Bryan was playing hockey.. I swear from the time he turned 11 his equipment was rancid. Driving home with him after the games was bad, it was freezing out but we still had to open the windows in the car to survive the ride home.. then it was all of the pads and such sprawled out on the deck to try and freshen them out..But I too miss those days.. He is now in the Navy and is away all of the time so no stinky laundry.. I don't think I will ever forget that smell.. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Chris sounds like a wonderful young man..
    Bless you

  19. <3 just saying hello and sending my love. That's all. Xo Lela

  20. Hello Regina... I use tide with febreeze! Love it! Since I have 3 girls.. They aren't typically as smelly as boys.. With there track clothes & soccer uniforms.. However .. I do have one very smelly daughter .. My youngest..,Joely has a horse...whom she adores and rides almost everyday ! Plus on weekends she rides and cleans 12 stalls...shovels SH..T...feeds all of them .. Brings them out in the am .. And in at night! Her laundry smells probably worse than Chris"s! Gross But after reading your blog today ... When I go to do her laundry next time.., I won't complain (as much) and when I pour in the tide ..I will think of your Chris!
    Thanks for giving us all a new appreciation for simple things... even laundry! God bless you

  21. I've used Tide with Febreeze for a long time. Now, I will think of you and Chris whenever I put a load in :) This morning I walked by my son, Corey's, pile of laundry and thought "How is it possible for a 17 year to go through that many clothes in just a couple of days???" Between the working out and the hanging out....he just does. He reminds me of your Chris a lot---just a big, sweet Shen athlete, son, brother, friend, boyfriend, of the great loves of my life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Like a pebble thrown into a body of water, they ripple out and affect the lives of people you may never know. I hope your weekend brings many moments of peace and happy memories of Chris--and maybe a mysterious passing scent or two :)

  22. Regina,
    As the mother of two (smallish) children, I often feel like all I do is laundry. I swear I wash 3-4 loads a day. My 8 yr old son sometimes has socks that could peel paint off walls. I find laundry relaxing though. Is it the repetitive cycle of folding? I'm not really sure. I too love the smell of tide. There's nothing that makes my laundry feel or smell cleaner. I've noticed that while I hate finding grass stains and holes in knees of little boy jeans, I still love finding them in a weird way. It means he's played hard. His jeans tell the story of his day. I'll be trying tide sport ASAP. I better get ahead of the smells to come!

  23. Thank you reminding us every day to appreciate the small(and stinky) stuff. I will think of you and Chris as I wash my sons stinky sports gear.

  24. I was away this past weekend...4 days was nice and relaxing....I felt refreshed....then I walked into my house and saw the mountain of laundry waiting for me. I know I only have myself to blame since once upon a time I told my husband I don't like how he folds and so we made a deal that I do laundry all the time....I can't remember what his thing is....I think I made a bad deal. Anyway, I grumbled through and got it all done...and now I read your blog and remind myself that I am fortunate to clothe my children and I hope to have many, many more years to be doing laundry....and I will grumble and groan through it all.