Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I was sitting at my desk at work when this delivery man came in.  He happened to be from a local restaurant and he was dropping off samples of food from his establishment.  From time to time I get solicitors who really shouldn’t be in the building but they run through and drop off menus and once in a while food for all of us to try.  Their goal is to get us to visit them on our lunch hour or maybe stop in after work for happy hour.  I have no idea if it works or not.  For me?  Nah.
So yesterday afternoon someone happened to stop with this huge stack of styrofoam containers.  I got chatting with him for a few minutes and let him tell me all about his business, which is new and opened down the hill from my office building.  It was such a cold day I had to give the guy credit for dragging all those boxes out of his car and walking through the halls here.
When he left I opened the carton to see what he brought.  I found four sliders.  Two roast beef and turkey with bacon on nice soft rolls.  I’m not much on deli meat and they didn’t particularly look appealing to me but one of my first thoughts was “I’m going to bring one of these home for Chris!”  Then my heart sank.  Chris loved sandwiches, especially triple-deckers and sliders.

Instantly I was sullen.  On one hand, how can I forget he’s gone yet on the other how can I believe it?  I wonder when I’ll realize it to the point that it becomes solidified in my head and I don’t question it anymore.
I had been having a pretty good day up until the point of the free food.  It was my mother’s 87th Birthday and I had lunch with her.  Funny enough, what did we eat?  Subway sandwiches…  Go figure.  They really aren’t my favorite but they were easy enough to pick up on the way.  Then she never ate any, she had oatmeal instead.  Oh well.  Mike and my siblings enjoyed them with me and she was glad for the company so it all worked out.   
She did like her Bella Napoli butter cookies however.

I hope you enjoy an overstuffed sandwich sometime and think of Chris.   

Savor every bite.  :-)

Thank you for reading.


  1. Bella Napoli--- my favorite fudge fancies. So yummy! to u.

  2. That was suppose to be, hugs to u.

  3. It will be 6 years since my friends accident, and sometimes I still have to stop and think before I text her.. to remind myself she isn't here..but rather watching instead. You are doing the best thing to heal your soul.. by writing each and everyday and ALWAYS remembering. Chris is probably LOVING every minute of you sharing him with the rest of the world. Next time I eat a big sub, will be sure to think of him! Bella Napoli one of my favorites.. (their sub sandwiches are amazing as well!)

    Have a good day!

  4. I know that moment. There is a "fine"ness to your day and therefore your brain feels as if things are back to normal and so of course the loved one is still with us. And then it hits you. It's a horrible feeling. I think this is why when an alzheimer's patient loses a spouse or loved one we are coached to tell them once (because they have the right to know and to grieve) but only once. Grieving each time we remember feels too cruel. And yet here it is to be dealt with. My heart is with you today Regina. Breathe through these dark moments, and reach out when you need to.

    I met a woman last night and we had a long conversation about "hugs" and "touch". I am currently in Columbia South America. I had noticed that when our local business contact introduced us to her, she met them with a warm enthusiastic hug... not a superficial, pat-on-the-back, air-kiss... but a full embrace. In USA we don't tend to do that so much when we meet a customer so we got to talking about it. We mirror each other and when we touch we share energy. It is so healthy and healing to do this. Find someone to hug today ok? We all want to share our energy with you. And though this blog is great, it can't really do that! Please reach out and get the support you need. And before you know it, it won't hurt quite as much.

    God Bless,

    1. Terri, this was such a beautiful post I hope it helps Regina and others who read it. God Bless you

  5. I noticed in that picture of Chris he is holding up a plate with muscles in it! Those are sooo good! I love them! I will think of him when I have those and big deli subs!

  6. I still think of my gone too soon loved one. When ever I hear a song that I know he would like or when the Yankees win...I think, I wonder if Brian is smiling right now. it used to sadden me but now it brings me warmth and gladness to know that I knew him so well. And he knew me too. Sometimes when an old favorite song comes on the radio, I know it's Brian, saying hi...thinking of you. Embrace these moments because they will bring you comfort in the future. Hugs to you. Take care.

  7. Oh Regina,

    My heart is just broken for you. Of course you "forget" he is gone because it is all so raw and still so new. But, he really is not gone because Chris resides in your heart and in there he is alive and feels like he is still here. He will always be with you forever. And in time as you heal somewhat, these moments will warm you and not make you sullen. It will be these moments that Chris will makes his presence known to you that your heart will start to rejoice and instead of sadness a warmth will enbrace you.

    Please don't be so hard on yourself...please don't beat yourself up...give yourself time and when moments like this happen...give yourself a timeout...a time readjust, get yourself together, refocus. You deserve time to help you heal, please don't just brush it aside it won't just go away and you should take as much time as you need to cope.

    again I am so sad for your loss, it breaks my heart...My prayers of Peace and Grace are your in abundance...

    God Bless you, and like Terri said...please find someone to hug and don't let go until you are ready.

  8. Again, reading your blog, I am both moved by your words and the way you really convey the real and raw feelings behind them, and then also finding myself starving and now craving subs and Bella Napoli! (Ya know they make one heck of a sub, too, although NOTHING tops their pastries!) I think what makes your blog so special to so many of us is that you're real. You don't sugar coat or pretend everything's always going great yet you still find a way to get a smile or chuckle out of us readers because your parenting stories are so relatable! Stinky clothes (and kids), hungry/famished growing kids (my now 18-year old daughter, when playing basketball, would eat dinner only to ask me maybe 20 minutes later what was for dinner. She would make me insane!), different parenting for different the personalities of our children, etc. Thanks for continuing to share these stories. It may be therapeutic for you but its also a great reminder for the rest of us that we should enjoy these moments and not sweat the petty stuff. Have the best day you can have today. Hope there's happy moments and joy in there. And the heavy-hearted moments and few and far between. Thank you for writing!

    Continuing to keep you and your family in my daily prayers,

  9. *p.s. typing from my phone is always an adventure. Hope my numerous typos and wrong autocorrects still allow my comments to be decipherable. I'm new to blog commenting! Off to set up my coffee I.V. ;-)

  10. Good morning Regina ( or do you prefer to be called Gina?)

    I've noticed when your family or close friends comment.. They call you Gina.. Just thought I'd ask which you preferred :)

    There are so many different things that are going to remind you of Chris each and every day... It's all part of the grieving process. I think as far as your brain processing the loss of Chris.. It's almost like a self preservation mechanism that occurs. There is no need to rush the process..Time gives more clarity..The body is amazing and right now it's in a protective self preservation mode.. Be kind to yourself..

    I know that you have mentioned before that you're not a "touch feely" person with other people besides your children.. But touch is an important basic need. It can be very healing..
    Thinking of you today and everyday Regina(Gina?)

  11. Regina, first, please pass along a Huge Happy Birthday to your mother from me. I know that I don't know her, but since you shared her birthday lunch story with us, I felt she deserved a big Happy Birthday from one of your "friends". I'm glad your mom is close enough to you that you can share the birthdays and special moments. 87! God bless her! My mother and father moved to Pittsburgh so I miss out on those now. Even more so since they are getting up there in age and my dad is not well. I feel like I'm being robbed of those small yet special moments. A phone call just isn't enough... I'm glad you had lunch/brunch and Bella Napoli cookies with her. I'm sure it was special.

    Twice yesterday I was going to send you a message to see how you were, but then thought better of it. I didn't want to intrude. And then I read your blog and felt badly that I didn't reach out. I'm not sure I know what the right thing is to do, so I rely on sending you a reply to your blog to check in with you or to find out how your day was.

    Chris and you and your family, Deanna and her family, Bailey and Matt were all in our thoughts and prayers last night as we sat around the table at Red Robin with friends and family. Given the nature of the fundraising even, how could you all not be in our thoughts. I'm not sure if Chris liked veggies, but I had a great BLTA last night (but out of respect for my vegeterian daughter, I ordered it without the bacon which put a smile on her face... pigs are her favorite animal). It was not a triple decker, but it was big enough! Red Robin sure gives a lot of food. I could only eat half of it. I'm sure he would have gobbled the whole thing and had not a crumb left!

    I hope you have more bright spots in your day today and know the thoughts and prayers and {{{hugs}}} are coming your way.

    God bless...

  12. I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing yourself through this blog. I don't know you or your family, but as a new mom I can't help but be truly moved by your words. I hope to be as loving, kind, present and thoughtful a Mom as you've clearly been to your boys. Thank you, love to you and your family

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  14. Regina,

    I read your blog every day during my down time or on lunch. I graduated from Shen a couple years ago so this accident was very heartbreaking to me .I find you a very inspiring person to stay so strong after experiencing something so horrible like losing a child. I have always thought writing was a great way to cope with anything difficult even if its just your everyday thoughts. Anyway, I enjoy reading your blog everyday & I too got a visit from the same sandwhich place yesterday at my office we must not work far from eachother!(:

    My deepest condolences go out to you and your family, stay strong & keep writing!
    Thank you!

  15. Mr Nagy; "Chris put away the sandwich, you cant eat in class"
    Chris S; "But I am hungry!"
    Mr Nagy; " If you eat it now , you won't have any for lunch!"
    Chris S; " Oh no... I packed another sandwich for lunch, don't worry about that"

  16. Hi Regina! Happy 87th Birthday to your mom! May she enjoy every moment of it.

    I too used to make the mistake...Oh let me call Mom quick and then sadly realize she's gone. She was part of my daily ritual. Every day I called until the day I couldn't. Boy what a Void!! I eventually worked through it.

    Just as you started writing a Blog, I had "started" a journal after my mother passed. This year will Mark 10 years since she passed and I've never read the journal since the last time I wrote in it which was about 9 years ago. I think this is the year to open it and painful as it was. I was 25 when she left this earth....I can only imagine what I wrote.

    Hugs and Blessings to you.
    Xo Lela

  17. @Terry N.....cracking up over your post!


    First, sending Happy Birthday wishes to your mom! Hope she enjoyed her day, especially surrounded by her family!

    I remember when one of my best friends died 20 years ago. I used to pick up the phone to call her for the longest time. This is all still so new for you. Don't be so hard on yourself! In time you will figure out how to deal with it. I think Annie143 read my mind today because her words sound just like what I was going to write! So I will end here! I know you don't like hugs but I figure virtual ones are okay! Sending lots to you today because I hope maybe somehow they will help!

  18. I know the guy who bakes those butter cookies. Nice guy. Bella Neapolitan is the best bakery. Love their butter rolls.

  19. Happy 87th Birthday to your mom!!!

    My daughter works at Bella Napoli and brings home tasty treats all the time!!! yummy!!!

    The next time I have an oversized sandwich I will toast to Chris and enjoy every bite!

  20. Dear Gina,
    Good morning, sorry for the late reply. It's Saturday, catch up day again for me today, but I was really hoping my wife was going to reply to this writing. I'll try to keep this short. With the current contractor I work for, we don't take a lunch break. Our work day starts at 6:30 or 7:00 am, depending on what's going on any given day. We take a an extended coffee break for about 20 minutes or so and end our work day a half hour earlier than normal.
    Anyway, my wife usually has my lunch ready for me in the fridge every morning with a small note left on the counter so I don't forget it. My favorite sandwhiches as a kid and still today, PBJ. I'm still a " dunker " too, dunk everything in my coffee! Well, I read your writing before leaving for work, gathered my work clothes etc., and went to the fridge for my lunch. Instead of my usual sandwhiches, there was a sub! I was shocked to say the least.
    I always call my wife at coffee break. When I called her, the first thing I asked her was if she had read your writing you shared with us this morning? She said yes, but it didn't click in for a second. I laughed and asked what was it about. She started telling me about it and then it clicked in. I haven't had a sub for my lunch at work in months. I didn't eat at coffee break either. I waited until my drive home and shared it with Christopher and Deanna.
    Thank You for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us everyday Gina. Please remember, we will always be here for you, and I hope in some small way, you will be able to find joy through sadness like I did with this writing. Always In My Thoughts And Prayers, Love You, Eddie