Saturday, January 26, 2013

What helps me?

I know it only takes a matter of a few minutes to check in on me and then you can go about your day.  You may take something I said along with you or you may take some time to reply and share a thought.  Isn't it nice that we have this platform to share?  It's brand new to me that's for sure but, wow, do I appreciate it.  I believe it helps me through this tragedy.  It has brought us together and I believe it's helping you too.

I find myself talking about some of you in conversations.  I'll mention a name along with the person’s situation.  I know some of you have lost loved ones and others are suffering thru terrible times.  We share pain and it bonds us.  I don't want you to hurt and I wish I could dissolve it for you but the best I can do is be your friend and your sounding board.  We can muddle thru the trauma together and be united in our grief.  I know it's not a great "club" to be a member of but it's a real one and we are real people.
The pain of losing my precious son is not more significant than yours.  It just happens to be my particular issue.  Pain is pain – it’s a real, raw feeling and death pain is really brutal to work thru.  I've never experienced anything that has sidelined me to this degree.   Most of my past troubles eventually ended.  This one isn't going away and won't ever, but I have faith it will get easier as time progresses.  I'm glad we have each other, in whatever capacity we need one another, today and in the future.

A friend asked me today if I could put my finger on what it is that inspires me.  If I could pinpoint the reasons as to why I am able to see the loss of my son thru so publicly and with a pretty good outlook.  I had to stop and think about it.
One thing I know for certain, without wavering on it, is that Christopher would most definitely not want me sad.  Nothing would break his spirit more than knowing my personality had changed for the worse and I was perpetually blue.  He wouldn't want that.  Chris had such a zest for life it would crush him knowing I chose to live my life missing him and feeling the injustice.  That’s probably the main thing I dwell about my son on and it boots me in the rear and reminds me to get up and move forward.  It doesn't stop me from wishing things were different and grieving for him many times a day but thankfully it doesn't prohibit me from living.  I go to work full time and have resumed some normalcy in my life.  I can talk about him and laugh about him no problem.

I also think I'm fortunate to be a faithful person.  I do believe Chris is OK, even in my saddest moments when I ache so deeply I feel like I’m in a straightjacket and all alone.  I truly know better, even when I’m at my weakest.  In my heart I know God is good and there is a reason Chris was here and now he isn't.  He made an impression and it stuck.  I have faith I'll understand it all later.  As much as I miss Chris, I need to be thankful he was mine and that he touched so many hearts and still is.

God has given me a new road map.  Some sort of map at least.  He's letting me figure out how to navigate it although I’m hesitant.  My older son Jeremy is on his way to adulthood, he'll be twenty-one in February and has been on his own, for the most part since 2010 when he graduated high school.  He lives out of state at college most of the year, and rarely needs a place to stay - and it drives me crazy that he doesn't need me to cook for him or do his laundry - although I try!  I don't like that, but I'm glad he's so independent and mature.  It’s what God and I planned for him when he was a baby.  But right now?  I didn't plan to have flexibility in my life until at least 2015.  I thought Chris would need the stability of his home as he made the transition from high school to college... until at least his sophomore year so he could get used to his new life.  I kind of thought if I felt like moving south or east or wherever, I'd have that option then.  My plan was not to have the ability to go anywhere I wanted in 2013.  I'm not sure I really like this new map, it's too soon!  It's unexpected.  I will embrace it though.  God gave it to me and I won't let him down.

I want to share a great little "Christopherism" that happened today... I couldn't wait to tell you, it made me smile.
I went to Five Guys for lunch.  If you've ever been there you know that they give you a number and call it out when your meal is ready.  I got #97.  So, I'm waiting for my number... I hear 94, 95, 96, then 69! and then on to 97, 98, 99 and then 01 thru 11!!  You bet I listened to each number, numbers are important to me now!! 
Especially #69!!! All I could do was smile.  Yep, Chris was at Five Guys with me!!! Can you imagine??? I was beaming as I devoured that greasy brown paper bag of fries.  I couldn't have been any happier!!! My football player was with me, probably sneaking a bite of my burger each time I sat it down on the table.  I love you Chris :-). Keep me company anytime.

Thank you for reading.


  1. Yaye!!! That is SO awesome and I am SO happy for you! What a wonderful and unexpected moment for him to show you a sign! :) :) :)

  2. Im on college visits right now and there were little christopherisms the entire way I drove down!! When we were stuck in bad weather and scared I kept seeing 69 and all these things that you talked about. Gas stations said __.69. At every rest stop there was a football player, usually more than one, and one person had a 69 jersey on. It was good to know we were safe as we traveled. Saint Christopher... the patron saint of travelers? :)

  3. cool was that to have #69 called out right in the middle of all the 90's!! I commented to you just the other day to keep looking for those signs. I love that you heard that one... I hope you continue to get more and more! Yay Chris...that was a great one :)

  4. It is these signs that get us through the rough patches...and you are right, embrace them! They are yours! It has been 6 years since my mom passed, very suddenly, and I still smile when I see a portion of her name on a license plate "ANG", or I smell her scent out of the blue. One day I saw the word "HI" formed in the clouds!! They want us to know they are ok and with us. If ever you have the time read What If God Were The Sun by John Edward. I am a faithful reader of your blog, a mom of two children, a wife and a person, like many others here, who has experienced great loss! Your words are inspiring, please keep writing!

  5. It is great #69 was called out at a food place seeing how Chris loved to eat. He wanted you to know he was there. <3

  6. Sometimes it's the little things. I thought of you when I was on the #69 Amtrak train from Penn Station to Albany on Thursday morning. The train was supposed to continue on to Montreal but the tracks north of here were frozen so the passengers had to disembark and take buses to their various destinations. Chris must have known they would have been safer that way.

  7. This makes me smile with happiness for you. He was there and he wanted you to know!!! You stated that you needed a sign from him and you got one. I never met your son or you but I read daily and I think that was his way of saying "I`m here forever."

  8. Tears of joy for you today! Every day I hope and pray for you that you will feel peace in your heart. That all of the questions you were asking two days ago, which may go unanswered, would cease to be a priority to ask. It's a peace that I have come to k.ow, and in time you will too. As a woman of faith, You know that this is promised to you. And it will set you free. Many more blessings to you, Regina. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  9. I too have tears of joy for you...So great to hear!!!!!! Enjoy these precious signs!!!! That is just awesome, and you still continue to inspire me how your descriptive language is just so right on and we can actually visualize your pain and your joy. Regina, you are a very gifted writer...

    Today I wish for you many unexpected joyous visits to brighten your day!

    God Bless, XO

  10. I too always take note of when I hear # 69...haha !! ... and take a moment and think of Chris. I think I always will. (((HUGGGS)))

  11. Hi Regina,

    I'm all teary reading this post today.. Wow... Thank you Chris for letting your Mom know you are there with her! I don't know how you held up after that?!

    Your faith is amazing... But you're right... God has a bigger plan for Chris.. He was and is a gift. I'm not quite sure if that old quote pertains here.. "It's better to have love and lost ... Then to never have loved at all" Losing a child has to be the greatest pain of all. I can't imagine anything worse..
    Your love for him is what gets you up every day and pushes you forward.... But I know it's also Chris that is picking you up and helping you back on your feet.. He loves his Mom very much and is trying very hard to help you thru this. I really do believe that.
    Hugs. .....

  12. That was beautiful. This is my first time commenting but I read everyday ur son,bailey,matt and deanna amazing an will never be forgotten. That little blog just touched my heart and made me think and realize something's and I just wanted to say thank you. I lost my grandma on Christmas day 2011 and I've been a mess but u just opened it up for me. Thank you! I'm glad to see your doing well and will continue to follow ur blogs! ((((Hugs to chris)))))

  13. That gave me goosebumps when I saw you say 69... What a great experience, especially at Five Guys cause from reading your blogs I'm sure Chris probably loved Five Guys. My son Matthew LOVES Five Guys ... I was watching the Long Island medium Theresa the other night and she was saying that it is great to always talk to your loved ones that have past...THEY ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU AND DON'T WANT YOU TO HURT .... God Bless you on your new journey god has given you...always read your blog EVERY DAY ...I love it... Have a great day xxxxx

  14. You did get a little sign :-) It happens when you least expect it or if you are feeling really down. I am so happy for you. I believe Chris was right there with you at 5 Guys. My older son works there I'm not sure if you would remember him I used to bring the kids in to see their grandma at realty USA for a visit. He usually works the closing shift but is there sometimes during the day. Sorry got off Thank you for sharing. God bless

  15. My my, your strength is such a inspiration to me!!! I find myself gaining strength from your courage~ My brother in law died last year of cancer, he was 41. I think about him constantly and just wish I somehow knew he was "ok". So I set a wreath up at his grave, with a Steelers ornament in there. He was such a die hard Steelers fan, just as die hard as I am about my Buffalo Bills!! So I remember being at his grave and asking him for some kind of sign so I knew he was ok. Literally that same week I had a dream of him. We were at a Bills game and I was so happy he was there and in my mind, he beat the cancer. I remember asking him beaming with joy, "Hey, I told were going to be this cancer". I will never forget this...he looked at me and said, "no, Aimee I didn't beat it....but I'm OK". I woke up and felt so good, I got to be near him one more time and he looked so amazing, so happy and I felt it somehow that he was truly ok!!!

    The signs will come Regina...and I'm so THRILLED you had a sign yesterday! That makes me so happy, I read your blog, I wonder and I was balling throughout the whole thing. I just prayed that Chris would give you some kind of sign and there would be no denying it. I'm just so happy you got that sign!!!

    Thank you for sharing your feelings....I'm so blessed that your are my friend as well!!

  16. You haven't talked about signs from Chris in a while. When I saw the picture of the fries before you shared your Christopherism I got a smile on my face in anticipation of what you were about to write.

    I had a sign to share right before I opened your blog. I truly believe that Chris and Deanna are together and watching down through all of this. Obviously I've read how close they were, or should I say are, because I believe with all my heart they are together now. I was on Facebook on my phone, as I normally am when I wake up and start my day, normally catching up on family and friends and reading your blog. Scrolling down my newsfeed there was a message from Deborah Rivers to Deanna (that is not there anymore??? I know I read it...) I don't see much from Deborah but when I do I stop, pay my respects by reading her share, and say a prayer.

    The sign... I'm getting to it. Directly after the post in RIP Deanna was your blog for today. When I went to my newsfeed on the computer (where I am now) the two are not one immediately following the other ... But I did see it and immediately took it as a sign that Deanna and Chris wanted to be seen together this morning. At least by me. I wish I took a screen shot of the two so I had it :(

    I took that as a sign that they wanted us to know they are together. For whatever reason when I go on Facebook via my phone or via the computer the posts are not in the same order they were the last time I was on via my phone. When I was writing a part of this on my phone, I was anxious to finish writing this to go back and see if the two posts will be in order still. And they weren't... Either way it was the sign for me to see today to share. Just like the 2 hearts in my windshield the other morning.

    And then those hearts!!! Last night after a group of us went to Nothing But Noodles, we were in my car again waiting for the ice and snow to melt off my windshield, and there they were again! The out line of 2 hearts again! This time I saw them from inside the car. Not perfectly bold like the other day, but visible to 4 of us from the inside! They were so different from the hearts the other day but SO obviously there... I got a chill and then a smile. So I wanted to share.

  17. continued cuz I'm wordy apparently...
    I don't just think about you for the moments I'm reading your daily share. I send up prayers often, and look for guidance to see if there is anything that I can do or share to emotionally hug you in some way. I don't want to ever be cliche and say something wrong I just wanted to know how you are. You are part of my days now. I truly and honestly want to know you are okay. I hope that doesn't sound weird since I have never met you. But you said above we are all bonded by this tragedy and for me, I truly believe Chris has sent me the signs twice now, as maybe a thank you for sticking by his mom. That's what a friend of mine said and I welled up with tears.

    My daughter and I talk about you and Chris, Deanna, Bailey and Matt and your families often, and share what we are feeling and I think Chris just wanted to thank me. And I wanted to share those hearts with you.

    I never mean to question why God takes those we love way too soon, before we believe they were ready (or we are, which we will never be). Then I instantly feel like I shouldn't be questioning God. I was raised to believe God has a plan for all of us. That plan will be revealed when its our time to go be with him. That is only a comfort to me when all other reasoning and answers are just not there. It is in no way an answer to why and it certainly does not help ease the pain. When all else fails I resort to "MY" defense mechanism and I stop questioning, trying to believe in God's plan for all of us... I have a bit of OCD and I can obsess with the best of the best, and then I have to get away from my own brain. I do that by finally realizing there is so little I have control over and I let it Go and let God. I give it up to God and seek peace with whatever it is I'm struggling with.

    Not to say that is possible with everything, but it does help when it's hard to quiet the mind.

    God bless...

  18. I can not express to u how much reading your blog everyday has helped me. When i was 19, i lost my 15 year old brother to suicide. Today when u spoke about signs it just sparked so much happiness in my heart. So many signs have happened but i continued to just think i wanted something so bad that it was made up in my mind. 5 years ago my 17 year old nephew was killed by a drunk driver, Eddie Loomis, u might remember hearing about that awful tragedy. He was a football player from Saratoga highschool. Shen played their homecoming football game with Saratoga that year and dedicated the game and retired his number as well. Number 75. It has been so awful to live in such an aching pain. My sister has worked with Madd and that seems to help a bit but i am so worried for her. She really has not been able to move forward and his sisters have taking very harsh paths since he was taken. I have never wrote on your blog in fear of causing u any more pain. I also have, I believe experienced signs from Eddie. I know in my heart i was his favorite aunt, we were the youngest out of 11 so my nieces and nephews were kind of closer to our ages. I have 5 children, my daughter Karissa is a senior at Shen. Deanna and Karissa have been together since they were daisies in girlscouts. It has been very tough for her. I picked her up at 2:30a.m. from a sleepover 3 weeks ago, and was so thankful she called, she knew she was unable to drive. We just talked and cried and hugged. She did not know Chris as well. She mentioned being at a party with him once, in a hot tub. She said how kind and funny he was. I have taken so much comfort in your blog. My heart bleeds for all of you. I really can not explain it but the words you speak really help me from such deep seeded pain from so many years ago. I wanted u to know i cherish every moment with my beautiful children. My prayers are with u everyday and your beautiful son will always be close to our hearts.

  19. Regina,
    I loved hearing your Five Guys story! It put a smile on my face and at the same time tears in my eyes. Your road map has for sure taken a detour, however, I believe your road map always was to inspire people. I don't think you realized it. Look at how amazing Chris's spirit was! You talk about his spirit! That spirit came from you! I am sure you are right, he would not want your spirit to be broken. He would want you to do exactly what you are doing. He is guiding you and I BELIEVE he will guide you the rest of your living years. I believe his hand is on your hands as you type your blogs. #69 is not just a number to me anylonger. The #69 means character, love for life, and an amazing human spirit. I find myself talking about Chris often as if I knew him and that is because of YOU REGINA! I thank you for sharing him with me and with US! I am so very sorry your roadmap has taken this detour, however, don't let this detour take your spirit. You are inspiring so many people and still inspiring your boys (plural).
    God Bless,

  20. Dear Gina,
    I am so Happy for you right now!! Thank You so much for sharing this beautiful story with us, Thank You Christopher for letting your Mom know you are with her!! This is such a very special place, with very special people. You are right when you said we share pain and it bonds us. We also share joy and it bonds us as well, and I am just so Happy for you knowing Christopher came thru to you!!
    I was on my way home about an hour ago and turned on the radio. The song Diamonds In The Sky was playing, it was quite emotional to hear it, difficult, but I would never turn it off. It finished and a commercial came on, so I hit the scan button. She Talks To Angels was playing. Wow. When it ended I turned the radio off and just took it all in. Upon my arrival home, I turned on the computer and read this beautiful story and all the beautiful replies, and right now I'm at a loss for words. This truely was a Special Day! Always In My Thoughts And Prayers, Love You, Eddie

  21. I just want you to know I thought if you and your blog just now. I just picked up my gram who lives in a senior center. Well when approaching her there were firetrucks and such. my first thought ah shit I hope it's not gram. Thankfully it wasn't it was her 84 yr old friend.During the conversation about what happened to Shirley grams said "you know there's 4 floors and she lived in 416. There's only 69 of us in the building." I immediately smiled thought of you and your family. <3

  22. Hi Regina!
    I can just see your face at Five Guys when his # was called. A smile from ear to ear. Life is Good. What a perfect moment and how exciting you couldn't wait to share.

    I still read every day and was writing back to you but the last few posts I felt like what am I possibly going to say that she'd smile at....I'm sorry I haven't written. Do know, there still is not a moment that I don't think about you or Chris. I soooo look forward to hear about your day or what's going on. Sometimes I try to read the responses from others but it overwhelms me.....just listening to each of everyone's story. I hope we don't overwhelm you when we share or lessen the tragedy whirlwind you are presently going through.

    I hope Chris comes again soon and brings a smile to your face.

    Xo ❤❤ Lela

  23. What a wonderful moment to have with Chris!!! I believe he will be with you always and forever.

  24. Mrs Stewart,

    I just wanted to take a moment and share with you a sign I was given by Chris recently.

    He has visited me a few times in my dreams since the accident, but most recently he visited my best friend in her dreams.

    In her dream, he was standing in her living room and he said to her, "Tell Kristina that I'm fine, that I am okay."

    She shared this with me the next day and it gave me chills. She said it felt so real to her, she woke up and was unable to go back to sleep!

    It's like he knew I've been worrying about him and missing him.

    I just thought you'd like to hear that Chris is letting us all know that he is in fact okay up there and that he's looking down on us all.

    Your blog helps me so much, I love checking it every day and reading about yours and Chris's life. I appreciate it very much and I see it as a healing tool to help me in this grieving process. Thank you for putting yourself out there for us all to share.