Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I'm not big on winter.  I'm a three season kind of girl.  In order of preference my world would revolve from summer to spring to fall.
(image below was taken by my very talented brother Paul)  
I'd skip winter.  I'd be very good with that.  I participate in no winter sports and it seems I’m always freezing and my nose is dripping.  I constantly have a tissue in my hand or shoved up my sleeve. Have a chat with me sometime and you'll see, Kleenex is never far from my hand. 
(images below were also taken by my brother Paul)
Unfortunately I was born and raised in Albany and so I make no bones about blaming my mother for not moving south before she started her family. I've told her for years we've been in the wrong place, the wrong state, the completely wrong climate.  The poor woman just shrugged her shoulders at me... For years!  Still does.
Well, I was wrong, moms always know best! :-)  I'll have to tell her that.  If I lived somewhere else, I wouldn't be on the healing path I'm on with you.  My mom did just fine by staying put in Albany and placing so many of you in my life to meet and hug and share with personally.

Who would I rely on every day thru all this if not for this community?  You allow me time in your day to bend your ear and share whatever happens to run thru my mind.  You let me cry on your shoulder or share stories about my kids.  Would this happen anywhere else?  Not like this.  I don't think so anyway.  I mean, I could write but would anyone read?  We've come to know each other a little bit now.  I've never heard of anything like this happening before and the more I think about it it's not accidental.  Why are you reading and I'm writing? The only place I've ever written a sentence publicly in the past has been on my Facebook page and the only readers were my high school girlfriends.  I only started tweeting after Christopher passed.  What's the give and take we exchange and why is it that I'm the connector?  How did you find this page anyway?  And furthermore, I'm curious where you're reading this.  Are you even in the Capital Region?  I have no way of knowing how many are reading or from what state or country.  I have a lot of questions!  Ha hah.  I'm as curious as all of you.
I'm just spewing out my thoughts here because that's what's on my mind.  This world of blogging is brand new to me.  A friend set it up and told me to just start writing.  He gets the credit for us meeting.  It wasn't anything I gave thought to or even knew how to start. Thanks Mike! :-). I don't know how I'd be handling Christopher's death if I didn't have this blog and all of you.  I think about you every single day.  You post responses and tell me about your families and you have no idea how many times I check to see what you're saying.  I look forward to your stories because I care about your life and also because I get to spend time focusing on you and my "stuff" goes away for a while.
You know, at some point every day I feel like I'm hearing the news of the accident for the first time.  I have fleeting moments where I feel like I'm standing with my mouth gaping open saying "What? No way! That's impossible.  It can't be so!!"  It feels dreamlike until I give myself a reality check and realize I truly am wide awake and it's for real, the answer is yes. Tragically it did happen and my son is gone.
You know what else I think?  I think we are full of compassion.  We are a world of caring individuals.  Some are more outward about it than others.  I think I was one of the quiet ones, sort of standoffish and uninvolved with my time.  I would write a check and donate but I didn't spend time assisting.  It's not that I lack compassion; I simply remained in the background.  I wasn't a doer.  I was a lurker.  I'm getting better at seeing the need to help by jumping in.  I'm not sure why I've hesitated in the past but I do know I'm learning how compassionate people are and how much they genuinely care.  Not just about my situation but in all areas.  

Sometimes it appears the world is as cold as winter but that's just not true.  Sometimes people are afraid to get involved.  They already have more on their plates than they can handle and so they hesitate.  Getting involved and spending time when they already need more of it themselves is a heavy burden.  How do they juggle it?  It doesn't mean they're not compassionate.  I fit that mold. I'm really working on changing that now.  Yes, it took a tragedy to enlighten me but I noticed and now I can do better.
You've already shown me tremendous compassion by getting involved in my life and holding me up. My appreciation will be forever yours.  I ask you to continue please, it helps me so much.  I also ask that the next time something happens in your life, where you have the opportunity to outwardly show you care, that you step forward and get involved even if it means your schedule gets stretched even thinner.  I promise it will feel good.  Say hello when you pass someone in the parking lot.  Don't just put your head down and walk.  You be the connector like I'm learning to do too.  It's a small thing but an important one.  We live here together. 

Thank you for reading.


  1. Again as always very inspiring. I am guilty of the head down and being th lerker.So I am going to try and hold my head up and donate time. I don't have much but like you maybe I can impact one person or a whole group!
    Writing from Ont,Canada

  2. Regina,
    Most of the time, I guilty of just reading what you blog. There are times I want to reply but, I could never help you as much as you've helped me. I'm a mother of two young children ( 8 & 3) and, when I'm at my limit with them, you remind me to be grateful for them and what they add to my life.

    I grew up in Albany County, I'm born and raised Capital Region. I've also always complained about our winters. With a normal body temp of 97.4, I'm always cold. I know the pain of Shen & Shaker all too well. I lost a childhood friend in a car accident my senior year. I know the pain that brings a school community. My heart broke for all of those that loved Chris & Deanna. It's a horrible loss. My thoughts and prayers are always with you. You've handled this with such courage and strength. You've inspired me to get involved in our community. I've chosen a cause near and dear to my heart. Thank you for sharing your son with us, I've laughed and cried with you along the way.
    God Bless!

  3. Mrs. Stewart,
    I love this post so much. It's been very recently that I've been so interested in the "human connection" as I've dubbed it. We are the only things on earth, science tells us, that have the ability to truly see the connection between us. I've always found it interesting that, without interaction, humans literally go insane. We need each other so much but it makes me sad to see that so few understand this and even fewer act on this. Apparently, to some, it's easier to go about the day lost in your own world but then all you do is isolate yourself and others. It's not right. It very well may be easier to be self-absorbed, but truly, I believe it's so much more rewarding to ask the lunch lady how she's doing. I ask the lovely woman who makes my salad every day how she's doing, "ummm.... carrots please, how's your day? Cucumbers, tomatoes, olives... Thanks so much! Have an awesome rest of your day!" LIke, is that so hard? I get so frustrated being in high school sometimes because it seems like nobody gets it. We are here for such a short period of time and if we don't live each and every day, doing something for others and living with compassion, it's a day wasted. I feel like nobody my age understands how precious each day is. I wish they did, but then again, I wish I hadn't been FORCED to understand that. There's a reason for everything (I hope), so I guess there's a reason for this too. Sometimes it's hard to be compassionate when there's so much going on, which is why I admire you, Mrs. Stewart. I remember when I met you and you instantly knew what my full name was and then asked how **I** was doing. That was insane. You inquired about my day, even though you so clearly have so much on your plate. I love how classic of an example of pure compassion that is.

    On the dark side, I hate sometimes what my teenage world has come to. The people bullying Bailey? Some of them WERE my friends from Saratoga. I don't see it. In my opinion, it takes the same amount of energy to hate and the same to love, but almost none to sit there and just disregard. If you're going to hate, why not love? It makes no sense to me and many times, I've stayed up late hurt because I try to love so much but get hurt by others who don't understand.

    If there's anything I've learned through the last two years or so, it's that the world may seem as cold as winter, but it never really is. If the world seems unbearably cold, all you have to do is switch climates to people who support you and love you. It will never take the bitter sting away from losing who you love, but it will always warm you up a little like a warm cup of tea on a cold day.

    Keep loving, Mrs. Stewart. You deserve it.

    1. Sorry had to reply to your reply. I see your replies all the are such an inspiration to young people! Wow, wouldn't it be amazing if more were like you and got it!!! I have two teenagers so I know because I try to instill in them these wonderful qualities you speak of. You are well beyond your years, you should be so proud of yourself. I am sure you have wonderful parents as well. They must be walking around so content knowing what a great job they did. God Bless you!

    2. Oh Hannah,

      I have posted before about how impressed I am with your responds. You are an amazing kid! the world is a better place thanks to sweet,humble good hearted kids like you...There is hope for our future!

      Stay classy, Hannah!!!

      God Bless, XO

    3. Hannah Cowley...YOU TOO, are a true inspiration. Reading your comment today has brought tears to my eyes. If more people understood the importance of compassion as you do, we would all be living in a much happier place. I work in a retail setting and come in contact will so many different people throughout my day. I too, feel the importance a genuine warm greeting.....knowing that just a few simple words can make someone's day! Be proud are an amazing young woman :)

    4. Hannah, I log on to this blog not only to read Regina's posts, but to read your replies. You are an amazing inspiration and a truly old soul. From the first post, I felt that you and Regina are kindred spirits. High School for some will be the best years of their lives, while for others, it will be the most difficult. A little kindness to others can change someone's entire day. You are so young, yet you see beyond yourself. I hope you are writing, and I hope you start a blog. You, my friend, "get it".

    5. your replies too. You are wise beyond your years. You are also an inspiration. Looking forward to hearing about your final choice for college when you make it!

  4. Thank you again Regina for your words...I came to read your blog from the very first day from a friend that lives in Albany...I was heart broken for the families of the I feel like I know are the first thing I do remind me not to take life for granted (I don't think I did before but now I am aware that I don't) I live in Dutchess county (Staatsburg Area) you have touched so many people, thank you for that....I am very sad to learn that Bailey has been bullied...I pray for her and Matt and Deanna's family each and every day.....keep doing what your touch me....God Bless and thank you for being you....Kathy

  5. Hi Regina,

    I am a true believer....there is always positive in negative situations! Good always comes out of bad! You help so many as we try to help you! You are truly amazing! "If God brings you to it, he'll bring you through it!" ...a wonderful quote! One I just love. Another thing I just read the other day, saved it because I loved it....
    "A MESSAGE FROM HEAVEN...I have not left you. I am simply enjoying the next stage of my life so please do not cry. Rejoice in the fact that I am happy, remember that I will always love you and smile because one day we shall meet again."

    Thanks for helping so many! I will keep you in my prayers!

  6. I'm the quiet shy type. Learned of this site through one of the videos of your son and Deanna. Ironically watched it again last night and as man I can admit it still brings me to tears. Reminder of how precious this life is. I'm from Granville Ny. Graduated from high school at Queensbury and remember many tennis matches at yes the 518 cares! For your sake I wish we never got to know your name and Chris was still here. For our sake your strength is an inspiration and this blog is a joy to read! Thank you

  7. Good Morning Regina!

    I too am a fan of summers and the spring and fall. However I am picky about my springs and falls. I like them to be of moderate temperatures and sunny rather than cloudy days. I have self diagnosed myself as having Seasonal Affective Disorder. The cloudy days really affect me. Ok so I am being a bit dramatic. I just feel I have a lack of energy when I don't see the sun. I grew up in the Capital District during the 60's and 70's. As a kid I loved the snow. Sleigh riding , skiing , and ice skating at Ann Lee Pond were wonderful childhood memories. I started disliking the cold after age 18. My tolerance level fell quickly. I now reside in Sarasota , Florida and I love the sunny days! I dislike the cold so much my immune system actually rebelled against it a little over two years ago when I developed an allergy to the cold. As I repeat my allergy to others and tell them my cold tolerance is set at approximately 72 they laugh. I can't tell you how many times I have had to report that I am allergic to the cold to which most others laugh and tell me they are as well. I even had a nurse challenge me as to why she needed to warm the saline prior to my colonoscopy. I knew the seriousness of the condition only after my allergist prescribed an epi-pen for my condition. I am confident I am in the right place and I enjoy Sarasota's Spring, SUMMMER, and Fall.

    Now back on the topic of compassion. I feel I have always been a compassionate person but I also recognize that as I get older I understand what it is to be compassionate more and more all of the time. With life experiences comes understanding and one of my favorite quotes that I remind others of when I feel the need is not to "judge until you have walked in someone's shoes" and to "not throw stones if you live in a glass house". I am so happy your friend introduced you to the "blog". What a wonderful gift for you and I love how you inspire us all who follow you and get us to think about the important people , things, and actions in life.

    Have a blessed day Regina!

  8. Regina,
    I read your blog every morning when I get up.. I cannot start my day. You have made me think more.. appreciate more.. want to be a better person.. Thank you.... You should be so proud of the impact that you have made in so many lives...

  9. Regina,

    I have been reading your blog since the very first one you started writing. I get up every morning, get my coffee and log onto my computer to read your blog. I came across the tragedy of Chris, Deanna, Matt and Bailey on twitter within days of the accident. I felt your pain immediately and my heart continues to ache for all of you. I'm not from New York nor have I ever been there but would love to one day. I am from Cocoa Beach Florida. I am a Mom of 2 amazing kids and a Grandma of 3.
    Your strength is such an inspiration to me and so many people.
    I also follow Bailey on twitter and check in on her daily. She too had captured a huge part of my heart.
    I pray for you both daily. God bless you.

  10. Good Morning Mrs. Stewart , Brrrr today is especially one of those days I dislike.. It is just so messy out there, I am so ready for Spring... I'm ready for shorts n flip flops.. I myself ALWAYS have a runny nose...dislike... I am not a very shy person I love to talk to people. I am usually one to walk by and just say hi.. My kids get a little annoyed sometimes cause they wanna know why I always talk to people I don't know, I just like to talk I guess. My sons grandparents are from the Shen community, so every time were out that way I'm always hoping someday I'm going to run into you and yes believe I will definitely be saying Hi...Thank you for sharing As always xxxxxx

  11. Regina,

    Wow, today's blog is so timely and I am grateful! Last night I saw Jerry Gretzinger's (CBS 6 Albany) Facebook post about Bailey being bullied at a hockey game. The story was incomplete but apparently some Saratoga kids were taunting her about her missing teeth, along with some other disgusting acts. The thought of it just makes me so angry. And ultimately, so sad. If bullying stems from jealous, what are these kids really so jealous about? Are they resentful of all the attention she has received over the last 3 months? Would anyone really want to trade places with her? Did she ask for any of this? Wouldn't she and everyone else give it all up just to have Chris and Deanna back? It just makes me ill.
    But that is why I love today's post so much. The vile acts of a bunch of teenagers can't take away all of the wonderful things that have gone on in this community. From this awful situation, a compassionate community has been born. I think it has been fueled a lot my social media, and so it could have happened else where, but it was supposed to happen here and my life is enriched because I can be a part of it. I attend fundraisers, I have offered my professional services as a raffle prize, I have my Shen/Shaker magnet on my car, etc. etc. I had my doubts about this area when we moved here 8 years ago, but those doubts have all gone away and I know that God has put me right where I am supposed to be. To be a part of something greater than one's self is truly a blessing. And to be connected to you, even just over the computer, is a blessing as well. I'm glad to know you check our responses. My ego doesn't need you to write back directly, but to know you read them definitely makes me feel like we are all on the right track in supporting you the way we should. Thank you, thank you or sharing!


  12. Regina,

    Where am I today? California! About to go out for a run. It is 55 heading towards 72 and, no, I don't miss the snow today. But heading home tomorrow and will be glad to be back in the 518! I never appreciated until this happened what an amazing community we have. I confess I always thought of Clifton Park as kinda "vanilla". Good base camp for our schools, sports, kid activities... but a warm, compassionate, interconnected, interdependent community? I just didn't feel it... Well... when you see vanilla you get vanilla. And now I see something so much more. I agree we have something very special here. I have a new understanding of that. A friend of mine from Nisky (he is not very "touchy-feely") told me that he was in Target a week after the accident and said "you are not going to believe me Terri, but you could just feel the energy in the air. something is different here". I agree. Magic. And I'll take the snow. Because the community we have is amazing. I have learned that from this experience. And more... I have learned about myself as well - especially through you and Debbie. I tell my friends that "between two Moms I find myself". I have probably told you that before. It remains true. Not a day goes by where I don't watch, worry, contemplate, care, love. And I learn so much about myself in the process. Compassion is something alot of people talk about. We, in the community, are creating a web of compassion. It is something you can feel. And it is healing and even magical at times. So much love to you. I am so glad that you can see and feel that energy. It will get you through the toughest times. Thanks again for writing.

  13. Hi Regina,

    I have to tell you that reading your blog and the responses from people in Clifton Park as well as other places has helped me to realize that this is more of a community then I ever imagined it to be. I'm a lot like you - I am a lurker. Connecting in this way has made me realize that I need to do something about that. I'm not sure what since I have a full time job, sell real estate and have 5 amazing grandchildren that keep me very busy. I agree with you though - just trying to be kinder on a daily basis is important. I'm glad that this blog has helped you but do you have any idea how many people you've helped?!? We are all better for reading your posts and each other's comments. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. I'm glad we've gotten to "know" each other!

  14. Hi Regina,

    I'm from Saratoga Springs (a native who returned to the area to raise my family after living elsewhere). I found the link to your blog on facebook. Once I read a few of your entries, I was "hooked." You have such a wonderful way with words, expressing your feelings about day to day life, and your loss. Over the last year, my business has become quite demanding and I've struggled with taking time off to spend w/ my family. Your messages are helping me to take some time to savor the moments with my children-- even if it's just driving to and from an activity.

    By the way, your son Chris sounds like he was exactly the kind of kid any parent would welcome as their kids' friend.



  15. Regina,
    Thank you again for your inspiring words. I work in a field that you have to have alot of compassion. I work as a nurse in an ob/gyn office. We have teenage mothers that are scared, first time mothers that call everyday with questions and more heartbreaking the mother that loses a child. I feel for each and everyone of them. I have a confession though I am compassionate but I think even more so since I started reading your blog. I look toward to reading everyday. I know I may not respond everyday but I do read it's. I also share it to my Facebook hoping it gives others inspiration like it has given me. I do think of you each and everyday. God bless you and thank you.

  16. Hi Regina,
    I'm in SC still in fall and waiting for winter. I've said this before but there is no place like home in NY. I have been practicing what you have suggested for a few years now. I have had some extraordinary experiences during rather ordinary parts of my day. Yesterday, I was behind a 90 year old man using a walker. It was cold and rainy and the wind was a bit harsh. Not the ideal weather to begin a chat, but I was behind the man so I was trying to hold the door so he could get out. We locked eyes and he felt comfortable enough to share something with me. He had a little book of salvation in his pocket. He wanted to give it to me. I thought to myself, if this had been any other person they would have pushed by him. I took it even though I already have a relationship with God. As we were standing in the cold rain he looked me in the eyes and he said, "You know The Lord is coming soon!" I smiled and I said, "Yes Sir, I sure do hope so because I am ready!" He smiled at me and told me he would see me in heaven. Now I realize this sounds a little crazy, but I needed that man and I believe he needed me. I can't imagine how much the world has changed since he was a little boy. It was comforting that although we were several generations apart we both firmly believed in the same thing. Why am I sharing this? People on your page probably think I am half crazy, but it's just that my dad is at this moment in the process of transitioning out of this life into what God has prepared for us. I am beside myself tonight with the reality of the process and that he is leaving soon. I needed that older man to set my soul at ease. Life is all about relationships and I try and relate wherever I go. We have to encourage each other especially through the winter season.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Rachael,
      Your post brought me to tears.. First because of the older gentleman letting you know that he was ready and then to read your pain of losing your Dad.
      You came to the right place Rachael.. This blog is for bringing people up and supporting them thru tough times. We're all in it together..

  17. Hi Regina from snowy, blustery Edinboro, PA! I decided not to "take a break" from the blog and make use of the hotel's computer to write back to you. I would just feel awful if I didn't write. Writing to you each day, not matter what time of day it is, is part of my days now so you are just going to have to deal with that {insire smiley face here}

    I have never been a lurker. I have always been very involved and support many "causes" and people and have for most of my life. I was born a caregiver, so this is not new, but the blogging is new. I'm so thankful I came across your blog the first day you wrote it and I have come to know you. I've told you before, knowing how you are daily is almost a bit easier. We often hear of tragedies and don't know how those affected are and it weighs on my mind. I'm thankful you were courageous enough to open up and reach out. It's nice that so many people have gathered and supported you in this way. I can only imagine how helpful it is to have those times when you have the support system right at your disposal.

    I'll share a story with you. Ally and I got in the car, bubbly and happy at I think just after 1:30 with the GPS telling us we were to arrive in Edinboro at 7:17. Then 7:19 and then I shaved off some time and it was 7:13 and then we hit a reststop and we were back to 7:19 and that drives me nuts because I was so happy I shaved off some time! It's a game to shave off time and re-pass trucks... Something to pass the time. So taking my music major hopeful to her first college visit, can you imagine what was going on in my car from 1:30 until 7:47? 3 full listens to the Pitch Perfect Movie Sound track; a lively host of songs off her iPod {the mom library} and then Ally went throught the list of NYSSMA songs available to her and she "youtubed" 2 of them and picked her NYSSMA chorus solo for this year. She has already memorized it and just has to meet with her accompanist starting next week to perfect it with him! I cannot believe she memorized it already! Honestly it's still bouncing around over and over in my head I have heard it so much
    !!! So after rest stop #2 and an over priced gas stop we safely arrived in Edinboro. Ally is doing homework and I'm typing to you! She rolled her eyes {lovingly of course} when I was excited that there was a public computer because I couldn't get the blog to load on my phone!

    I'm thankful your mom was smart enough to keep you in the 518. I am thankful I had the courage to walk up and introduce myself and I am thankful you rely on the blog responses to help lift you up. I know I'm here for you! Can't speak for others, but they seem to be as well.

    God bless... Sweet dreams!

  18. Hi Regina,

    I loved the post today and all of the responses as well.. I've lived here in Clifton Park for 20 years.. I've always loved it but really didn't feel this connection to it until a few months ago. Your blog has truly opened my eyes to see what I've been surrounded by.. I feel very blessed.

    I find it so amazing that you've been a big part of the reason I feel this way.. Your positive spirit is beyond words. I know your heart is broken and yet you continue to endure. I also find Bailey amazing.. And she just breaks my heart. I worry about her. She's so young, she should be feeling nothing but love and support. I know you shouldn't let a few bad eggs change your perspective on things.. But it's so hard to wrap my head around some of the cruelty she's had to face. I know this must upset you and further break your heart.. But here you are being positive and wanting to know about us!
    Will check in tomorrow... Hope you have a good night Regina!

  19. Regina,

    Phew finally I have had a moment to sit down and would think with a 2 hr delay(one of the few perks of teaching in the snowy areas, I can not wait to move south!!!!) I would have posted earlier...not the case. For once, after I read your blog at 5:30 this morning when I let the dogs out and checked the school closings and delays, I went back to bed and snuggled back down to enjoy my 2 extra unlike me, usually once I am up I hit the ground running.

    I read your blog from Latham(unless I read it at work in which case I am enjoying it from Averill Park)I have not always lived in Latham, we used to live in Ballston Spa for 10 years and I am a transplant from upstate New York (I laugh when I hear people call Albany upstate!) I am from Western NY were we call soda {pop} and there are vineyards everywhere. A placed called Canandaigua, isn't that a pretty name it means the Chosen Spot...

    As far as compassion, I am very compassionate. I have a soft heart. My husband accuses me of believing there is good in everyone...guess what...I DO think there is good in everyone,I see the good that people do, I see it here in the 518...I see it elsewhere.

    I have 3 kids they are very different, but I am very blessed they share one very important personality trait...the desire to do good things for others, and they do it without needing recoginiton for doing it... So I know they are doing it for the right reason!

    Sure there are bad things that happen, and people do some mean things, but we can not let nor should we believe the few are the majority. We can not lose hope in the human race...we MUST believe that people are good, honest and compassionate.

    Anyway I leave you with these two amazing stories that there is still good out there. You may have seen these on FB or yahoo news, but if you haven't they are worth the view...BTW the youtube video...get some Kleenex!

    See there IS good!!!Enjoy!

    God Bless, XO

    PS Regina, please thank Mike for us too for getting you started blogging...I think no matter how good we are...reading your blog only helps us to do/be even better!

    PSS...I ask everyone reading the blog to please PRAY for the family in Saratoga that lost their 18 yr old senior son on a cruise last week...The 518 has lost too many kids this year...Shen (Chris and Deanna),Averill Park (Abigail Ditcher, 17 yrs old, December 9), Mohanasen(Devin LaPrade, 15 yrs old Dec 19)Shaker(Blue Creek, Vincenzo Rizzo 10 yrs old,January 2nd)),Saratoga(Seth Younes 18 yrs old, February break)...Please keep all of these families in your prayers and do a good deed in honor of each of them...they are were ALL great kid, gone too soon...Thanks...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Annie...... my husband's from western NY too, Kenmore, to be exact. My mother-in-law always called soda pop and my kids thought that was the funniest thing when they were little. They got a kick out of it as older kids too. My husband's been in the. Albany area for 32 years now so he rarely says pop any more!

      Prayers for all the young ones you sad.

  20. I love reading your blog every morning before i get ready for the day. I guess you could say it makes me put my own life into perspective, and appreciate all that i have. You see, what i have, is a very energetic, two year old little boy who is always on the go...but seems to find his way into our bed every night. Sleeping just isnt his thing i guess, ha! But after a less that restful night, i read your stories about chris and it makes me want to hug my little mason that much tighter. Thanks for sharing your stories and memories of chris...and keep them coming, we love hearing them!

  21. Regina,
    Mom's do know best! :) Your posts always grab my heart and tug. This community is amazing and I am glad you are being lifted up and supported. You, my friend, are also lifting up and supporting many many people and so from behind your laptop you are making a difference and paying it forward by the simple taps on the keyboard each and everyday. Chris was one lucky boy to have a mom like you and I know he is with you in guiding you through these days and holding you up with the rest of the community. We all think the world of you, whether we have met you in person or simply met you through this world called "Social Media"!

  22. Hi Regina,

    My name is Kristi, I read your blog from my home here in Anchorage, AK. I have never personally met you or anyone in your family. I've never even been to Albany. I know someone who lives near you (Dawn Walpole) and whose son (Patrick) played football with Chris. Dawn and I both grew up in northern California. She lived in Anchorage for a few years where we met, and we now keep in touch via Facebook. That's how I found out about Shen, and Chris, and you, and your blog. It really is a small world, isn't it? I think your blog is wonderful and courageous, and you should know that it is appreciated by at least one stranger in a far away corner of the world. Thanks for writing.

  23. Regina,

    I started to post last night and the battery on my tablet was low and it shutdown as I was typing!

    I grew up in Albany and have lived in Latham since '92. I usually read your blog when I get home from work or after dinner. I was reading it in the morning but then my eyes were red and messy and I preferred not to go to work a total mess. I think some of my co-workers think I'm crazy as it is...LOL!

    I believe there's a reason your mom stayed in Albany and didn't move to warmer climes! I also believe that we have all been brought together for a reason, even though for your sake we'd all like to take back that fateful night and change your life back to the way it was. I truly believe we are all here helping you on your new journey and I like to think maybe just maybe somehow we truly are helping you heal. At least you know we have your back.

    I like to think I'm a compassionate person and also a happy person. I never understand why some people are just mean in nature. Even after what you have been through you seem to be a happy person by nature and very compassionate. You also truly have a knack for writing!

    Thanks for sharing!
    hugs and peace

  24. I have not replied to a post until now but I saw your link on FB. I believe it was my cousin that "liked" the page. She lives in Albany area. I am orignally from Jamestown, NY but have lived in Florida for 30 years. I have a huge family in the Jamestown area and the man in my life, Chris, is from Rochester but his sister and nephews are near Colonie, NY. After I read the first blog on FB I went back and read from the beginning. My heart ached for you as I have three sons ages 10,14,17, all born in January on the 9th we thought of you on this day) the 18th and 27th. I have had some struggles with my teen in the last two years and your blog tore at my heart because as bad as I sometimes feel that my relationship is with my boys that I must work all that much harder to make it better. I have a very outgoing 17 year old that is involved in school and knows someone regardless of where we go, so when you talk about Christopher I can relate to so many things.
    I think your blog hits home for so many people, it also give people the reality check that reminds us that we need to slow down and enjoy the little things in our lives (our childrens hands, the dirty stinky clothes, the enormous grocery bills, for example). These things seem insignificant or frustrating but only until we are reminded of how we would feel if we didn't have them at all. My heart ached for you as I don't know if I would have what it takes to get through my days as you do. I am profoundly touched by all of the support your community has given for all of the kids.
    My cousin was the sole fatality in a Florida tornado last summer and the community she lived in has been so supportive to her three daughters that have lost their mommy, and her sister that is now the mother of three more children. My 17 year old son was the sole witness to an ATV accident, also last summer, that took another mom away from her four children. I feel like it has been a year of heartbreak all around me. I am trying to take all that I can out of the experiences of others and figure out what I am supposed to do with all of this information. I feel like I am being given hints as to something I am supposed to be doing. For now, I am trying to make the best life for my boys and get through the teen angst with the least amount of resistance. I struggle daily with the ups and downs I have with them and try to figure out how to be the best possible mom.
    Your stories about Christopher have encouraged me to look at the details, to cherish every single moment and to never take any moment for granted. I wish I could single handedly take the heartache away for you but I know that is not possible. So, know that you have people from all over the country, and beyond, that are thinking of you, that are smiling in their hearts at the wonderful stories you tell about your sons, and are praying every day for your strength.
    Wishing you strength to get through your days and peace within your heart,

  25. Your posts make me want to be a better person. You give me new perspective on my life and how I can make myself better. How my actions can change one person or a group. That it only takes one small moment or a large moment either way it doesn't matter, and the course of life can change. You didn't plan for your new role in our community, how you came upon it is tragic, I think you are handling your new life beautifully. You are a strong woman who is capable of dealing with difficult tasks and making the best of your situation and finding the good in all your new tasks. Chris is very fortunate to have such a angel here on earth.

  26. I found your blog through a cousin and have been reading every morning since. I live upstate in Ilion (near Utica). Keep blogging. You are and insipration and have taught me to be a better mother. Thank you.