Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The weekend

It took me a little while to get my thoughts (and pictures) together from this past weekend.  It was a very busy one - exciting, inspiring and gratifying.  It was also a lot for me and I had my breakdown moments as well.
I had the opportunity and pleasure of watching my nephew, Zach play basketball Saturday evening.  Yes, the Shaker and SHEN varsity teams competed once again.  It was a physical and aggressive game, the players are all so incredibly talented – my nephew included of course!  I did my share of cheering out loud and encouraging the teams from the sidelines.  I was impartial to the baskets being sunk, I cheered regardless of it being Shaker or SHEN.  I made sure to stick around afterwards to hug my nephew, I’m so proud of him.  My family is loaded with sports talent! :-)
There was a wonderful moment of acknowledgement for the Hardy, Wind, River’s and Stewart families between games which was appreciated.  Although it’s strange to wander out to mid court with eyes on me I can’t help but feel pride in my heart.  I feel joyful Chris’ presence was felt, he’s being remembered and that he inspires his cousin Zach.

Sunday was the busiest pancake breakfast fundraiser I have ever been to.  Over $10,000 was raised believe it or not!   There were volunteers everywhere I turned.   
The buffet was non-stop.  I’d be curious to know how many bottles of syrup they went thru.  
I couldn’t even count the number of raffles there were.  I took my chances on several of the amazing baskets that were donated and what do you know? 
I won a white water rafting excursion.  I now have that to add to my list along with sky diving with Jeremy in May! (YES we are going)!

Thank you to everyone who put the fundraisers together for Matt and Bailey.  I promise to pass along the kindness and get involved for someone else.  It’s the right thing to do.
So guess what?  
I met several of my blog readers this weekend.  Two in particular you might know the names of if you read the daily replies.  Jeanine sat with me for a bit at the basketball game and Hannah volunteered at the breakfast.  I have real, new friends! :-)  Blessings on me.  Good things are happening, thank you Chris for helping to instigate our meeting.  There are wonderful people everywhere! 
Justine’s daughter sang the National Anthem beautifully before the game.  That was special.  I’m glad I knew it was her beforehand. I’m also glad Justine introduced herself because I would never have known what she looks like.  We all know she can write!  More than I do most days (ha hah) but it was nice to sit with her for a few minutes and actually speak face to face.  Nice meeting you Justine.
Hannah and I communicated briefly via Twitter when she was looking for a prom gown and I was trying to hook her up with one of Bailey’s that she wore to the prom with Chris.  I was too late in getting to her though and she went and bought one.  Bailey suggested where she might want to go shop and it must have worked out.   It got us talking though.  She’s wayyyyy ahead of her time in maturity and awfully sweet.  She’s even going to look at the University of Tennessee per Bailey’s suggestion.  Hannah you’re a sweetheart and your Grandma is up there with Chris cheering you on doing fist pumps “you go girl!”

Yes, the weekend was busy and by Sunday night I was wiped.  I used to be able to handle a full weekend of activities but it’s a bit too much for me right now.  It’s funny that my tolerance level just isn’t there.  I tire easily.  Not physically, just mentally and emotionally.  I have to tread lightly.  Sunday night I was drained and fell apart.  I gave myself time to release all that had built up and it felt good to cry it all out.
Don’t get me wrong, my weekend was actually really wonderful and when I was out and about my feelings were genuine.  I just think by the time I got home I was exhausted.  Plus, something else happened that I will share another time.  I don’t have the supporting information to post yet so it would be incomplete just to tell you with no visual.  It’s impressive though.  You’ll probably understand why I fell apart by Sunday evening…  I’ll share it soon.

Here’s hoping you had a nice weekend too, especially if you took advantage of the snow day Friday and had a nice long weekend.  Not to wish Monday away but it’s always nice to get that first work/school day of the week under our belt.  Now here we are at Tuesday already and I promised Dawn Wind I would attempt a line dancing class with her tonight.  Oh Lord!

Thank you for reading.


  1. Goodness you are so wonderful! And that picture is really great too! I feel so honored I was mentioned in this blog. As far as the fist pumps go, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that Chris is fist pumping you on as well. Secret time: I broke down on Sunday night as well. While it was wonderful at the pancake breakfast, it sure was overwhelming. I can't even imagine how you felt. I felt like Nana was with me the entire time, smiling because volunteering there was totally something she would have done. Seeing your unbelievable strength to carry on was beyond inspirational. It was a blessing for me to see with my very own eyes that life goes on and not only does it go on, but it's good as well. Sometimes we all need to be reminded. I like to look at things as blessings these days instead of curses. I truly believe my Nana wanted me to meet you and maybe even Chris has been helping you meet your readers because it is good for us. I needed to realize that my words (amazingly, might I add) are worth something and that the pain that I go through is not in vain. I am glad it has made me wiser and I'm glad that it's made me a little different than a lot of teenagers. Blessing or a curse? I say blessing. Thanks Nana.
    I hope you look at things like this too. While, of course, nothing can take away the sadness and pain from loosing a loved one, these little things are blessings. There's a reason for it all, even though it's hard to accept sometimes.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. One never can truly understand how far her influence hits, Mrs. Stewart. You're queen at influencing right now.

    PS. I'm headed to Boston on monday to check out BC but also **Holy Cross** :-)

    1. I have said it before Hannah, I do not know you, but I agree with Regina, you are an amazing young woman! God has big plans for you in the future and your Nana is right there with you to guide the way. Have a good time at BC and **Holy Cross** too. Do you play a sport, are you going to school to pursue that at the collegiate level? Best wishes to you, a very special young lady!!!

    2. Hannah....I have to agree with Annie and Regina...you seem amazing and wise beyond your years. I like your blog! Can't wait to hear how you make out with your college choices. I'm sure your Nana is guiding you from above.

      Also, I had also seen the idea you shared about writing the things your grateful for, putting the slips of paper in a jar and opening the jar on NYE...am doing so as well.

    3. Hannah, It was so nice to see a picture of you, and be able to put a "face" with the name. I was intrigued by your first posts, and always make sure to read your replies. You are definitely an old soul, with a strong spirit. I think you and Regina were led to each other for a reason, and time will tell. Stay strong, and keep writing!

    4. Hi Hannah,

      I wanted to chime in and agree with both Annie and Denise.. Love reading your responses as well! To Annie and Denise and Regina.. I love the support thst you've this sweet girl.. It will go far and never be forgotten by her.
      Hannah~ you give us all hope.. I just know you have a bright future ahead.. Keep us posted..
      Xoxox to all!

    5. Oh my goodness. Trying to read these through the hall with tears in my eyes. You all couldn't be more kind or timely. Thank you for your support.

      Please dont forget to still give support to mrs stewart. She needs it to.

      Lots of love to all

  2. Wow you were busy! So happy the fundraisers went well this weekend. You will love the white water rafting with Jeremy! Enjoy the line dancing;)

  3. Wow what a wonderful weekend you had. I am glad that you got to meet new friends and had a great time. Enjoy your new adventures with Jeremy, you'll have an amazing time. Thank you for sharing and God bless. Making it short today having a difficult time getting my Chris to wake up and get ready for school. :-)

  4. Sounds like you a very FULL and amazing weekend! So happy the Pancake Breakfast was such a huge success. It makes me happy to hear that the community continues to come out to help, it's so important. Are they still selling the Shaker/Shen shirts with the Green & Blue Ribbon? I'm down in FLorida for the winter but I'd wear it proudly all winter. Let me know. I did order the bracelet, that should be arriving shortly.
    Enjoy your line dancing tonight....have a good week.

  5. Glad pancake breakfast was such a success. Your son,Deanna,matt and bailey have inspired alot of people to do things for others that maybe they normally wouldn't do.we are proud to take part in all that we can.having four children we know how expensive things can be. Looking forward to what happened that you will share soon.wishing bailey luck today as she starts her teeth process and good luck to you on the line dancing.i think Chris is smiling down and saying thanks for going on and fighting for me everyday.just talking about him is fighting for him and you

  6. Regina,
    Sounds like an awesome but crazy busy weekend. So glad the fundraisers were successful. I am happy for you that you got to meet so many blog readers this weekend. It is no wonder you were exhausted. Enjoy all the adventures you have lined up...line dancing, sky diving and white water rafting. Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs and peace.

  7. Regina,

    It was a busy weekend, I am glad you got to meet some of your daily readers. Hananh does inspire me for such a young girl, she IS mature beyond her years. I think God has big plans for her, I hope the two of you continue to grow in a relationship. It sounds like you have already been helpful to her. I love reading her blog responses. I love how you have reached out to her too. I think it is good...I mean GREAT!!

    Justine is a friend of mine, she loves to chat, with her pen and socially. She is a good person and has a good heart.

    Hopefully one day we will meet again. I met you briefly at the first Shen/Shaker game, Dawn introduced us. My daughter Bailey, has known Dawns Bailey since 2nd grade.(we refer to them as your and my Bailey when we talk about them...hahaha)

    I am glad your weekend was full of Joy for the most part. I know you had your moments of up and down... I am sure everything you do for a long while will be an emotional rollercoster...Have a good day, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

    God Bless,XO

    PS can't wait for pictures of Sky-Diving and white water rafting!!! How FUN!!!!

  8. Hi Regina... Yes, another long response, it's like you dared me by what you wrote above.

    I wrote this poem years ago after a very close friend passed away, way too young, and due to an ATV accident. Many were mad, many who loved him dearly were devastated, and some were laughing and sharing stories. As we all gathered at the memorial event, I was overwhelmed with the different variations of emotions that were all in one place! I’m sharing this (with a side note to Hanna Cowley since she did write “Life Goes On” in her message to you).

    Life Goes On

    While at a gathering for the loss of a friend,
    It was so obvious that here, life does not end.
    While children ran and played,
    Adults cried and undoubtedly prayed.

    I sit in sorrow and contemplate,
    How strange is this thing called fate?
    What happens every minute, is God’s overall will,
    However, it plagues me still.

    The saying “Life Goes On”
    Tends to make me angry,
    But watching the children run and play,
    One would unfortunately have to agree!

    I learn from children every day,
    And while mourning, I still have to say,
    Life does go on -- which is proven through them,
    They give us the strength to start to mend.

    ©Justine Crowley-Duncan
    Latham, NY July 8, 2005

    As you said in the interview, you have much to do, and you are allowed to be happy. While we see the smiles, see the pictures of the events you are at, and experience the hugs when we meet you, those times that I worry about you are when you are home and allow yourself to break down. It’s hard for me to think that you have those private moments, that you share with us on the blog afterward, and I feel terrible that you have to do that alone, but obviously understand. Most moms who experience a loss of a child, like you said no matter what type of loss, spend much time breaking down alone. I know I did and I don’t know why I was so afraid to reach out, but preferred breaking down alone… I guess I thought I was protecting those that loved me from seeing that raw emotion.

    That being said, I am actually also little relieved that you allow yourself those times to break down because crying is beneficial and cleansing, and an important part of the grieving process (look at me stating the obvious). I can only imagine your emotional exhaustion. Whenever you smile or laugh, especially a good long belly laugh, you release endorphins. Conversely, whenever you have a good cry, again you release endorphins. You can get your endorphins from hugs, too. You seemed to have run the gammit of “endorphin moments” this weekend. You smiled, you laughed, you cried and you were hugged a ton. Most of us reading, and asking how you go on… I would have to say at least one way, Endorphins! Even just the endorphins from receiving smiles which induce a smile, from crying and from hugging have to be benefitting you somehow.

    It is so obvious you have a huge following of people that want to help, and I hope that it is helping. I see you are going to be line dancing, sky diving, and rafting in the upcoming time. Make sure to please take some down time… You need your rest too! Being a type “A” personality who takes on more when I should be taking on less during times of stress, I know that is easier said than done, but if you need some down time, I cannot skydive or go rafting, but I can sit with you and offer an ear, make you some tea, and just be there for you.

    I was so glad to meet you in person Saturday, even though I felt I knew you already. I’m glad you met Ally. Ally and I talk of you often and really would like to be there for you, if there is anything you need. If only I knew how to make a good soup… :)

    God bless…

  9. Hi Regina,

    First off I am so happy that you had such a nice weekend! I'm also glad that you are admitting that you may need to slow it down a bit... And just take care of you.
    On the one hand you get so much from doing all of these wonderful things to honor Chris and Deanna as well as supporting Matt and Bailey. I get tired sometimes just reading all that your schedule entails!
    I'm so happy that you got to meet some of us bloggers.. What a wonderful thing. I had full intention of going.. But I was in bed sick.. I hope they'll be many more fundraisers and events to attend to.

    You absolutely crack me up! Skydiving! Line dancing and now white water rafting?! You are so cute! Go Regina go!
    I have a feeling Chris is looking down saying .. "She's doing what?" He"ll be right there with you..

    I'm sorry that the weekend ended up with you being emotionally and mentally drained... It is cathartic and necessary to acknowledge all of those feelings..
    Sounds like big things are on the horizon .. But that doesn't surprise me one bit.. It seems like the natural progression of things. It seems that you have been "called" on to carry on Chris's legacy and make a difference in this world. Chris was called " home" for some reason unbeknownst to us at this time... I'm sure though that he's quite busy and has a very important role to fulfill as well..
    Many blessings to you ..

  10. Regina,

    a side note...I do not know how else to contact you except maybe through Dawn,but this may be something a lot of people are interested in...

    Groupon...if you go to http://www.groupon.com/deals/big-fireworks-5?c=all&from_gifts=true&p=0

    click on valentines day icon on the toolbar they have a deal for the next two days only...$50.00 dollars worth of Chinese Sky Lanterns for $25.00... or a $100.00 worth for $40.00! I know that you like to light them, so I thought maybe you could use the discount too...

  11. Hi Regina,

    Wow, what a lot to do in a weekend! I attended the breakfast with my family...what a great event! I actually won the chocolate basket, my kids were thrilled about that! My little one also got her first newspaper appearance! The Gazzette took her picture, it was really cute. Most important is the incredible support that was shown for Bailey and Matt. I was keeping an eye out for you to introduce myself, but unfortunately I didn't see you...maybe the next event.

    White water rafting!!! I did that two summers ago for the first time...wow, that's all I can say.

    I hope you got enough rest for line dancing!!!

  12. Hi Regina,
    I just wanted to thank you for being at the Breakfast on Sunday. You continue to amaze me with your kindness & grace you show to each person you meet.You spoke to so many on Sunday.. You must be so exhausted going to every event, talking to so many people..yet we would never know it.
    I cant imagine what that support means to Matt & Bailey. Those 2 wonderful kids have such a long road ahead of them..and with you in there corner, it must make this a little more bearable,
    You are a pillar of strength to this community. The lessons learned by watching you, will last a very long time.!
    God Bless you,

  13. Glad to see you'll be going rafting, you'll have a great time for sure. But instead of going in May like you said, go in July or Aug; it’ll be a lot better and a lot warmer too and not too many bugs and the water will be a lot warmer too. Don’t worry; you still will have one heck of a rafting trip even in July or Aug. I've done the trip four times and every time it's totally different. Also buy a waterproof camera, you can buy them at Stewart's or any other place that sells them and do take really good photos.

  14. great photos from the basketball game and breakfast.

    skydiving AND white water rafting!!! my heart starts racing just thinking about it!!! sounds like a great time!!!

    thinking and praying for you everyday.