Sunday, February 17, 2013


There never seems to be enough time in a day.  I'm sure you feel it too.  Each fresh new day brings a mindful of intentions which I sometimes complete but many times don't.

I have had so much extra on my plate since Chris passed and although I want to get to certain tasks I just haven't had the time.  It bothers me a lot.  These are new tasks - not things on my "to do" list like retrieving photos off the old computer (which I'm thrilled about I must say) but I'm talking about things that are much more personal and profound, things that have to do with preserving Christopher's memory.  Things I would never have expected I might be doing in Chris' honor in February 2013...
In November of 2012 there was nothing on my mind regarding Chris beyond visiting colleges and getting applications in.  Well, we were also in search of part time employment for him and had been debating about his going back to work at McGrievy's Restaurant working in the kitchen or in perusing something new to try.  He had put several applications out there to work at CVS, Rite Aide and Walgreens since they were all close to home but he had never heard back as of the date of his passing.  He knew the money train had ended once the football season was over and if he wanted to put gas in his tank to get to school and Baileys house then a part time job was necessary.  He was working on it.
In any event, could you imagine if you, as a parent, were all of a sudden being asked to help put together the guidelines for your child's memorial scholarship?  It's a lot to digest.  I feel like I'm constantly shaking my head saying "What????"  Well, it’s preoccupying my mind.  I just can't believe it's for real.  It seems like a dream.  I need to wrap my head around it and embrace it, which I think I do most of the time.  There's typically a window though where it's all just so surreal and too much that I can't handle it.  It's too much too soon yet I know time is of the essence in order for a SHEN senior to have time to apply and be awarded the Christopher Stewart Memorial Scholarship this May for the preliminary year.

I'm dumbfounded that so many people and companies contributed to the scholarship.  I'm completely blown away by the generosity and humane kindness I've been shown. I can never reach all those I would like to speak with but I will give my humblest attempt at saying THANK YOU for making this scholarship possible.  As much as it pains me to spend my time thinking about it rather than focusing on a college choice with Chris, I'm so fortunate to be able to have this opportunity.
I've had an initial meeting with the Administrators at SHEN and am working on the guidelines for the scholarship.  I promise to share them once completed because it has been a collaborative effort on your part to make this possible.  If you would consider donating to keep the scholarship going I think that would be fabulous.  The students are so deserving!  I would never have had the means to establish this scholarship if not for the school and the donors.  At a time when my attention was focused elsewhere all of you carried me and for that I will always be grateful.  My son will continuously be a spoken name at SHEN due to this yearly scholarship.

Time is what I need right now to complete the details of the scholarship fund.  I want to get it right.  The school districts office will handle the finances, lest anyone wonder, but I have control over the requirements the senior students must possess in order to apply for the award.  I'm very pleased about that.  Believe me; the applicants will embody the spirit of Christopher. :-)
Although spending my time working on a scholarship is a world away from what I ever would have expected in early 2013 I'm honored to focus my attention on this project.  My son was such a wonderful kid and I look forward to sharing him and keeping his memory alive thru the SHEN high school each year.

Thank you for reading.


  1. It sounds all a little too overwhelming, if you ask me. I don't know anybody who carries the burden better, however. I'm sure that everyone at SHEN appreciates you working so diligently with the administrators to come up with the perfect criteria for the award. Plus, award or no award, I think it's safe to say that Chris will always be talked about.

    "Keep looking forward girlfriend!"

  2. Good morning Regina,

    I was just sitting here thinking of what a daunting task this all can be.
    As far as the criteria for Chris's memorial scholarship. I'm sure you must be thinking how specific should I be or can I be? Chris is so unique.. He was athletic, warm, engaging, funny, adorable, endearing. He loved his family, and was good to his mother as well as others. Modest, sweet, worked hard and played harder. I do not envy the task that you have ahead. If anyone has it in them it's you.. I think you know deep down what you'd like the recipient of this amazing scholarship to possess. Still not easy!
    Sometimes when you have overwhelming expectations.. You just need to simplify things a bit and cut out all if the non essentials. Get some good rest, and just sit. The harder you think the harder the task becomes. I seem to come up with solutions in my dreams and in the shower!
    I heard recently to keep a pad of paper and pen by your bedside in case you do come up with ideas and solutions in your sleep. Jot them down and then go back to sleep. It's all there .. It just needs to come out when you're not under pressure.
    Best of luck with this Regina...

  3. Regina....
    You are an amazng woman.... I was at the Y yesterday in East Greenbush and one of the boys had on the Shen ribbon shirt, I felt pretty honored that Chris had come to work out with us in Spirit... Like I said yesterday I could not fathom what it is that you are going through nor could I pretend to... Just know I think you are amazing... Rock on WOman, Chris would be sooooo proud.


  4. Regina,
    I'm sure it's overwhelming at times... and I'm sure it can be as simple as you need it to be. At the right time the "criteria" will come pouring out. When I was a teenager I lost one of my best friends to cancer and the family kept a memorial scholarship going for years. It's such a great way to keep Chris's spirit present in people's hearts and minds for years to come. Enabling a "deserving" senior (of course they are all deserving) is a great thing (as you and I both know as paying parents of college-age kids). More importantly though I think, is that you are entrusting Chris's way of being... his energy... to someone who will most certainly feel that responsibility to carry that "being" with integrity and light. What a a great way to start off college. Such a win-win. So glad you are doing this. I think you will feel a real boost in your own energy from this initiative for years to come. We love you and will support this memorial as long as you choose to keep it going. God Bless!

  5. Regina, You have been sharing Chris with us and letting me, that didn't know him, get to know Chris. I have learned about his talent, his idiosyncrasies, his compassion, his dedication, his heart, his whitty personality, his appetite (not just for food, but for life in general) and his team spirit... just from what I have read.

    In my mind, from what I know so far, Chris is the 'boy next-door' who everyone seemed to migrate to. Wholesome and unassuming, and maintains an innocence about him. Very sincere, sometimes shy, sometimes confident (unless there is a bee or a dark room) and rarely arrogant. A sweet boy, someone who girls are proud to bring home to their parents because of his charm, demeanor and sincerity. In my opinion, in a perfect world, what most boys should be like! I credit his parents for making him the well rounded boy that he was.

    Given what you have written and shared with us, all those components should already be the blueprint for your criteria. You have already done that part of it.

    That being said, I don't now the guidelines for setting up a criteria, but I have faith in you that you will nail this down rather quickly, probably proofread it a thousand times and agonize over it until you think it's perfect. But all the while realizing it was already just right from the start. I don't know if you have a timeline for when it has to be done, but when you focus on the timeline, sometimes writer's block sets in, especially when you juggle too many things... The mind is hard to turn off when you have so many different things running around in there. Maybe you just have to pick a day that is for nothing but setting up the criteria, step back and focus on just this, and in the meantime just jot stuff down and pull it all together on that day you set aside. Turn off the phone, the computer (internet mainly), the errands and just free your mind of anything but the criteria, free of interruption. I found this quote that might help: "To do two things at once is to do neither". {Publius Syrus} Hopefully you can find some quiet time to focus on nothing but the criteria and it will flow right out of you!

    I have all the faith in the world that you've "got this" as Ally loves to say. I have no doubt in the world that it's going to be the most sought out scholarship. Whoever receives it will be honored to receive such an amazing recognition. I love that the school and the community will all have a hand in giving it to someone so deserving, and for years to come. Honestly, I would love to meet the person that receives the scholarship. I will continue to support this scholarship memorial when I can, always in prayer and spirit and by attending fundraising opportunities because I believe in everything it is already encompassing...

    Chris will be guiding you. Be kind to yourself and all will work out in God's time!

    God bless Regina.

  6. Hi Regina,

    I think you'll do great!

    Hugs, Ann

  7. Regina,

    When my oldest son was 10, one of his friends died of cancer. Hard to believe it was 13 years ago. A scholarship was started in his name to be given to a graduating sixth grader from Forts Ferry Elementary School in North Colonie. The first one was given to a recipient in my son's class, which would have also been Andrew's graduating class. The scholarship embodied qualities that Andrew had possessed. Until you wrote about it, I never thought about how hard it must have been on his parents to come up with the guidelines for the scholarship.

    With all we have learned about Chris from you, I am sure when you are able to take the time to sit down and clear your mind, you will get a sense of exactly what your guidelines will be. It is awesome that Chris' memory will live on in the form of this scholarship. And I am sure you will do a great job because you are an awesome mom and curator of Chris' memory!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs and peace.

  8. I will be thinking of you during this process that I unfortunately know too well. Last year I was in the very some position and it was not easy, nor will be many things yet to come. One criteria we had was an essay. While they were so difficult to read as our son grew up with all of there young adults they were special as they were all part of our son's life. In the end one of Tyler's preschool and life time friends was awarded the scholarship. You will know when you have the right person.

  9. Always read, never write. However, today while I was at work a family had come in and while the mom was finishing up shopping, the dad took the little boy outside. About 5 minutes later, the little boy came back in to tell his mom "a big buggy fly was chasing me". All I could do was giggle and smile as I thought of Chris being chased by the bees! I just thought that you would like to know that even in Florida, Chris is bringing smiles and laughter! :)

  10. i know you will choose the perfect criteria. Chris gives you such strength he will make sure you get it right. good luck with this process.