Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A recent message

I had a message not too long ago from one of my blog readers.  It helped put things in perspective for me a little bit by showing me how I helped in her life.  It's comforting to know how the loss of my son and the mere words I spill out on paper had an effect on her.   I asked if I could post her note and she agreed so here it is, I removed her name:

Mrs. Stewart,
I'm thinking of you today and sending you lots of good thoughts and well wishes. I read your blog every morning before getting ready for work and am amazed and inspired by your strength and courage. Thank you for sharing your stories with us everyday. You helped me through a bit of depression I was going through. I married my best friend, Nathan, on 12/1/12. I woke up that day and was unable to stand up because I was so sick. My friend took me to the hospital where they informed me I had Influenza A and hooked me up to an IV drip since I was so dehydrated 2 hours before my wedding. I was crying and so upset that this was happening on my wedding day. I ended up making it to the wedding and being able to walk down the aisle with minutes to spare. I don't really remember much after that since I was so sick, I made it until about 9:30pm, when I just couldn't stand anymore and had to leave but I hear it was a fun wedding. My maid of honor helped me back to the room I was staying in and I laid down, crying that I had to leave my own wedding. It was then that I looked at my phone and read about the accident and my heart broke. The following week I had to stay home from work because of the flu and was very depressed that my wedding day did not turn out how I had hoped and that many pictures were missed. I just want you to know that you snapped me out of that depression. Showing such strength in such a difficult time was so inspiring and my heart went out to you and your family. Also, it made me realize that the most important thing was cherishing the fact that I was able to marry my husband and our relationship and time we get to spend together. I know that the 1st of the month is an extremely hard day for you but just wanted you to know that on the 1st of every month, while I'm celebrating another month being married, I will also be remembering and honoring your son, Chris and Deanna. Thank you again for sharing your memories and stories of his life with your readers every day. From the stories you share, it's easy to see that he had an incredible life with an amazing mother and family. I believe he is always with you.

Your message has me in awe. I can't believe the tragic loss of my son assisted you in seeing things in a new, positive way. It makes my heart happy to see little gems of good come from this. I love your story! I'm completely warmed by it, thank you!!
Would you mind if I shared it on my blog? I promise never to say your name. I feel people would love to hear how you were able to overcome by putting your priorities in perspective and knowing that one day would not deter your future joy. I think it's a great story and I know it'll make for funny conversation years from now when you share it at dinner parties or with new friends. Rehashing the icky details will cause giggles.


Thanks for your reply, it made my day.  Of course I don't mind and I don't mind whether you use my name or not. You put perfectly into words what I have wanted to express to you for months, that you and your son helped me put my priorities into perspective and realize that one day would not deter my future joy. I love how you worded that. I think it will be a funny story to share years from now too.  Thanks again and god bless to you as well.

I'd like to think that there are plenty of stories like this happening all over, many I don't know about and will never hear and that's OK.   I do love knowing Chris has touched so many lives and that together we are causing many of you to slow down and enjoy the moments. It's important to sort thru the "stuff" life brings on a daily basis and determines what to focus on.  Flying off the handle at the small things is a waste of time.  Let it roll off your shoulders and move on.  If the laundry needs washing but your kids want you to help make a fort under your dining room table - go for the fort and bring a bowl of popcorn.  It will make for a much better memory that's for sure!

Thank you for reading.


  1. I love this. Chris and you, Mrs. Stewart, have definitely helped to put everything in perspective for the better. I don't waste a single day now.

  2. Mrs. Stewart,

    Like many, I have wanted to reach out and let you know how inspirational I have found you, but never have I felt I had anything significant enough to tell you. That is, until about 4 o'clock this morning when I woke up from a dream I couldn't shake. Never have I had a dream about Chris, until of course you post a blog about signs. Last night, I had a dream that I had invited you, and the parents of Deanna, Bailey and Matt to my home. Also there were my brother and his friend. My brother and this friend met at Gowana when they were both in 8th grade and had the opportunity to play for Coach Steuerwald for several years (they were Class of '93). In my dream, my brother and his friend made it very clear that they had given Chris the door from his locker (which of course was marked #69) and wanted to make sure that he had it with him on his journey. You went with them to speak privately about this, and I never saw you again. I have no idea how or why I had this dream, or what it means, but I felt like I had to share it with you. Although my brother and his friend are very much alive, I guess that team spirit never goes anywhere.

  3. Regina...

    Your blog and the affects it has on people...nothing short of amazing!!!! Beautiful story!

    God Bless, XO

  4. Regina, Chris and you have touched so many lives. I had to start by saying that. You mentioned in the beginning of writing this blog that you did not want Chris to be forgotten. That will not happen. The last 3 months have left such a strong impact on many people, the 518 community and further. The mere tragedy and loss alone was enough to stop people and force them to re-evaluate maybe how they treat people; how they drive; how the respond, I know I have seen it. I have seen the requests on facebook for Random Acts of Kindness... I have seen the outpouring of love at the fundraisers. Your blog allows some of us to connect on a higher level and stay in touch with you, and check in with you and continue to get to know little bits of Chris, for those of us that didn't know him. That alone has touched my life in a way I can not really put into words.

    I like to think I was a Random Act of Kindness person before, and that I cared for people, and treated people the way I wanted to be treated. I learned years ago to "pick my battles with my kids" and to enjoy my time with them because of what was going on in our lives that forced that way of thinking, but your blog has allowed me the opportunity to look back and remember things that were somewhat lost, and your blog has given me the chance to see goodness in other people from their responses and outpouring of support for you.

    The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and let it come in – { author Morrie Schwartz}. You are doing that with your blog and you are receiving so much love and compassion in return. I truly hope it is helping in some small way. I believe it does when I read blogs like what you wrote today.

    God bless… I hope you have a good day, and make it count!

  5. Regina -

    Your last paragraph is how you and Chris have touched and inspired me. I am making an effort to not take life so serious and to not be so serious with my children. I want to be the person who is able to teach my children that there is an equal balance between having fun, knowing when to throw responsibility to the side and when handling responsibility is necessary but I want to be able to do this by not being so serious. Teaching by fun!

    Thank you every day for your inspiration, your courage and your sharing your heart with us!

  6. Regina,

    What a beautiful story. Every day in some way you and Chris are touching lives. I know I have been living a calmer life!! I feel so bad for the bride that she was so sick on her wedding day. But how awesome she read your story and that it moved her and changed her thinking, of course we both know we'd rather your story had a different ending. You are right though, she will have a story to tell for many years to come. I would love to share a few stories from my wedding day...they still make people laugh and I will be celebrating 28 years of marriage. My reception and after party are the ones that will never be forgotten. If we ever meet, we'll chat...LOL!

    To the bride and her Nathan, if you check back, I wish you both many years of love and happiness.

    Thanks for sharing!
    hugs and peace

  7. Regina,

    What beautiful words. Since I started reading your blog I notice that I look at life differently. I now know what I hold dear and my priorities have changed. I don't get upset over the little things, like you said the laundry or the housework. Those things are not going anywhere so I take time to go out and get my Chris new shoes, watch a movie with my daughter, or have a 20 minute conversation with my 20 year old. Make memories that last a lifetime, the small stuff will still be there when you return.

    Thank you and God bless