Sunday, March 10, 2013

It's Time to Live

I'm sitting here watching the news about Valerie Harper's terminal illness.  She has been told she only has months to live.  Can you imagine getting that sort of news?  How devastating!  I watched her on TV for years and I'm heartbroken for her family.

Of course it spurred me into a reality check once again reminding me that we are on this earth to live!  Not just to pass time or to simply get by.  I'm not trying to preach that I have always lived my life that way - I certainly have not.  I've spent my fair share of time dreading my boring daily life or wondering what the heck my future had in store for me.  I wondered what God's plan was.

Your responses to my questions about a future fundraiser were inspiring.  Again you reaffirmed my thoughts and wrapped yourself around me in positive energy.  You continue to motivate me into action.  I think you're helping me redesign my purpose.  I know I need to help myself along and find meaning especially due to the loss of Chris.  What I thought was my future has taken a sharp turn.  Now I need a new focus to inspire me in an effort to inspire others and you are supporting me to do this so thank you.  I feel as though, with you behind me I have a voice to do good things.
I do believe that we can win!  Just like my blog title and just like the SHEN chant.  I think there will be a beautiful blend of things happening in the future and I can't wait for it to unfold.  My mind is spinning with all of your suggestions, some posted publicly as well as plenty more privately.  There can be unimaginable good to come from this tragedy if we put our efforts together.  A little from a lot of people will make this work.  

I do know that God gives us the ability to dream big and to achieve.  I don't plan to move mountains but I do plan to help others.  There are many in our community in need.  It's been suggested to me to reach beyond the Chris Stewart scholarship fund and help more than a graduating SHEN student.  Of course!  I can do that.  We can do that.  People around here need assistance.  Not just financial but physical and emotional.  

Someone told me I needed to open up a 501c3 non-profit organization.  Another asked that I consider assisting kids pay for summer football camps.  It's very expensive and many can’t afford it.  That would be a good idea.  Someone else was thinking along a whole other level and believes I would be a good source of help to families who experience a tragedy; that I might make a good first line of defense in an emergency situation for traumatic situations when a family in the area is in the midst of an unexpected loss.  I like that idea as well.  A lot of things happen those first couple of weeks that require many people pitching in and going above and beyond to help.  It's a critical time.  I know I can relate to that first hand and I can help.  Been there.  

I'm excited at the thought of all the things this organization could do locally.  I know there's a need!

Something tells me I'm going to be reaching out to you again soon in hopes you'll contact your employer for donations or help.  I foresee us working on this together, sort of like a spider web.  It's going to spread wide and we'll intertwine our efforts to make our future endeavors prosperous for the community.  I have a very good feeling about this.
Chris may not have been known by everyone personally but he has been embraced by all. He represents the goodness of teens, he was a wonderfully talented sportsman and a help to many others.  I don't know why I hadn't given more thought to a non-profit organization other than the fact that it just seems too much for me to wrap my arms around.  I will do it if I know I have support.  I don't think I'm strong enough on my own and I wouldn't know where to begin - BUT the seed has now been planted and I think we've got a good platform to start from.  If you're willing to do a little to get the word out - once we're actually ready, then I will spearhead this organization on the community's behalf.
 We all need to live life with daily enjoyment and purpose.  Wasting a day or an hour becomes its own small tragedy but with effort and insight we can work on keeping these times to a minimum.  This has become more apparent as I age.  There's no better time than the present to do good things for others and create something extraordinary from the unthinkable.  I pray you'll help me very soon!

Thank you for reading.


  1. Mrs. Stewart,
    You will never know how much you have helped me with the concept of living each day. I have never known the importance until I've seen how quickly life can be taken away. Reading your blog every day shows me that I need to change my outlook. Thank you so so much. Your posts, as always, are timely and needed.

    I pray for your strength as you begin this endeavor and I hope you truly know how many people are itching to help you.


    1. Oh Hannah,

      You ARE such a sweet girl. We too are blessed and inspired by you only a kid, a junior in high school who is mature beyond her years and whose post come from the heart with sincerity and love. You are heading places kid!!!!

      :) XO, God Bless Annie

      PS you said you go to BHBL...say Hi to Mr. Dudas for me! A family friend for over 20 yrs!!!! :)

  2. Regina,

    We are here for you, just say what you need and we will help you! I too know..."I know that we can win!!!!"

    God Bless, XO

    PS the scholarship fund for football camps is a great idea, check with the FastBreak Fund about how to set that up. Tony Dzikas can guide you what to do there...They have been providing scholarsips for kids to attend sports camps free or with assistance for years...Check out their webpage(and they are local !)

    1. Regina,

      I was thinking about your blog all day and the task ahead of you for getting the wheels in motion and the daunting job of applying for a 501(c)3, you mentioned you didn't think you were strong enopugh or know where to begin...fastbreak fund is non-profit and Tony Dzikas or his wife Kris(I think she helped set up fastbreaks 501(c)3)can probably help you or at least direct you which way to go or where to get the help...ask him, I know he would love to help you.

  3. Regina,
    I held off commenting yesterday as I knew there would be soooo many ideas. Your attributes of Chris... humor & kindness, football, etc. suggest a limitless number of possibilities. My concern remains with you. I think the nonprofit is a great idea. It's easy to do. It can be as simple as you wish it to be. (My friend Andrew Ragan who passed from ALS this past year had a nonprofit called FAR that was friends of Andrew Ragan that was simply set up as a fundraising depository for those wishing to run all sorts of events to help the family). My persistent thought for you is that you allow for time for the ideas to percolate for a while. It's great that you feel called to action. AND it's necessary that there are times of inaction. Just take your time is my only coaching for you. Let the ideas mull around, keep a journal of them if you need a place to put them, don't feel like you have to do anything right away. It might be tempting to create a vehicle to consume your heart and mind as they both ache from loss. It is still so soon and this is normal. Action can feel tempting as it distracts us from our pain. So take your time, remain aware, and don't let yourself become overwhelmed.

    With so much love,

  4. Glad to hear that you are thinking big -- as in SHEN Big -- for your endeavors. My only suggestion, as someone who has been among the founders of a local nonprofit organization -- is to enlist the support of some big-brained, level-headed, experienced board members and fundraisers who may not have known you or Chris personally but who can be objective, voices of reason as things unfold. It's easy to get wrapped up in passion and purpose for a cause that so many hold near and dear to their hearts, but at the end of the day, it is also a business and you need folks with special talents in the larger community to keep things on track. Again, just my $0.02.

    P.S. Love the idea of helping local residents befallen by unexpectedy tragedy -- commonality of experience can be a very important factor in helping others heal.

  5. Regina: Congrats on the approval of the 501(c)(3). Those applications are NOT fun! I've prepared them for clients before and they sure require a lot of backup! The way my mind works, the first thing I thought of is what is the name for your N-F-P! :) I incorporate people and it always intriques me the names they pick.

    As you go forward:

    ‎"Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages."

    -- Bob Parsons

    I will be there to help you in any way I can. I don't doubt you will have a lot of help, all you need to do is ask and I'll do what I can. I'm keeping this short because I'm sure after yesterday's overwhelming responses, and today's you will have plenty to read!

    God bless...

  6. I love the idea of football camp assistance. I work for the district and I know that we have had students in my school who would love to play Jr. Plainsmen and the families don't have money for the fee, shoes,etc. and a way to get their kids back and forth to practice. Sports play such an important part in a child's life and really teach many important life qualities.
    I know that whatever your decision will be, it will be a great one.

  7. Regina - when you are mentally and physically ready you will be able handle the not for profit with ease. This is a wonderful idea and agree that there are so many wonderful things you can do for the children who attend SHEN.

  8. Regina,
    As I said earlier count me in just post time and place. My kids and myself will be there. I can check with my work whenever you need. They May be able to help. Thank you for being such an inspiration. God bless

  9. Once you get started, I'll pitch in and join the cause, whatever it may be. People joining together to help those less fortunate is a beautiful thing :) Let's do it!

  10. Mrs. Stewart,
    I read your blog every morning before I start my day. My 11 year old son who absolutely loves football looks at Chris's pictures and watches his video of him playing football all the time. Chris has impacted so many of all ages near and far. My family looks forward to attending a fund raising event in the near future. Thank you for sharing such beautiful stories with all of us. K. Hayes, Gabriels, Ny

  11. Regina,
    Congratulations on the approval of your 501(c)(3)applicaton! I have heard they should come with a mini-vacation to rest your brain after completion. An idea that quickly came to mind is to make a backpack of school supplies for kids from elementary through High School whose family budget could use the help. Back packs of green and purple with CS69 embroidered on it. I know I will think of many more when I sit and think, so be prepared for the list. ;)
    May God continue to Bless you,

  12. Regina,

    Congratulations on the approval of your NFP application! I know you are going to do wonderful things!

    Can't wait until you get started!

    hugs and peace