Saturday, March 16, 2013

This blog

I believe this blog to be a Godsend.  I know I've mentioned to you several times that I never wrote a post anywhere other than a Facebook status on my personal page before Chris passed and that's true.  I had created a Twitter account a while ago, just so I could say I had one but it had never been used.  I wasn't even sure how to tweet, had no followers of my own but had picked a few celebrities and some TV news to follow.

Fast forward to now and it's easy to see how far I've come with social media and communicating with you.  The relationships built would never have happened in person, we just don't see one another in our busy lives and most of us didn't know each other prior to December 1st.  
My personal Facebook page has grown with friends and extended family - which is wonderful.  The RIP Chris Stewart Facebook page has over 22,000 "likes" (which was created by one of Chris's friends - thank you Alexandra!) and my Twitter account has 700 followers plus I'm now following 99 of you!  It’s mostly high school students who allow me into their world.   I can't believe it but I love it!  I think it's heart-warming that we have come together and I'm glad to say there has been very little that has come thru in a negative manner.  Most everyone has been genuinely kind, considerate and comforting.  That has been great for all of us.

So, back to being being busy and this blog.  I need to let you know that this will be the last of my daily blogs.  I'm not shutting it down!  Don't worry about that.  I know many of you start your day reading it and checking on me and I love that.  I think it's wonderful that I provide something you enjoy and find comfort in.  I promise I will continue BUT, it won't be daily anymore.   I can't commit to keeping up with it daily.  It takes time and effort and I prefer what I write to be quality.  I don't want to feel compelled to write something and lose the essence of why I write.

I think it's important that you know what I'm thinking and why I've opted to change things going forward.  I've invited you into my "brain" and my world and so I will continue.  This has and is a new journey for US.  It hasn't ended, nor will it ever (for me anyway).
Although I'm no psychologist, I do know I began this blog as my public journal probably out of sheer panic over the loss of Chris.  I was petrified I would forget the details about my son if I didn't get them down on paper.  I felt compelled to tell everyone about him too.  He was the nicest kid in the world.  I had so much swirling around in my head I needed to get it out.  Silly but irrational that I would forget the memories  but three months ago I was in a different place mentally and emotionally than I am now.  Why would I ever forget seventeen years of experiences with my child?  I guess my brain went haywire not that it's fabulous now by any means!  My mind processes very differently these days.  But, I never would have begun blogging had it not been suggested to me and set up for me.  It couldn't have been any easier with the help I had from my friend.  I'm so happy that we've come to know one another.  For that I'm grateful and forever appreciative to every single one of you for welcoming me in and embracing me and my family.

I do think I might possibly have grabbed a spiral notebook and started writing in it at some point but typing at the computer is quicker as compared to writing long hand.  Who even does that much anymore?  My handwriting has become atrocious.  Typing on a keyboard is what I do daily, same as you I suspect so this whole blog idea was easy and immediate.

I will continue this blog but I don't know how often, other than to say at least once weekly.  If inspiration or a story hits me three days in a row then that's what you'll see, but I don't feel the burning desire to share so desperately every day now.  I tend to think that must be a good thing in the healing process!  Maybe I'm not quite so panicky anymore?
I noticed the other day that I was worrying about what I was going to write and I concluded that forcing myself to think of something meant it wasn't genuinely flowing.  I don't want to feel obligated to talk or worried you need something to read but at the same time we have come to rely on one another!  Many of you reply daily.  I look for your comments as much as you might look for mine.  I also KNOW many of you read all the replies and look for those too!  Don't tell me you don't want to see Hannah Cowley's or Justine Duncan's reply.  You do!!  I do too!!! Justine writes more than I do and Hannah is so darn sweet every single one of us adores her! None of us would have met if not for social media.  I go back at the end of the day to scan the replies again to be sure I didn't miss any.  Maybe you do too.
This blog,, the RIP Chris Stewart Facebook page and my Twitter page (@r_yakel_stewart) will remain. There is always a way to reach out to me if you want but just because I'm quiet one day doesn't mean I've forgotten you!  You are always welcome to send a post of your own because I am not going anywhere.  I'm just reducing the time I dedicate to writing because life is demanding that I pay attention to it again!

I promise to write still and I pray you'll write to me.  This friendship continues!  As always....

Thank you for reading!


  1. Good for you! I'm so glad you continue to listen to your heart and provide for it. We are all here, whether you hear US or not as well. Always and forever in your circle of support.

    Love and Light,

  2. Regina,
    This is so good, so wonderful for you! This blog has served it's daily purpose and now you are ready to move on from it. You're daily life has been waiting for you, go live it. I will miss you in the mornings. I find your blogs inspirational and touching. And I have tied up some loose ends from my own past by sort of walking this path with you on here. Thank you for opening yourself up to us. I will continue to pray for you and your family, I will continue to give a shout out to Chris every time I drive by exit 8, and I will continue to be around for the events to come. Your peace, it's making itself known. Thank you for sharing. Much Love- Anne

  3. I will miss your daily post but look at your urge to not have to write daily as a step in the right direction for you. I will continue to look forward to any post you write.
    God Bless

  4. Regina,

    This is awesome news for you because it means you are moving along in your healing process. Worrying over what to write should be the last thing on your mind! I have found your blogs to be inspirational, emotional and funny. When you talk about life with a teenage boy, oh yeah, so relatable. I have enjoyed coming to know you and Chris. While I will miss my daily visit with you, I am happy for you. I will look forward to the posts you do share.

    Thank you for all you have shared with us these past few months. I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers and thoughts.

    hugs and peace

  5. Regina,
    We met once, at a bottle drive fundraiser less than two weeks after the accident. I remember thinking how warm and poised you were even in those early days. I was already a blog follower and felt in some small way, I was walking with you through your grief by reading your blog every morning. It reminded me to pray for you daily and I have loved rooting for you. You have taught so many of us how to be graceful through hardship. You are a very good teacher and I have loved learning.
    One of my daily prayers has been that you would know when you didn't need to blog daily that you would feel free to stop. This has been an amazing tool of communication and healing but I was also concerned that it would eventually make you feel beholden to us all. You are so strong and courageous. Although I will miss starting my day with your stories, I am crying tears of joy that you have healed enough to embark on the next adventure in this new life. Yay!!
    I have wanted to comment on so many stories ... but this is a big day. It seemed right today. God Bless you, Regina. You will continue to have my prayers and all of my good wishes.

  6. Regina, I have been reading your blog daily, and want to thank you for what has been an honest, open, and hopeful view of your inner world. While you are working through your ongoing grief process, be aware that you have helped more people than you know - on one hand grief, but on another hand in your approach...its very hard for people to communicate with such truth and your example is one that we can all embrace. Personally, I'll miss your daily updates, but am so glad to see that you see and embrace your own needs. I wish you luck, and will look for the next post. I am a huge fan of yours - I wish you ongoing healing and love.

  7. Good Morning Regina!

    I am so happy you have found the right time to move on from your daily blogging! I hope with this news is also the news of sleeping better and becoming more at peace. I am so happy you found this outlet and safety net to let out your thoughts and feelings. I still believe Chris provided this awesome outlet! I will continue to check on you and absorb what you have to say as it has helped me put life in perspective. You are truly a wonderful person and I pray you continue to heal while keeping Chris alive in your heart and mind.

    May God Bless you and yours!

  8. Regina:
    Following what feels right is a positive path. I enjoy reading every blog, that is how I start my day, however - it does my heart good to hear you say that you are beginning to heal. Time helps but never takes already know that.
    May God bless you and your family. I pray for peace and continued healing for you all.

  9. Regina,

    Good for you!!! I am gonna miss reading every morning, and popping back in during the day and evening to see everyone's posts and the chatter you have gotten complete strangers to engage in with one another like we are friends and familiar with each other outside the blog. And sweet sweet Hannah, I do look froward to her heartfelt blogs everyday, I will miss them. I have even posted replies on her post, she is going to be one amazing young woman when she grows up!!!!
    (Stay classy Hannah, like you are!):)

    I will continue my daily prayers for you and all the families involved as well as for Cali, and many of the other people who through your blog you have touch in a healing/helping way.

    Every time I see or hear the number 69 I will forever think of your Chris!!! It is forever in my brain as hey that is Chris Stewarts number, and a little "Hi, Chris!" will go out to him.

    Peace and Love to you Mrs. Stewart!!! You will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts!!! So happy you are in a better place now!

    God Bless, XO Annie

  10. Hey Regina !

    Your daily posts will be missed, but the fact that the healing process is in motion is the most important thing about this blog. Hope to see you around town... you are always such a kind soul and gentle conversationalist. I enjoy out surprise meetings, and look forward to them again soon !! Peace and love, Laura

  11. Regina,
    I will miss your daily posts but it is a great thing that you are moving forward. I am so grateful and blessed that I was able to read and respond to your blogs. You have helped me be able to become a stronger and better person. You have made me laugh and cry. You have also made me live in the moment and enjoy it. For that I want to give you a big and say thank you for sharing your ups, downs, and inspirational stories and thoughts. God bless and keep you. I will look toward to hear how you are doing in the future.

  12. Regina,
    I have really enjoyed following your daily blogs, but I was very happy to read that you no longer feel the need to write daily. That is a big step, and, once again, I marvel at your strength, courage, and wisdom. I look forward to getting a notification that you have posted again, and will quickly click over to read what is on your mind that day. Thank you for helping me appreciate my (teenage) children more, and for giving me more patience with them. I will never forget Chris,& Deanna, or Matt and Bailey. Perhaps some day our paths will cross, and I will have a hug waiting for you, now that you're a hugger! Talk to you soon...

  13. Mrs. Stewart,
    At that pancake breakfast where I finally met you in person, there was one (of the many) tshirt that really caught my eye. It said, "Life is short. Live it." Oh how Chris and Deanna taught us how short life can really be.

    I have been reading this blog since the very first day. I have been here the whole time, watching you rise and fall. To hear this news of you rising high enough again to finally be able to stop blogging everyday is bittersweet to me. It is like a friend moving away. You know they are onto better things, but you will miss them terribly.

    Everyday, my morning routine for the last three months has been to wake up, then pick up my computer off of my nightstand, read the blog, comment, shower, and get on with my day. Then, every night, I go through the comments again just to see what everybody else wrote and to make sure that everybody's okay. I read to keep up with Justine's dad, Annie's awesome replies, and Denise, to name a few. You have shown me that such strength is possible and, through reading this blog, I have a reaffirmed faith that truly, anything is possible. I know that, despite how high school feels, it won't be like this forever. In just a year or so, I will be able to meet so may new people, caring people, like the ones that read this blog everyday. I feel truly blessed to have had the experience of reading this, Mrs. Stewart, meeting you and your wonderful sister, and getting to know this little community of people. I pray that this blog won't stop, the community won't stop, that no matter what the frequency of the posts, the comments and the stories won't stop. I feel like I have made so many new friends, and to part with them would tear at my heart.

    Anyway, circling back to, "Life is short. Live it." You, Mrs. Stewart (as I'm sure you are keenly aware of), fellow blog readers, myself... we never can possibly know how many years, days, or even seconds we have left. It sounds so cliche to state that, but if you just sit and think about that idea for just a second, the weight of it is magnified into something very real. And so, Mrs. Stewart, I was happy when you said you wouldn't be posting everyday. I was happy when you said this. You have a short life as well, and you, our lovely inspiration, need to live too. This isn't to say grieving needs to stop. Nobody can ever, or should ever tell you that, because it won't. I'm just saying, you've taught me so much on how to live; now it's your turn.
    The same goes for all of these blog readers. I take this blog as one of the biggest blessings of my life so far. I've learned so much. I have different posts bookmarked, screen-shotted, written down in a journal, quotes from different comments... they all mean so much to me and have taught me so much. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Now, we must go forth and use what we have learned.

    I've learned that all you could ever need is compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and love. I've learned that crying for somebody else's pain doesn't make you stupid or weak. It makes you a better human being. I've learned how the persistence of memory will always outweigh the doubts. I've learned the power of joy and spreading hope. I've learned that without each other, the whole world would be in peril. There's so much power we hold inside each of us. We have to use it.


    1. (I'VE REACHED THE STATUS OF JUSTINE! WOOO! HAVING TO REPLY TO MY OWN POSTS! okay. excitement over. back into serious mode.)

      Mrs. Stewart, thank you for all you've done. You're probably reading this, saying to yourself, "Well I never meant to do any of that! I just wanted to blog about my son!" Well, my dear, dear friend, we can never truly comprehend the extent of our impact, can we? And Chris? Buddy if you're up there listening right now, it's no wonder you were and are such an amazing person. You have an amazing mom that I feel so incredibly blessed and privileged to have learned about you from. I wish this never happened to you, but wishing does no good. Maybe you wanted the world to come together. I hope so. I hope you're proud of your momma. We all are. Keep watching over her Chris, as she starts the next chapter of her life with you tucked securely away in her memory. And, if you have a little time, look after us too. I'm sure all of us would appreciate it.

      I love you, Mrs. Stewart. You're never far, and we never will be either.

      Love, always,
      Hannah Cowley

      PS tea time needs to happen.

    2. Sweet,sweet Hannah,

      And I mean that in the truest sense. You are an amazing child, a true blessing and a gift to all of us who read this blog! I am going to miss you every day. This post was profound, mature and just a beautiful!! You are an amazing individual with such a kind soul!!!!

      Your post made me in cry. You so articulately emphasized what I am sure many of us feel. I look forward to possibly meeting you and seeing great things for your future...

      Stay classy, like you are!!!

      God Bless, XO Annie

    3. Hannah,

      Your post also made me cry. You are wise beyond your years and I believe you are going to accomplish great things. I am going to miss your daily responses, one of the first I look for after I read Regina's blog. You will have to find a way to keep us posted on your college hunt!

    4. I will miss seeing both of your replies so much. Please look me up on Facebook if you have one or have a chance: Hannah Cowley

      I really would love to keep in touch and have an avenue for keeping each other in touch about our own lives. I'm not ready to let such real (even if virtual) friendships die.

      You two as well, STAY CLASSY.

      And Annie, if you like tea, I'm always up for meeting a fellow tea-lover.

    5. OMG!!! I do not drink soda or coffee!!! I drink tea!!! I love tea, my favorite drink! And Hannah if you need any help with college being a teacher and coach, and having put 2 kids through college and a 3rd on the way(I know some tricks), also with your writing skills I can hook ya up with a few college scholarship that my kids received. Plus my husband is a college coach, so anything we can do to help you let us know. team will be at BHBL for softball (I know you have practice, but if you are available stop out to see me)We will be there Friday April if you can come on out... :) God luck rowing... XO, Annie

    6. *** good luck rowing...well God luck too I guess isn't bad!!!!

    7. What time on Friday, April 19th? I have practice so I usually can't make games :(

    8. 4:15 pm we arrive around 3:30 for warm-up

    9. Darn that's when my practice is. Find me on Facebook? We can continue talking there.

  14. Regina - As you know, for a few months now, I have been able to emotionally wrap my arms around you and in a way, try to help in some small way to help heal your deep wounds. I have gotten to know a small, but very personal part of you and your life. I have gotten to know pieces of Chris and even your family and know what they have looked like through seeing your pictures and hearing your stories. I have experienced your journey into this new life and have learned so much through reading your words. I have also experienced and gained a new outlook and a renewed faith in mankind with the outpouring of support you have received from men and women and high school students.

    Reading your "news" this morning made me let out a small gasp, followed by a small smile, with a warm feeling rushing through me and then tears. I'll explain.

    I have secretly hoped that you would reach a point in time where you had somewhat of a "comfort level" to be able to slow down a bit, and be able to write when it feels right. I hoped you didn't feel obligated to share every day, who needs that stress when already dealing with so much! Knowing you will write when so moved to do so is more than I have ever wanted for you.

    Selfishly, I'm not going to lie, I'm going to miss writing to you in this way, responding daily, because I have felt so "motherly" (for lack of a better term) wanting to do anything to help. But it is so positive for you to reach this point in the grieving process. I have always been a nurturer in many ways and have always tried to fix things. In high school everyone came to me with their problems. I even thought I would go into counseling because I was told I had a knack and a compassion for helping others, but I didn't want the responsibility daily. I wanted to help if asked, when needed, and not because it was a job. Jobs seem to change a passion...

    Reading your words about not writing every day says so much about where you are, at least for today. Who knows, maybe with the understanding that not expecting a blog every day, you might still be so moved. The luxury is it is here for you whenever you want to write!

    Knowing that this is another first in your journey, all I could think about was an image that popped into my head when I was thinking about what you wrote. The image was of an angel that has had it's wings wrapped around you so tightly to channel any positive energy to help you start to heal. I can now see the wings slightly loosening to give you some space to venture out and seek answers and maybe other avenues to daily get you to where God intends you to be now.

    I know you know this but Chris will always be in my thoughts and prayers and I will always be a "click" of the send button away if you ever need anything. None of us know what tomorrow brings, but I have had partial poems running through my brain, maybe one will show up in your mailbox or in another one of your blogs... Maybe a hello will just show up when you least expect it. That being said, I don't want to appear stalker-like (insert smiley) I just genuinely care and I'm sure you have realized that about many.

    1. I'm sure you are exhausted and letting go of something like the daily blog, even just to change the routine slightly, can be so renewing for you. The luxury is that it's yours and you are in control of the path you take with not just the blog, but with your new life.

      Thank you Regina, from the bottom of my hear for allowing us in and letting us get to know you and know Chris. Know I am here for you each day forward, God willing...

      As Joel Osteen said You don’t have to try to find the right people. When you honor God, the right people will find you. They’ll pick you out of a crowd. Social Media wise you came into my life and I chose to follow you and be there for you in an attempt to know how you are, and it was the best decision I made. I'm glad I met you, and although I will miss waking up every day to read your blog and form a response to you, or see signs that help me form a response or meet people who trigger a response, you and Chris are never and will not be far from my thoughts. This is just another beginning. Some changes are good and know we look forward to your future blogs, but without pressure. Just to know how you are.

      I have had a few people reach out to me outside of this blog who have said the nicest things to me, so for that I thank you because I have met a few truly wonderful people who I might not have met. Chris is up there mingling in lives and bringing people together using you as an avenue, and I think that is just something to be treasured.

      I wanted to say that I think it is amazing that the scholarship is already out for applicants to apply and I look forward to hearing who fulfilled the requirements you set up for such an honor.

      God bless...

  15. although I will miss reading every morning before I start my day I am happy that this particular coping tool you've utilized is not as necessary as it once was. I will look each day with anticipation wondering if that day will be a day with something new to read! I want to thank you-our friends lost their daughter quite tragically in September. it has weighed heavily on my mind since it happened; reading your blog has helped me have an ounce of insight into what they might be going through and helped me know what I could possibly say to them. I look forward to your next post. God Bless

  16. Regina - i am happy that you are moving on with the healing process and I am glad that this blog provided you the opportunity to continue to move forward. I also want to thank you. In a very short period of time I lost my grandmother, my father and a dear friend. Your blog helped me be able to put my feeling into perspectives that I did not think of. I am definitely not as elegant of a writer as you are, therefore, thank you for sharing and allowing me to be able to say yes that is exactly how I am feeling or felt!

    You are amazing and I know that even though you will not be here daily you will be moving forward and building a foundation that will allow you to continue to share Chris with the local community and the world.

    Stay strong and know we are always here for you!

  17. Making the choices that are the best for you is the absolute most important thing you can do in taking care of yourself. Now is not the time to worry about others. I used to worry, truthfully, that you felt compelled to write something to us everyday and wondered if that took a toll on you. Glad to see you taking care of YOU and going at your own pace. Of course we want updates from time to time, when you have something you want to share with us, but NEVER at the expense of your peace of mind and you should NEVER feel an obligation. Love seeing you grow stronger every day, and knowing that God does listen to my prayers. Except maybe about a puppy. ;) (Sheesh, I'm going on 40 - should this what I pray for? The right puppy to come into my life that meets all the breed, temperament. shedding, weight and trainability needs I have?!? LOL) Just kidding. I do want those things. But I always pray for my loved ones, my children, my family and friends, and of course you. I feel you fit into almost all those categories. Keep your heap up. Onward and upward! XOXOXOXO Jen Malatino

  18. Regina,

    My name is Robin and I think you are such an inspiration to all of us and keep sharing your blogs whenever you can because we all will be here. I wish I had met Chris because he seemed like a really nice, fun loving person and maybe I will meet the person who made him that way, you. From my family to yours our prayers are always with you. May god bless you. <3 Robin W.

  19. Regina,

    I'm so happy for you as I did worry about you taking on so much! I really do think this is a wise and necessary decision. We will continue to check back on the blog and see whenever you have written a post..
    I'll miss hearing from you daily even if I didn't respond every day myself. I'll also miss all of the others especially the "regulars" .. I feel like I've made some new friends and will miss them too..
    Take good care of yourself.. And be kind to yourself..

  20. Hi Regina,

    I just wanted to reiterate what many of your "friends" have stated above. I'm glad that this blog has helped you with your healing process and I'm glad that you are doing what is right for you now by not writing every day if that's what is best for you. I have loved getting to know Chris through this blog and my heart aches for you when I think about your loss. But how lucky you are to have had such a wonderful son for 17 fabulous years! I will continue checking in with you on your blog and I hope that as you move forward you find a sense of peace. Continue taking good care of yourself.