I was snow blowing the driveway the other day and could not get the thought out of my head, so many times when I would be clearing the driveway after a snowstorm and I would see Chris walking up the street in his orange/brown sweatshirt, grey sweatpants and his Eagle's hat. He would say "Hi is Tyler around?” Then Chris and Tyler and usually Tyler's step brothers would head off across the street to ride their sleds and play in the snow.
I will never be able to thank Chris enough for being there when I moved Tyler to Halfmoon. I had previously gotten divorced which was already a tough time for Tyler, he was seven. The summer I was getting remarried I decided to enroll Tyler in the Halfmoon summer camp so he could meet some local kids before starting his new school at SHEN. Well, Tyler's first day home from summer camp he said "Hey dad guess what there's a kid at camp my age who lives on our street. His name is Chris Stewart". Wow, I thought, this is great!!!
Before you know it Chris and Tyler were becoming friends and Chris started coming over to the house. He would play with Tyler and if Tyler wasn't home he would play with any of our other boys who happen to be home. The kids called him "Big Stewart".Well, the next big thing, school started and Tyler was nervous being in a new district. When the announcement came out as to what teacher the kids had, low and behold they both had Mr. Dzikas, another blessing. Tyler would start out in the same class as Chris, he would know somebody in his class before school started, a relief for Tyler and myself!!
So, not only did Chris ease Tyler's adjustment to moving to a new neighborhood, he also was there to ease the start of a new school, something we will never forget.
Over the years Chris and Tyler spent a lot of time together in the neighborhood. Chris was always welcome at our house (we always had extra food and snacks on hand) and to my Mother in-laws house (right behind us), the house with the pool. It was tough to get Chris out of the pool at times, he was always asking what time it was because he had to me home at a certain time.
Of course he would never leave at that time... so much that my Mother in-law put a big clock on the back of her house by the pool, which is still referred to as the "Chris Stewart clock". I even remember Chris started showing up with a two way radio so you could call him home when you wanted him! He was a great kid who was always a pleasure to have over!!
We didn't see Chris as much after you moved out of the neighborhood and Tyler and Chris were getting older. I know they still saw each other from time to time. This past fall we started going to the home SHEN football games, as we knew so many of the players and they were in their senior season. We took our son Christopher (now 10) and my in-laws. I remember my Christopher always telling my mother in-law "Look grandma look #69, that's Big Stewart!" We were all proud to watch him play.
So, Regina, I would like you to know I will never be able to thank Chris enough for being there for Tyler!! He made a tough time much easier. I truly believe Tyler now has a guardian angel watching over him. I would also like your family to know that our family will never forget Chris "Big Stewart". God Bless.
PS I read your blog daily, keep up the good work!!
Well, to my old neighbors I say thank you for accepting my son into your home and enjoying his company. Nothing makes me happier, especially now, than good memories. I tried my hardest to get Chris to come home on time but knowing how much fun he was having playing with the boys, swimming, sledding, video gaming and sleeping over made it tough to drag him back. He liked being out more than in. I always worried he was eating all your food but figured you'd toss him out if you couldn't afford him! I couldn't control what I didn't see, including his appetite. I'm glad he made a good friend to Tyler at a difficult time, I wasn't aware. Thank you for the pictures and the note. I will treasure it!
Thank you for reading.