Sunday, December 4, 2011

Birthday Boy

I had a super long post I was working on in honor of my son's birthday, but decided against it.  Instead, this will be short and sweet, with a few old photos. 

Thirty-six years ago I gave birth to my only son, Christopher.   He was born into a ready made family, with two older half brothers who adored him from the beginning.

Christmas morning, 1975 ~ three weeks old

He was an absolute delight, always laughing and smiling, ready at a moments notice for any adventure. 
Happy Birthday to me!

I wonder what this is?

I'm three today!

I think he was getting ready to show us some break dancing moves.1985

1988 ~ My two favorite guys, hanging out together.

Finally, Chris became the big brother he always wanted to be.  Jessica was born in 1989.  

Two sisters!  Jessica and Kailyn, Easter 1991
Happy 18th Birthday!  

Today started out hard, missing Chris, and not wanting to be missing him.  We went to church, and I cried through the first half, with David's arm around me, or holding my hand.  And then, at some point, I began to feel the peace that comes from knowing that God has a bigger plan than I do.  I let go and began to feel grateful that I was given the opportunity to be Chris' mom.  He gave me a ton of pleasure over the years, and I wouldn't have wanted to miss being his mom, even if it wasn't as long as I would have wished.

When we got home, I had a message from Jessica, telling me she was thinking of me, and loved me.  Then we skyped with Kailyn for awhile, and she told me how much last night's post meant to her, as that memory is a powerful one for her, too.  Then Jess called, and my sister called, and my dad even called. (Although it was an accident!  He had called yesterday and his phone did an auto redial for the last call, and he didn't mean to call again.  I needed something to laugh about!)

Finally, Shari (Chris' wife) called.  She never fails to call me on Chris' birthday and it was so good to talk with her and catch up on what is going on in their lives these days. We will be forever connected through our love for Chris and though our paths don't often intersect much anymore, our hearts beat a shared rhythm.  The song in our hearts is a sad one, but it is also one of hope, and recovery and survival. Our hearts recognize in one another the strength of who we are, and of what we will become. 

We are strong women, who became stronger through intimately shared grief; the knowledge that we are somehow more than we were before.  That is the gift grief gave us.


  1. I loved seeing these very happy pictures of your precious son with his siblings. I am sending you cyber hugs, Sandi xoxo

  2. Wonderful pictures to share, Sandi. I woke this morning thinking of the box of pictures I took to my son Chris' memorial service. I haven't been able to look at those pictures yet, and it's been almost ten years. Maybe you have given me the courage to open it and look inside.

  3. Dear Sandi,
    Thank you for sharing these pictures of Chris throughout his growing up.You yourself ended your posting with the thought that I've felt as I've read your last three postings. You said this about yourself and Shari: "We are strong women, who became stronger through intimately shared grief; the knowledge that we are somehow more than we were before. That is the gift grief gave us." That sound so deeply true to me.


  4. What a beautiful boy!

    Sharing the grief is sharing the love we have. Strong women - it is what we need to be.


  5. Chris was a very beautiful boy. I thought of you yesterday, and prayed for you. I'm glad the day had some laughter in it. I'm also glad you had such loving support. Grief does teach us about strength, and it also teaches us that there is more to life than death. Love is stronger than death.

  6. Hi Sandi,
    I just read through your last three posts, I haven't been online much.
    All I want to say is that I am sorry for the pain that you are going through. It is a difficult time of year for you I can see. It's odd that I know so many people that have lost loved ones around this time of year. As a matter of fact it was two years ago today that my mom passed.
    Things never seem quite the same but as you said "We are strong women", I included myself in there too! It helps.
    Thank you for sharing your story of your beautiful son with us.
    I may not be back for awhile. Things are getting busy! Love Di ♥

  7. These are beautiful pictures, Sandi, and tell the story of your lovely son almost better than any words, though your words are beautiful and perceptive too. Grief hurts so much, but learning to live with it can make us stronger and shared grief can bring us very close to others.

  8. What a sweet and handsome boy. I'm sorry for you loss and the pain. I will just have to send prayers up for you and know that I would give a hug if I could.

  9. My very best wishes and prayers to you in your sad time. Birthdays are hard to cope with.

    You'll never forget but maybe the pain will become easier as time goes on.

  10. Sandi,

    Your son is my age. I am so proud of your gratefulness in his life and memories that you achieved together. It makes me shed some of the concerns for my own son. Who like all teens is slightly irrating most days. I'd give you a hug too if I where closer. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  11. Sandi,
    Beautiful pictures of your son and his life. I went back and read some of your previous posts. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is a blessing that you can recall such wonderful memories of your son's life. I have such respect for your courage to share your grief and to carry on in spite of your grief. We are all learning from your example.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing the story of Chris and his beautiful photos. What an honor to have shared his life.
    There's so much in this life we don't understand but I believe we'll understand it all someday.
    God bless. And again thanks.

  13. What a wonderful tribute to your son. They say the hardest thing a parent has to bear is the loss of a child. I do not know how I would handle it. When I was five months along with a baby, I lost him. I had never thought of losing a baby before and never realized how deeply it affects you, but I was so lonely for such a long time afterwards. I felt like a part of me was missing. But I feel it was part of God's plan and there is a reason for everything. Over two years later, my youngest son was born after much trying to have another child. I feel a special attachment to him, because I know if I had not lost the other baby, he would not be here today, because I was going to stop at three. I feel God has a plan for him, too. He was meant to be. His birthday is Tuesday, he will be 23. My middle son is 30 today! I apologize for the long post, it brings tears to my eyes just typing it. It is good to remember, but we must not let it consume our life, I feel our lost ones would not want us to let that happen. May God bless you and help you get through this Christmas season. The first Christmas gift was a child and I feel that God's greatest gifts to us are our children.

  14. What a lovely tribute to your boy! Thank you for sharing this.

  15. Sandi, your blog leaves me without words. We are so blessed to be mothers, to have the 'mother's heart', and to watch our babies grow. I am so sorry for your loss. God bless you. Susan

  16. Love and light.

    Such a wonderful legacy he left for you all.

  17. In all the years I've known you, this is the first time I've seen pictures of your handsome son. I can see so much of you in his face. I'm so glad you're getting to a place of being able to celebrate the wonder that he was and the gifts you shared together in the midst of missing him. I'm so glad, too, that you're surrounded by so many people who love you. Sending you a sister's hug.


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