Remembering Charlie 3 Years Later; Plus A Short Update

Hello everyone.  It’s been quite some time since I last posted on this blog.  Suffice it to say I’ve just not had the time I wish I had to provide some more regular updates.

Today is February 19, 2019 and it’s three years now since Charlie tragically died.  I’m writing this at 7:36am PT, which happens to be right about the time we noticed a problem that ultimately led to his death.  Three years later, we’re flooded by the emotion of memories of our time with him.  He had just come home five days earlier, and nothing can prepare you for the sudden and immediate loss of your child.

I was texting my sister, Sandi, this past Sunday and when I did a quick search for her on my Messages app on my Mac, the one single text that came up was, “Sandi please call me when you get a moment.  Charlie died this morning.”  I had to take a long pause and several deep breaths.  I’ve been doing a good job of not reliving the morning in excruciating detail as I did the first couple years since he died.  But of course seeing this text message brought those memories and emotions back.  And despite the fact I’ve grown sick of Facebook, I do enjoy looking at all the pictures and memories they bring up.  I’ve smartly blocked Facebook from bringing up any memories today, though.

I won’t belabor this and make it long, but today we’ll celebrate and think about Charlie by having some ice cream.  He was a special little boy, and when I see what Jake is up to, and how far Samuel has come along, it still chokes me up every time I think about how much fun the three would be having together, what he may look like today, and where we may even be.  There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t think of him – for me it’s multiple times per day.

We miss you bud.

 

As a general update, well, a lot has changed in the past year – much of it somewhat due to or related to Charlie.

First, I left my role at Workday back in April, 2019.  As I looked for my next opportunity, it became apparent that it would be the ideal time to move out of the Northern California area.  Kristen was growing tired of constantly driving down Crow Canyon Road, which is the drive we made that morning to the hospital where Charlie was declared dead.  And tired of heading to downtown Danville, where we had the memorial service for Charlie.  In short, there were too many regular reminders of that day, and a move wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Kristen lived in Monroe, WI for her high school years, and she suggested a move to the Midwest might be good.  And I had several opportunities that came up.  I ended up agreeing to a great role with Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee, WI.  I have to admit I never saw myself here, but so far, so good.  Then again, I’m about over all the snow at this point!

We’ve settled into a suburb called Mequon, and we like the fact we got a lot more house for a lot less price.  Things are generally less expensive overall.  And the work has been interesting.  The people have been super nice and there are a ton of kids in our neighborhood.  We even have neighbors across the street who have two boys named Jacob and Sam.

Speaking of… Sammy has really been making some great progress the past few months.  When we first arrived in Wisconsin, and were living in a hotel room for 5 weeks, Sammy started to be able to pickup his head and be on all fours.  That was in September.  Now, in February, he is crawling all around the house.  Actually it’s more of a “hop”, since both legs move forward at the same time.  He has leg braces now and he’s working on his walking – but has a long way to go.  He still eats via his G-Tube, but he’s making great progress in learning to chew.  He’s a champ at drinking water via his sippy cup now, and he’s making good progress with talking.  The words may not come out clear, but we’re communicating more effectively now.  He even makes choices such as, “Sammy, do you want cheese or puffs?”

He’s had some nasty viruses and colds here in WI, and as I write this he’s sick again.  He was in the hospital a few weeks ago.  When he’s healthy he’s a ton of fun and a very happy boy.

Jacob is also progressing so nicely.  The kid is obsessed with Paw Patrol.  He and Sammy got Paw Patrol “big boy” beds for their 3rd birthday in December and Jacob watches this regularly on TV.  We hate how much TV he’s watching, but we also find he’s learning a lot from these shows too.  But we try and limit his screen time the best we can.

Jake is playing soccer on Saturday mornings on an indoor team.  And by playing soccer, they are learning how to dribble the ball down the pitch, kick the ball around cones, do some stretching, some running and to follow directions.  It’s less about soccer at 3 years old, but all he really wants to do is kick the ball and score goals.  Maybe he’ll be a super striker!

Jake refuses to sleep in his own bed at this point.  He’s “afraid of the dark”, so he’s been sleeping in my side of the bed with Kristen.  Sam does well in his own bed, unless he’s sick.  Jake has developed a sweet tooth and loves “choc-o-wit” cake, graham crackers and other treats.  He still likes green, leafy vegetables, but suddenly doesn’t like his “bock bock” chicken.  Give him some salmon and he’s an eating machine.

Finally…Kristen is doing well.  We have some of her high school friends (Rachel and Beth) in the area and they are regular visitors to the house.  And I’m glad that Kristen has some friends she can escape with to get her nails done or have a night out.

We have some help on a daily basis from a woman named Emily, who is just outstanding with the boys.  We really feared not finding somebody as good with the boys as Stevie was, but Emily is proving she’s great with the boys too.

That’s it I guess.  Hopefully I’ll do more updates soon.  Time for me to go get some ice cream (and back to work).

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4 thoughts on “Remembering Charlie 3 Years Later; Plus A Short Update

  1. Today is the 21st and I’m just now getting to some emails from earlier this week.
    I think of you all on pretty much every month’s 19th.
    I remember exactly where I was, standing on the bottom step of our stairway at home, when I got Paul’s text that was a screenshot of your Facebook note about Charlie. I’m crying right now, too, at that memory. I cried all day long for you guys, another 2015 family who lost one of their ID girls (& it was their 6-month mark. They were micropreemies living in SoCal & had been doing very well. They had double sadness that day – when they called the maternal grandma, she passed away shortly after. I think it was too much for her heart. It was also the day that a set of triplets were discharged to go home all together. Their mom had died ~a week after delivery).
    I didn’t do much that day besides think of you, Kristen, and your sweet boys. And these other families facing these “impossible” losses.
    I feel grateful that our BBB boys connected our families & even if we didn’t have a lot of in-person get togethers, I still think of you as Real Life Friends. I’m so happy for the progress Sammy has made & for Jacob & his milestones, too. And, your career “milestones,” too.
    We will never, ever forget your Charlie… Always in our hearts! ❣️💙❣️
    All my love, Rachel K.

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  2. Hey Todd! How are you? This is Shandle from AECOM. Was cleaning up my Favorite links and came across this one. Glad to know that you and the family are doing well and enjoying Wisconsin. All the best to you and yours!

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