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Mama turns 90!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Mama turned 90 years old, on October 27th and the family party was yesterday!
Some of my Spark friends are anxious for photos!

We were all missing our Kenny, but Mama had a favorite photo, nearby.
Above her shoulder, Kenny is escorting his Grami at my nieces, wedding.
He always took such good care of Grami.
We had a good time, knowing that Kenny and Papa were there, yesterday, too. emoticon emoticon

Even got in a good bit of laughter!

Now a German birthday always has at least two cakes and for this grand occasion, we had three!

It is absolutely amazing the life that my mother has lived and all of the stories!

I am so very fortunate to have her as my mother. emoticon
I also am blessed to have her still here, but when her time comes, I know that Papa and Kenny will both be there to escort her .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAUITN 11/22/2014 9:22PM

    A beautiful woman and tribute to her.

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MARLINDA5 11/7/2014 2:36PM

    aww what great pictures of your mom - she looks so happy and she is a lovely lady.

That is such a nice idea about the cakes - I will have to remember that.


hugs to your mom

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SPARKFRAN514 11/3/2014 2:35PM

    What a wonderful day and i agree Kenny and papa were at the party emoticon Thank you fro sharing you fun day with us you have the quote down
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Those we love donít go away they walk beside us every day unseen, unheard but always near still loved still missed and very dear A memory is a treasure that we keep close to our heat

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PIXIE-LICIOUS 11/3/2014 9:26AM

    Wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing!

Happy birthday and good health to your mother!

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JANIEWWJD 11/3/2014 12:21AM

    Beautiful pictures! God bless your Mom! emoticon

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 11/2/2014 10:34PM


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SHIRLEYX 11/2/2014 8:27PM

    Beautiful photos! Your mama looks so happy - truly a day to treasure!

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RAINBOWMF 11/2/2014 8:15PM

    Chris your Mom looks awesome. You took some lovely photos.
Thank you for sharing your Moms birthday with us.
I think by the looks she was giving you, she had a good time.

Love Mary

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FLSUNSHINE1931 11/2/2014 7:46PM

    Chris, you are blessed. That is a dream I have to live to be 90. Your Mother looks wonderful, and very happy. Thanks for sharing this blog with us.

Marsha/FL emoticon

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BILLB000 11/2/2014 7:27PM

    Thanks for sharing the photos Chris. Your mom looks like she was really enjoying the day. I like the sparkle in her eyes and her bright smile. Our family was likewise blessed to be able to have a 90th birthday party for our mom, also. It was a happy day and created many wonderful memories.

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SUNSHINEGB 11/2/2014 6:51PM

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful lady! It is really awesome to reach 90.

I'm German but do not know of a lot of customs, thank you for sharing about the cakes, Chris. For my 80th birthday next year I'll be sure to let my family know to have that many cakes for me!

emoticon emoticon

"Belated Happy Birthday" to your beloved Mama!

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GGMFAY 11/2/2014 6:33PM

    Happy Belated Birthday to a beautiful lady!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/2/2014 2:33PM

    Such a lovely lady with a great smile. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Richmond, Va. Out of The Darkness Community Walk 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Saturday, Sept. 13th 2014, saw cooler temperatures and clouds, with the tease of rain in the air.

This was my families first time, at this walk, here to honor the life of my son, Kenny, who passed away in May. His pain and suffering had become too great. He had been strong as long as he could and God called him to heaven, just shy of his 34th birthday.

We were joined by over 840 other people who also lost someone to suicide, due to mental illness. This alone was so very emotional as was the memorial wall.
The youngest, that I saw was just 13 years old.
Then there was the poster, made by a very young child, proudly showing his father to a friend.

On a lighter note, we were not alone and we came to walk, not only to honor and remember, but also raise awarness for suicide prevention!

Here are some photos of Kenny's Walking Warriors!

Ashley, Me, Nick, their father Andy, his wife Donna

My neice's husband Sean, my sister Betsy, my neice, Melanie.

Melanie's father Bob and his dog Peaches.

Ashley was our Captain and she did an emoticon job, getting the team together!
Kenny is so proud of her, and is smiling down. emoticon
We were the second highest in fundraising for this event!

Most of the walk was through the woods and uphill, however there was even ground, near the finish.

We could wear beads to signify our relationship. I wore white for losing a child.

Beautiful music, speakers and a host of vendors, filled the park.

Activities, to calm, as well.

The attendance for this walk tripled from last year, so I am told! The word is spreading that mental illness is an illness, like any other and should be treated as such.
Suicide is not a weakness or a selfish act. It is due to an illness of the brain, that progressed and became so painful and full of suffering that the illness took this persons life.

A very special thank you, to all of my Sparkfriends who walked three miles where they live, on Saturday, and thought of Kenny and others.
Many also lit candles, prayed, and supported in so many ways. emoticon
For those who also donated to my fundraising page, I thank you, so very much, as well.
We are still accepting donations though the end of the year. Print a form to mail in, or donate online.

Together we can work to take away the stigma of mental illness and suicide, honor and remember those we love and have lost and save lives, in doing so.


It started to rain, just as the event was over. Tears from heaven.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLB000 9/20/2014 10:17PM

    What a wonderful and lovely day, Chris. Coming together and sharing as a group truly validates the importance of putting the day together and validates all the feelings you share.

. And your family.... all one voice, including Kenny's there to speak of love and being together.

God bless all of you for this work and effort. And bless you for raising awareness and the consciousness of others to the issues.

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MARLINDA5 9/18/2014 6:05PM

    What a beautiful day for the walk.

Thank you for sharing the pictures of the walk. emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 9/17/2014 10:16PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYLU1 9/17/2014 7:46AM

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It is wonderful to honor a loved one by putting the grief into positive action. You make the world a better place. emoticon

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JANIEWWJD 9/15/2014 10:24PM

    It sounded lilke a wonderful day. You are an inspiration!!! May God bless you now and always!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MLC721 9/15/2014 9:44PM

    Thank you for posting your experience. emoticon

Thanks, too, for the pictures of Kenny's Warriors to put faces with names. This has been a long, emotional year for you and your family. I pray the walk helped each of you begin to heal.
emoticon emoticon

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SPARKFRAN514 9/15/2014 12:22PM

    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." ~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax Chris this quote fits you and your walking warriors for a Kenny you are in pain over your loss but giving to others as the deal with awful Illness and those who will follow which is very sad. You have special family to do this walk and join together for a birthday celebration. You are a wonderful example if this quote you care a lot and with the support and money your raised for the support group and foundation for suicide prevention. Are working to make things better it like losing weight we do it one step at a time this walk shows the support growing since attendance is growing thanks for sharing your families journey in your blog the family looks great

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RAINBOWMF 9/15/2014 11:10AM

    Thank you for sharing all the pictures. It is wonderful that the word is spreading and the attendance was fantastic.
We need all the awareness we can get for this illness.

Love Mary

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SPARKFRAN514 9/15/2014 11:05AM

    Great blog have tears in my eyes back latter to leave a note did vote the a blog i like we need to get the word out about this illness . emoticon emoticon

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PIXIE-LICIOUS 9/15/2014 9:15AM

    I'm glad that you had such nice weather for the walk. I agree with Gloria, this is such a great way for people to honor their loved ones! I had you in mind when I walked 3 miles in my neighborhood yesterday, for my brother who committed suicide in 1982 at the age of 23.

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FLSUNSHINE1931 9/15/2014 9:02AM

    Chris, felt like I was by your side the whole walk, what a wonderful Blog in memory of not only Kenny, but so many. You, Ashley, Nick and family are wonderful to participate and yes it is a sickness, but people need to become aware of it. We have had several young children that committed suicide because of Bullying down this way, so sad. I pray that this has helped release some of the frustration from you and family, and know that there are people who understand and love you. God Bless you for all you did, and continue to do. Big hugs coming from Florida.

Auntie Marsha


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IMIN2GENES 9/15/2014 8:09AM

    That fantastic to hear that you've gotten so much support and that the event is growing. I'm sure you're right and Kenny was smiling down on you all.

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SUNSHINEGB 9/15/2014 8:05AM

    Chris, I am so happy the walk went so well. I think this is a great way to honour your loved ones.

Photos were really good ones, wonderful to see your family come out to do this.


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TWEETYKC00 9/15/2014 7:56AM

    I am glad things went so well. I hope it helps many people.

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Starting to care again.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

September has come and what have I done?

SInce May 18th, with the death of my son Kenny, my life has been full of grief, just moving along mechanically, at times, losing weight, from shear emotional stress, then gaining a couple pounds a month or two later. The dinners out from friends and family, as well as all the food brought over kept coming and coming.
The restaurant meals are still ongoing, although my fridge is pretty bare.

SO what do I care?

Not much, at times. Every day is a day closer to seeing my Kenny again and my death does not frighten me as it once did.
My faith grows ever stronger, so this has been a great positive, during this whole ordeal.

But I have two living children to consider and my mother who will be 90 in October! Also my sister and her daughter. I can't just have them worry and I still want to set a good example.

September rolled in and Fall being my favorite season, sparked something within, that just said...GET WITH IT! emoticon

I finally looked at myself and saw the sadness, in my eyes, the wrinkles and lack of muscle, as I haven't picked up my weights in a few months.
Those thoughtful meals have added a tummy where it had been flatter not so long ago.

I still have not gained back all of my weight, but oh, it still shows, that I have not been on the health wagon, over the Summer. emoticon
Thank goodness I have a physical job, with much gardening! Also I have been walking in anticipation of The Out of the Darkness walk, to honor Kenny and raise awareness for Suicide prevention, next Saturday.

All is not lost. I have started with stretching and pushups and I WILL pick those smartbells up today.
Water.....I have been good at that.
As for my fridge and freezer.....

My freezer has salmon, broccoli, squash, normandy veggies and a hambone in it.
SO supper will be
Salmon and broccoli, with brown rice, from the pantry!
Apples are on the counter, so that will be dessert!

I have lentils in the pantry so, I will make some lentil soup with the ham bone and this will make many meals.

The normandy veggies, I can make a stirfry with, having more brown rice, to top it off.

I have fresh corn, which I will whip up, with a salad of lettuce and tomatoes. A small potato on the side. Applesauce for dessert.

The squash can go alongside a scrambled egg and a sliced tomato.

So, I DO have good food in the house, although it may not seem like much.

Today,as I head out to yet another meal, with friends and family, at Mimi's Cafť, I will make a wise choice and keep in mind that Kenny, Nick and Ashley, would want me to enjoy, but also be healthy.

Thank you to all of my Spark friends for understanding and encouraging me. Just listening, or sending hugs and prayers.

I am ready to move a bit more on this health trail, with side trips here and there.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHIRPGIRL 10/9/2014 5:26AM

    Chris, I've been off of SP for quite a long time. Just returned this morning and decided to start by checking up on my SparkFriends. I am so sorry to discover that you've been through such a difficult time, but gladdened to read this blog and see that you are finding strength in yourself, your family and friends, and in your faith.

Hopefully, I will make SP a regular part of my day, again, and I hope to touch base with you now and then. I wish you and your family peace and strength. Regards, Sharon emoticon "Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows...lies a seed that with the sun's love, in the spring, becomes...The Rose" from The Rose.

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JANIEWWJD 9/11/2014 12:25AM

    God bless you!!! I am so sorry for your loss, but I am glad that you are beginning to "live " again. Keep moving forward and strive to be happy!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKFRAN514 9/9/2014 6:24PM

    Chris I am not getting notes when friends blog so sorry i an so late responding
like so many have posted have the date of Kenny's walk on my calendar. I plan to be walking and thinking about you, your family and Kenny and keeping all of you in my prayers that day. and all the others including Robin Williams too. you hve you meals planned and you getting your water in and the job keeps racking up those fitness minutes for you. I know i have shared this quote but is is such a good one for Saturday i repeating it Those we love donít go away they walk beside us every day unseen, unheard but always near still loved still missed and very dear

A memory is a treasure that we keep close to our heat
When some one you love becomes a memory the memory becomes a treasure never forget.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon As you see so many of us are here walking with you and he family emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOOERDEM 9/7/2014 9:36PM

    And I care about you! Thank you for sharing this. I will keep praying for you!

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    I have Kenny's Walk Day marked on my calendar, it is not a date I will sit around and do nothing, I will be walking with you in memory of Kenny.

I am glad you are back thinking about your health, I am pulling for you that you will get that flat tummy again
emoticon emoticon

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KNIT1PURL2LOSE3 9/7/2014 7:42PM


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BILLB000 9/7/2014 6:06PM

    It starts with thinking about it, Chris and you are doing lots of that. I am impressed with some of the ideas you shared. I know you will keep trying.

Be kind to yourself if you do have a set back. We never know what may trigger a grief response and how it may manifest. Sometimes the sadness appears seemingly out of nowhere. Be patient with Chris. You have added so many positives to your life in reaction to your son's death. And you have an amazing family to walk this journey with...

I have the date of Kenny's walk on my calendar. I plan to be walking and thinking about you, your family and Kenny and keeping all of you in my prayers that day.
You are truly awesome.

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RAINBOWMF 9/7/2014 12:15PM

    Chris every comment that has been posted here on this blog goes for me too. emoticon emoticon , I know your pain and I am praying you find your Joy again.

Hugs Mary

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/7/2014 11:43AM

    I've wondered how you are doing. I understand this so well. Big hug.

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LISALOSING52 9/7/2014 9:34AM

    I continually pray for you Chris and your family. You are in my thoughts daily. You are a strong and courageous person and I'm glad that you are starting to think of your health again and gradually moving forward. I'm here for you when you need me. emoticon

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PIXIE-LICIOUS 9/7/2014 9:19AM

    I'm sorry for what you're going through. Your family has been in my prayers and I will continue to pray for you. So glad you're picking yourself up and doing your best to get back in the groove now. I'm here for you anytime you need support. Thanks for the times you supported me!

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FLSUNSHINE1931 9/7/2014 8:49AM

    Chris, been there and done that, and at times still do around his BD, our Anniversary (which is today), and Thanksgiving and Christmas, but like you I don't want to bring people down, so put on a happy face. I still have my times when alone I get down, but I say to myself" Now girl, put those big girl panties on, pull them up and only think positive". :)

You are such an inspiration to all of us here on Spark, and I thank the good Lord that he brought you into my life. Can't wait till the Milk and Wine lily blooms.

Your meals sound wonderful, and with an apple, you can also microware them with the core out and cinnamon, and splenda in the center with raisens (if you have any).

Hugs and prayers to you, and enjoy your outing this evening. Everything in modaration.

I will be watching the BUCS at 4:15.

Love you, and may our dear Lord watch over you and your family.

Auntie Marsha

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SUNSHINEGB 9/7/2014 8:43AM

    Oh Chris, my heart just aches with all the sadness you've been going through.

But the past few months have shown how strong of a person you are. Grief takes it's own time to get through and you're doing some wonderful things with the sorrow that came with Kenny's passing.

Next week's walk will lift your spirits, you will soar!

Your food planning is really good and getting back to lifting weights will help you both physically and mentally.

Hang in there my friend, you're going well, you really are!

emoticon emoticon

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NEREA_72 9/7/2014 8:18AM

    You're a very strong and brave woman, I really admire your attitude towards the tragedy you lived. I pray for you and your son! emoticon emoticon

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

You may have read some of my other blogs, over the past three years, on walking for fitness. emoticon

I walk as part of my job, I walk in challenges and I walk with my daughter Ashley, a fellow Sparker, but this time I walk in honor of my son Kenny.

Ashley and I have been hitting the local park trails.
We are getting ready for a very special walk, in September.

Ashley is the captain of Kenny's Walking Warriors....a team , who will be participating in the Walk Out of the Darkness walk, in Richmond, Va.

Made up of some family members, we will walk in honor of Kenny, who passed away on May 18th.

We also are walking to bring awareness to suicide prevention.

There are several spark friends that are walking on Sept. 13th, for three miles, in the cities they live in and will be thinking of Kenny.
Others are giving support in other ways and to all, you are so very appreciated. emoticon emoticon

We are grieving and this will be a way to heal, but also a way to try and educate others, understand suicide and the illnesses that can lead to this. May others hopefully get help, so people do not have to go through this pain.

I know that our Kenny is in heaven and is full of peace, understanding and love.
He will be walking beside us, on Sept. 13th, with a smile on his face. emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYJUNIEMOON 9/6/2014 10:07AM

    Chris, I share your grief. I, too, have lost a family member to suicide.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYLU1 8/5/2014 1:02PM

    I made a small contribution to your campaign

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PATTIE441 8/3/2014 8:23PM

    I will be walking to in Kenny's honor. I am with you in spirit, my friend!! emoticon emoticon

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BILLB000 7/29/2014 10:29PM

    Thank you for sharing this opportunity with us. I have Sept 13 on my calendar. I will walk my usual route which is three miles and think of you, your family and mostly Kenny, and say a prayer for all.

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MARLINDA5 7/28/2014 9:58AM

    I will also be walking three miles in honor of Kenny on September 13th

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SUNSHINEGB 7/28/2014 7:25AM

    A beautiful way to honour Kenny.

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JANIEWWJD 7/27/2014 11:21PM

    Great blog and wonderful idea!!! I will walk here in South Texas in his honor. May God bless you and your family!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAINBOWMF 7/27/2014 9:31PM

    Very nice blog Chris
You have a lot of friends who will be joining you. Joining you from Ontario will be an honor.

Hugs Mary

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ASHLEYVRONEK 7/27/2014 9:09PM

    This is such a nice blog featuring our walk coming up in September and all that it stands for and means to us. I say thank you as well to everyone on here for your support and contributions. I think it's so wonderful that others will be walking 3 miles on that same day, in their own cities, while thinking of Kenny and our walk in his honor.

I love you Mommy! xoxoxo

emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/27/2014 8:33PM

    I read this through tears. What a lovely way to honor his memory. Also, there are grief support groups available in many cities that might help you.

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Additions to the memorial garden

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Five friends and I made a road trip to Harrisonburg, VA, in the mountains. ABout a 2 hour drive.
The weather was cool, the sky was beautiful and we had much to catch up on!
All ladies from, work, some from past and some from present.

First stop....The Sugar Shack, for some warm doughnuts. emoticon They were really good and a treat from, driver friend, Karen.

Up the road and through the farmland, blue mountains rising up in all their glory.

Harpers statuary, was our destination, as these ladies wanted me to pick out something for Kenny's garden.

I found a nice bench, with birds and flowers.
God has always spoken to me through birds and this just struck me as the perfect thing.

So thank you, to Karen, Ann, Jackie, Peggy and Pat. emoticon

Karen's mom wanted to get me something, although she was not along for the trip.
Here is her gift for the garden.

We left, with a van full of people and parcels. I even picked out a little Cardinal for Mama.
I already have given it to her and did not take a photo. It is Kenny Cardinal, as we have a real one that has been visiting us, when we need him most and he has a certain way about him. emoticon
This one is sitting beside, her on the table.

We had a good lunch out, a nice ride home and I saw beautiful colors in the cirrus clouds, that I know were formed by ice crystals, but I like to imagine that Kenny was there above, sending aqua and pink and light green to play about the sky, in a spot that for some reason, I alone among the group could see.
A special show of love, from my special son.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINDYJ1 9/13/2014 12:59AM


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ASHLEYVRONEK 7/27/2014 7:20PM

    I'm so glad you have such great friends, Mom, and that you had such a nice trip with them. I love the things you picked out. They're exactly what I had been picturing and hoping, for the memorial garden. They really are so perfect. I love you SO much! xoxoxo

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HEALTHYLU1 7/26/2014 8:37AM

    It's good to see you back to blogging! The garden is lovely!

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LISALOSING52 7/19/2014 7:17AM

    Sounds like a picture perfect day shared with friends. The bench is the perfect addition to Kenny's Garden and love the stone plaque, it is beautiful as well. I know Kenny is with you in all that you see and do. God's Blessings my friend. Enjoy each day in your garden with Kenny.

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JANIEWWJD 7/18/2014 12:33AM

    Beautiful blog!!! God bless you!!!

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MARLINDA5 7/17/2014 8:43PM

    Kenny was there for you - with the color in the sky.

The bench is so pretty - the birds and the flowers - perfect for the memorial garden.

Also the Garden Stone is very nice.

What a nice trip with your friends - very special for you and for them.

Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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CAROLMAID 7/17/2014 4:21PM

    So glad it was a beautiful trip filled with friends, love and joy!
I agree the the perfect thing. How pretty!
I can just see you sitting there in the garden and feeling Kenny's presence.
your friend,

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KAREN-IS-HERE 7/17/2014 3:23PM


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    The bench is beautiful. Sounds like such a nice trip with friends. Such a sweet quote on the stone about a loved one becoming a memory, then a treasure. Precious and lovely!


Comment edited on: 7/17/2014 2:19:21 PM

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CHANGING-TURTLE 7/17/2014 8:57AM

    Lovely bench will look good in Kenny's garden. Also like the stone with the saying that talks to the heart. Glad you had a nice trip/

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SHIRLEYX 7/17/2014 8:45AM

    Chris, you picked such beautiful additions to the memorial garden! What wonderful gifts from your friends. Also such a beautiful photo of Kenny. I hope that you have a really good and peaceful sleep tonight after such a good, but tiring day!

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SUNSHINEGB 7/17/2014 6:21AM

    Chris, I'm so glad you had a great day with friends and with Ashley. And it's super that you chose that beautiful bench for Kenny's Memorial Garden! I was hoping it would be a bench.

I also love the gift from Karen's Mom!

I know as you sit in the garden you can feel that special love from Kenny and that makes me happy!
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SPARKFRAN514 7/16/2014 11:20PM

    emoticon its hard to top what the others have shared the time with friends was special i can tell and the donuts had the calories removed emoticon
i can see you and Ashely enjoying sitting on the garden bench and the memory rock is beautiful had to copy the saying for my quote collection. what special friends you have and the sky was a special show for you to feel his love for you to remember him in a special way. you will have to share a picture of the bird you got your mom soon hugs to a special friend . emoticon

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RAINBOWMF 7/16/2014 10:07PM

    Perfect addition to Kenny's garden.
Sounds like you had a wonderful trip.
Nothing better then good friends.

Hugs Mary

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/16/2014 9:52PM

    What a lovely bench and trip! I have a bird thing also; in fact, lately several unique ones have appeared and made me smile as they are highly symbolic.

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GGMFAY 7/16/2014 9:49PM

    You have a great eye for beauty and your choices today again prove it. Enjoy the bench often as you visit with Kenny.

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MLC721 7/16/2014 9:23PM

    The bench is perfect for the memory garden. Like Booerdem said, it will a special reminder of Kenny and of this special day with your friends. The plaque is also just perfect for the garden. emoticon

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BOOERDEM 7/16/2014 9:03PM

    What a wonderful group of friends you have!! It sounds like it was a good day. The bench & stone will be special reminders of your son & of the day as well.

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FLSUNSHINE1931 7/16/2014 9:02PM

    Chris, the bench is perfect for Kenny's Memorial Garden. I love the Garden Stone and such a beautiful verse on it. So true.

So glad that you had a good day with the girls, and it sounds like the clouds, and colors were made in Heaven. God does paint some beautiful paintings that we often take for granite.

Get some rest, and thanks so much for sharing.

Hugs and prayers to you always.

Auntie M.
emoticon for sharing.

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