Be The Best.

Rice Krispy Squares and Cleaning House

It was a long day at work.  A good day, but long.

Leaving the campus just after 8pm, we settled in for the 35 minute commute.

Ingrid handed me a wrapped package.  Rice Krispy Squares, homemade by you know who, she said.

I knew.  I won’t publicize here, because I don’t want anyone else encroaching on my secret Rice Krispy Square baker!

They were fantastic.  My friends and colleagues know my weakness for Rice Krispy Squares.  Ok, it’s an addiction really, not a weakness.

It brought back many memories tonight.  I don’t think we cooked a meal that we had to prepare for a month after Chris passed away.  It was an amazing way that people told/showed us they were supporting us.

When we got home tonight, our house was sparkling clean, just like every Wednesday.  That’s when the cleaners come.  Except, we’ve never hired cleaners.  Another anonymous (yes, we are pretty sure we know!) supporter has organized weekly cleaning for the past year.  We are amazed, humbled and grateful for these things.

There was a situation at work today where colleagues were discussing a family situation in which there was an unexpected and severe illness of a spouse of a colleague in their department.  I provided the example of the cleaning and how much it has affected us in a positive way as an idea for consideration to answer the constant question of what can we do to help.

My sister Grace last night talked about the flower delivery person showing up at her door on the 1st anniversary of her husband’s passing and suggesting it was her lucky day.

Thankfully, those kind of interactions have been very very few and far between.

Instead we have been blessed again and again with thots, prayers and actions of support…like Rice Krispy Squares and a clean house!

Be The Best.

What’s in the cereal?

Caption, "Free gift inside to anyone named Chris and turning 12 today."

Firstly, let me say that going through the loss of a teenager is brutal.  People have called us strong and positive and we ARE aiming to make positive decisions and we will.  But the underlying fact that we’ve lost our child will of course never go away.  One major thing that is helping us however, is that we did not have many regrets about how we lived.  It’s not that we didn’t have busy work lives and professional lives, but we made sure we had fun and spent a lot of time together. Take Chris’ 12th birthday. We modified his morning cereal box to include a message about a ‘free gift’.Chris and his cereal.

We then inserted a ‘gift card’ telling him about a new bike waiting for him.  He would be devastated to think I would ever show these pictures, but if you stick around, I’ll show you some more!

So we have a very simple act that parents have repeated thousands of times the world over…buying a bike for their kid.  The only change we made was to turn a simple act into an event.  It didn’t cost a lot of money.  It really didn’t take that much time….but what it did do was create a memory and experience.  These were the experiences that Max, Chris, Ingrid and I would laugh about and in fact during Ingrid’s birthday dinner on March 22, we laughed many times sharing stories about family activities, adventures and misadventures.

My point (yes, I’ll get there eventually) is that creating memories and experiences doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.  The payoff, however, is simply priceless.

Memory created.