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ELEVEN YEARS
IN HEAVEN

"LUKE"
LUCAS CHRISTOPHER ROSS

21 years old
October 31, 1979 - April 3, 2001
Acute Bronchopneumonia

Luke went to Heaven
April 3, 2001


WHERE THE MUSIC NEVER DIES

~ by Christine

The music faded away that day.
Death came and life was denied.
The melody left me all alone.
It seemed that the music had died.

All the notes were out of tune.
The song didn't harmonize.
All the music had turned to gray
Right before my very eyes.

I tried to hum, I tried to sing
But I could only scream the refrain
Because each chorus reminded me...
Of death, and loss, and pain.

One night I dreamed of Heaven
And I heard a soft lullaby.
Then, I heard a symphony
And the music was alive.

I began to hum the melody
As the angels sang along.
Then, I heard a serenade.
An echo of yesterdsy's song.

Notes were falling from the sky
In a concert of colorful tones.
The music was no longer faded
And I was no longer alone.

So I'll listen to the music
And see the color it provides
Until I dance towards the light
Where the music never dies.

2012 - Christine Ross
~ In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

Luke's first guitar


THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT DOOR

~ by Christine

There is a room in our home that is empty now.
I go in this room and pause awhile and wonder how.
How can it be his clothes no longer lay on the floor.
And now, no one is waiting on the other side of that door.

It's Luke's room, where now all that is left is the memory of him.
Within these walls we talked and laughed, and talked and laughed again.
Sometimes there were words of anger, and sometimes there were tears.
But there was also lots of love and happiness, all throughout the years.

I stand quietly and remember waking him at the start of his day.
Sometimes I would sit and listen to his beautiful music when he'd play.
I could not believe the talent that flowed from his fingertips.
In this room I cared for him and helped him when he was sick.

In this very room I looked into his eyes while we talked.
He once cried on my shoulder and told me his deepest thoughts.
One morning he told me of a very bad dream that woke him from his sleep.
There are so many memories from this room that I will forever keep.

Five years we dwelt in this place we called our home.
Luke would come back again and again, no matter where he'd roam.
There was a time when his room was full of guitars, a piano, and such.
Now it is so empty and I miss him so very much.

His closet was once filled with his clothes and all his special things.
Now nothing is left in this closet, only the memories that it brings.
His bed is gone and nothing but emptiness fills this lonely room.
I see the very spot where he died alone, and left us way too soon.

Someday this room will surely belong to someone else's son.
The road I have to travel to see Luke again, has only just begun.
This house is but an empty shell, which echoes of time that has slipped away.
And in his room I hear the lost and lonely whispers of our yesterday.

So now I stand here at his door and say my last goodbye,
To this place, and this room, where my only son had to die.
My life has changed and our time in this place will be no more.
But, I will wait until I can see him again, on the other side of that door.

© 2001 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



"Not only did Luke play music...but music played his soul."

~ Christine Ross (Luke's Mom)




THE MUSIC

~ by Robin

He felt confused on this crazy earth
With all the things he saw.
He was hoping for an answer to come and find him.
Not knowing what to say or do
And looking for answers from me & you.
Then He heard music in the distance, far behind him.

Luke said I've heard that tune long ago
Although I don't remember where.
Was it in some distant place I know
Or did I hear it in the air?
Was it written in the morning sky?
I think I heard it just before I died,
But the sweetness of the sound, is always there.

He said there's magic in that melody
There's magic in that place.
There's magic in the angel's voice
And the way they dance with grace.
Spirits smilin' everywhere.
Joy & laughter beyond compare.
LUKE knew that it was time to leave this place.

Now LUKE's gone, the cabin's bare.
His old piano's gone somewhere.
LUKE's hat's left, just hanging on the rack.
An empty chair, the wooden floor
That feels the touch of LUKE's feet no more.
Us wishing that our LUKE could come back.

And the guitar leans against LUKE's case
Where all his things have found their place.
The strings are broke and the tune is gone.
The piano's left and makes no song.
But sometimes on an April night
When the wind blows warm and the air is right
I can hear LUKE's music, a hello all night long.

2005 - Robin Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




"Luke, I remember when you sang in a progrm at Scottsdale Community college. I felt so proud of you and the very special young man you had become. I also remember when you had your band and you would practice, and you would tell us about playing your guitar with your friends. You were so happy sharing your musical talent. You were so happy when you shared yourself to help others, always quick to give and to forgive. Luke, you taught me so much and are still teaching me. I love and miss you so much Luke. THANK YOU!"

~ Robin Ross (Luke's Dad)




SILENT MUSIC

~ by Christine

Somewhere... a guitar waits for your fingertips,
To free the un-strummed notes within its strings,
Somewhere... a microphone waits for your sweet voice,
To echo muted words from within, as you sing.

Somewhere... a piano waits for your graceful hands,
To release the trapped melody within its keys,
Somewhere... alone I wait for your silent music,
To mend my broken heart from within, on my knees.

2003 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




"Luke and I used to stand outside of coffee shops with his guitar case opened, while he played and I sang. We never got any tips because of my singing."

~ Emily Ross (Luke's sister)








LUKE - - HEAVEN'S IDOL

~ by Sue

They have been gathering for hours,
Suddenly, the crowd goes wild.
Who could cause such a commotion?
Why, it's Luke, he's Heaven's Idol.

He sits down to play the piano,
His fingers gently stroke the keys.
His voice rises above the crowd,
His words resound so poignantly.

His voice caresses every word,
As he sings of being a child.
He sings of home and family,
Before he became Heaven's Idol.

His fingers softly strum guitar strings,
His music weaves a magic spell.
Of songs he never got to sing,
Stories he never got to tell.

If the world could only hear him,
They surely would have been beguiled.
By this most amazing young man,
Chosen to be Heaven's Idol.

The audience was filled with awe,
So much talent in one soul.
They knew that Earth must surely miss him,
His leaving left a gaping hole.

When he is finished, there is silence,
As all the angels start to smile.
Then applause fills up the Heavens,
All for Luke, he's Heaven's Idol.

Sue Saladino 4/23/06
~ in memory of Alex and Luke



Gift from Sue, Alex's mom





GROWING OLD

~ by Christine

Your flowers all have wilted.
Your shelf has gathered dust.
Your car out in the driveway
Has now begun to rust.

Your old guitar is out of tune.
Your piano's never played.
The light that shone beneath your door
Has somehow gone away.

Your slippers never warm your feet.
Your glasses need your eyes.
Your favorite shoes you wore each day
Still remain untied.

Your ring has lost it's luster.
Your candle holds no wish.
The watch you wore upon your arm
It never, ever ticks.

Your favorite shows were cancelled.
Your books are never read.
The pillow that you slept on
Lays waiting on your bed.

Your weights are never lifted.
Your keys no more unlock.
The board games that we used to play
Stay sealed within their box.

Your meds are all outdated.
Your music waits for a request.
Your footsteps that came down the hall
Have found a place of rest.

Your pockets are all empty.
Your money's never spent.
The clothes within your closet
Have lost all of their scent.

Your journal's never written in.
Your speakers makes no noise.
The telephone that seldom rings
Is absent of your voice.

Your cologne remains unopened.
Your beer is never sipped.
Your cigarettes are never smoked
Still waiting for your lips.

Your calendar has empty dates.
Your room has empty space.
The door that opens from the porch
Is empty of your face.

Your sister struggles daily.
Your dad is very tired.
Your mom is sad and weary...
All because you died.

Your memory still warms our hearts.
Your urn still feels so cold.
Everything... except for you
Continues to grow old.

2007 - Christine Ross
~in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




"Hey, you want to listen to this song I wrote?"

~ Luke Ross






WAITING

~ by Christine

The clock is waiting
Tick-tock, tick-tock.
The door is waiting
For him to knock.

The phone is waiting
For him to call.
The light is waiting
Alone down the hall.

My hand is waiting
For his hand to hold.
Time is waiting
For him to grow old.

His clothes are waiting
To be worn again.
The air is waiting
For him to breathe in.

His car is waiting
For h im to drive.
His guitar is waiting
To come alive.

The piano is waiting
For his fingertips.
My lips are waiting
For his sweet kiss.

His pillow is waiting
For his sleepy head.
His covers are waiting
To warm him in bed.

His sister is waiting
For her best friend.
His dad is waiting
To see him again.

My arms are waiting
For his embrace.
My soul is waiting
To leave this place.

Everything's waiting
But it's much too late.
While I'm still waiting
Heaven no longer waits.

2004 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



"Though the singer is silent, there still is the truth of the song."

~ John Denver




THOSE HANDS

~ by Christine

Those little hands that clutched my finger
When you were just a baby boy.
Those gooey hands that touched my face
But still gave me so much joy.

Those dirty hands that made their mark
Upon the walls and on my heart.
Those busy hands that worked with love
To make my Mother's Day card.

Those talented hands that filled my ears
With music that came from your soul.
Those excited hands that steered the wheel
Of your car at sixteen years old.

Those gentle hands that comforted me
When life was too much to bear.
Those strong hands that held me close
When it seemed that no one else cared.

Those cold cold hands that I warmly touched
When your body was absent of life.
Those spiritual hands that call to me
As I dream of you all through the night.

I'll never forget those hands of yours
The ones that made my life worth while.
I'll reach out to hold them again
When I've finished that last weary mile.

2005 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



I remember being amazed at how musically talented he was. I told him that I had played the bass guitar before and he encouraged me to get one again. So I did, and we started a band together, kind of. It was mainly just me and him. We used to go to the Guitar Center and he'd pick a guitar and I pick a bass and we would go into their soundproof room and played until they came and kicked us out.

~ Ernie (Luke's friend)




LIVE THROUGH ME

~ by Christine

I'll learn to play piano
And I'll play the guitar too.
I'll compose a song and music,
Because that's what he loved to do.

I'll drink a glass of chocolate milk
And eat a plate of spicy food.
I'll have a toast with all my friends
To lighten up the mood.

I'll watch a late night movie
And play some video games.
I'll share my bed with my dog
But I never will complain.

I'll take lessons in karate
And I'll whistle while I work.
I'll say a lot of funny things,
Then I'll laugh until it hurts.

I'll ride a roller coaster
And bounce on a trampoline.
I'll be a real daredevil
Doing almost anything.

I'll drive up to the canyon
And watch the sun set from afar.
I'll build a fire to keep me warm
Camping underneath the stars.

I'll climb up to the mountaintop
And ride my bike down from the peak.
I'll crawl down deep inside a cave,
Even drive right through a creek.

I'll hike up to the tallest cliff
And jump off into a lake.
I'll hear my echo through the night
While the wind takes it away.

I'll go skiing in the winter
And see the leaves turn in the fall.
I'll go swimming in the summer.
In spring rain I'll take walk.

I'll give a friend a heartfelt hug
And then share my deepest thoughts.
I'll try to help someone in need
So they won't feel so lost.

I'll pray there at the chapel
And be thankful that he lived.
I'll do the things he'd like to do
Plus all these things he did.

I'll look up high to Heaven
And I'll close my eyes to see.
I'll say.... 'You never really died,
Because you live through me.'

2011 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




"I will always remember Luke's amazing musical ability and still see him with a guitar in his hands, a song in his heart and a smile on his face."

~ Annette (Luke's friend)




WE USED TO

~ by Christine

We used to sit and watch
As the sun would fade away,
Right there in the backyard,
But that was another day.

We used to hug each other
As you left and said goodbye,
Right there on the front porch,
But that was before you died.

We used to laugh together
Watching something on TV,
Right there in the family room,
But that was before you had to leave.

We used to have those special talks
As you shared your heart and soul,
Right there on the patio,
But that was so long ago.

We used to sing together
As your music you would play,
Right there in your bedroom,
But that was some yesterday.

We used to dry each others tears
When someone broke your heart,
Right there on the sofa,
But that was before we were apart.

We used to sing happy birthday
As you blew candles with one breath,
Right there in the kitchen,
But that was before you left.

We used to open presents
As the tree was lit up bright,
Right there by the fireplace,
But that was before that night.

We used to say goodnight Luke
With that kiss upon your cheek,
Right there in the lighted hall,
But that was before your final sleep.

We used to do a lot of things
That we no longer do,
Right there in that "other" life,
But that was when we had you.

2004 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



One of the most important things Luke brought to our lives was happiness and laughter. I remember one day in particular, when everyone in my office was making fun of me and because I had a song in my head, "Lucas With The Lid Off". It had only been Lucas' first day and his name is what reminded me of this song that had long been forgotten. I had Jennifer on the phone and everyone in the office making fun of me when Lucas came walking through the door... you know with that bouncy strut being as cool as can be. I asked Lucas right away... "Do you remember the song Lucas With The Lid Off?" Instantly he began singing the song and getting everyone in the office and Jennifer on the phone laughing hysterically. Lucas has the power to make people laugh from city to city and even state to state with even on little comment. He is an unbelievable person with unbelievable talent.

~ Jim (Luke's friend)




THAT HOME OF LONG AGO

~ by Christine

The front door had that same old squeak
As I entered that empty place.
The walls were bare, the furniture gone
And the sounds of life had ceased.

I was at that place of long ago
Where he took his final breath,
Hoping to find some memories
Or maybe something that was left.

I took a breath and inhaled deep
My lungs filled with musty air.
"Please take me back to yesterday."
I pleaded to God in a prayer.

I opened the door to his room,
There he was sitting on the floor,
Singing a song with a smile on his face,
Strumming away on that old guitar.

He looked up at me and nodded,
So I reached out to stroke his hair,
But just as I did everything that I saw
Faded away and disappeared.

I knew my prayer had been answered
So I got down on my knees
To say a prayer of thankfulness
For all that was given to me.

As I walked away from his room
I turned back for one last glance
And there he was with his hand held out
Saying... "May I have this dance?"

We danced across the bedroom floor
And we danced right down the hall.
Then he bowed and kissed my hand
And said..."I'm so glad you came to call."

I smiled at him as he said "Goodbye".
Then he turned and faded away,
But somehow in that moment of time
I returned to yesterday.

The front door squeaked when I closed it
As I left that "so-called" empty place
Where I found some long lost memories
From a life that never ceased.

2010 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




He had such a gift with music. I loved listening to him sing and play his guitar. The first time I met Luke we were with a group of friends at Mt. Lemon in Tucson. He was singing and playing his guitar and there was a group of people around him. He was amazing.

~ Melissa (Luke's friend)




OH HOW WE LAUGHED

~ by Christine

A sign of life inside me,
Waiting for you to arrive.
There you are my baby boy.
Oh how we laughed until we cried.

Peek-a-boo and tickles,
Off to bed piggy-back rides,
Giddy-up horsey going to town.
Oh how we laughed until we cried.

Swing real high and see-saw,
Playing hide-and-go-seek inside.
Choo-choo train in cardboard boxes.
Oh how we laughed until we cried.

Bicycles rides around the block.
Pogo sticks and water slides,
Best friends sleeping over.
Oh how we laughed until we cried.

Football games and soccer,
Parties and go-cart rides,
Puppy love and pic-nics.
Oh how we laughed until we cried.

Mountain biking and skiing,
Teaching you how to drive,
Guitars and speakers and music.
Oh how we laughed until we cried.

Dates, and proms, and first loves.
College and things to decide.
Your music from the piano.
Oh how we laughed until we cried.

Roses and candles and new friends.
Long talks in the swing outside.
Adventures and lunches and stories.
Oh how we laughed until we cried.

Life and love and family.
We all laughed until we cried.
It was such fun while it lasted.
Oh how we laughed ... until you died.

2009 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross




Stopped by to say hello to strangers in my mission. Listened to techno with you and Mike wich was against my rules, but I know you were just trying to be hospitable. Offered drinks and talked for an hour and a half about life and music. Your the man, Luke. See you soon, bro.

~ Elder Joshua (missionary)




LIFE AS I KNEW IT

~ by Christine

Another year further from when we last touched,
And feeling the strength of your youth.
Another year further from life as I knew it,
But... another year closer to truth.

Another year further from the sound of your voice,
And hearing the music you strummed.
Another year further from life as I knew it,
But... another year closer to home.

Another year further from your shining face,
And seeing you smiling so bright.
Another year further from life as I knew it,
But... another year closer to light.

Another year further from the taste of your kiss,
And savoring you close to my chest.
Another year further from life as I knew it,
But... another year closer to rest.

Another year further from the scent of your skin,
And inhaling what should never cease.
Another year further from life as I knew it,
But... another year closer to peace.

Another year further from all that was good,
And enjoying what life I have left.
Another year further from life as I knew it,
But... another year closer to death.

2005 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001



"I remember Luke coming up to the shop one weekend, playing his guitar, while people gathered around to listen. It was a fun day."

~ Mary (worked at our shop in Carefree near Cave Creek)






LIFE AND DEATH

~ by Christine

How did Luke live his life?
Orange and pumpkins and stars,
Love and laughter and Halloween,
Roses and friends and guitars.

How do I live Luke's death?
Orange and pumpkins and stars,
Love and laughter and Halloween,
Roses and friends and guitars.

2005 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




I miss jamming to 97 Octain in your car (it never got old). I miss all of you.

~ Julie (Luke's friend)




LISTENING TO THE OLDIES

~ by Christine

I was listening to the oldies
When they played his favorite song.
The rhythm of reality was...
How long he had been gone.

I was humming to the music
As the lyrics took me away
To a lullaby of days gone by,
In the lilt of yesterday.

I sang along in unison
To that anthem of long ago,
Before my thoughts disharmonized
Tunes I didn't want to know.

Death had changed the music
And had played a different hymn,
Leaving me with the melodies
Of an unwanted requiem.

No sound of discord would be heard
So I sang as loud as I could,
Then I heard him harmonizing
And the melody was good.

I was listening to the oldies
When they played his favorite song
And the rhythm of reality was...
We both were singing along.

2011 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




Luke had a beautiful voice.

~ Michelle (Luke's friend)




ALL OF IT

~ by Christine

All of it...
It's all gone
The laughter
The songs

The music
The noise
The fun of
Little boys

The kisses
The hugs
The echoes
Of love

The moments
The place
The warmth of
Embrace

The glimmer
The smiles
The life lived
For awhile

All of it...
It's all here
The sadness
The fear

The silence
The pain
The questions
That remain

The teardrops
The wait
The want for
Yesterday

The longing
The grave
The reason
To be brave.

The heartache
The grief
The wish for
Some relief
The right
The wrong
It's all here
It's all gone

2008 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001




THIS OLD GUITAR

This old guitar taught me to sing a love song
It showed me how to laugh and how to cry
It introduced me to some friends of mine
And brightened up some days
It helped me make it through some lonely nights
Oh, what a friend to have on a cold and lonely night

~ John Denver



"No matter how tough it is, no matter how bad it looks, hold your head up high and everything is going to work out."

~ Luke Ross











ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
2012

















"VISIT WITH LUKE"

Last Entry in Luke's Journal:

"When there is love in my heart and a smile on my face,
I need nothing else." ~ Luke Ross


"MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU"

Music playing:
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