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MEMORIAL EASTER EGGS

for our children
page 1 of 5

music playing: PEACEFUL MORNING


IN MEMORY OF
Lucas Christopher Ross "Luke"
21
October 31, 1979 - April 3, 2001
Acute Bronchopneumonia






IF ONLY OUR CHILDREN WERE EASTER EGGS

If only our children were Easter eggs,
Hidden safely in the grass,
We could search for them and pick them up,
And hold them within our clasp.

We'd have a Heavenly Easter egg hunt,
All with baskets in our hands,
Searching with a broken heart.
Only WE can understand.

"Oh, look I found your child over here",
"Hey, did anyone find mine?"
They are so beautifully colored,
And they sparkle and they shine.

These aren't your usual Easter eggs,
They each have their own special glow,
That comes from way down deep within,
Only a parent in grief would know.

We gather up our special eggs,
With excitement all around,
For the gift that we've been given,
For the treasure we have found.

We all now stare with wonderment,
At our children that have died.
We want to hold them once again,
And release them from inside.

But we all begin to realize,
We have to crack their beautiful shell,
The one that, makes them sparkle and glow,
The one they have earned so well.

We know we can't destroy their beauty,
And take them from their place,
So we give them an understanding kiss,
As a tear runs down our face.

One by one we take our baskets,
With our beautifully colored eggs,
And place them gently in the grass,
As we turn and walk away.

We look back in amazement,
As our eggs begin to sing.
We see them flutter and move about.
"Look, our eggs all now have wings."

Then the Golden Egg begins to speak...
"Your children are safe with me."
"You'll be with them when the time is right,"
"Together for all eternity."

We stand their in a circle of love,
As we look up to the sky,
Watching our radiant eggs take flight,
Knowing our children didn't die.

© 2003 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
Published in
LIVING WITH LOSS MAGAZINE
Spring 2008, Volume 23 No. 1
and
Spring 2009, volume 24 No. 1
Bereavement Publications, Inc.






EARLY SPRING

I feel him in the morning breeze
As it skims across my face.
I see him in the sunrise
As it brightens up this place.

I hear him in the thunder
Before the sky begins to drip.
I taste him in the raindrops
That trickle down across my lips.

I smell him in the fragrance
Of every flower that's in bloom.
But these things I just imagine
From the corners of my room.

It's winter here in my room.
There's a chill down to my bones.
It's dark, and cold, and dreary
And I feel so all alone.

The cold is a reminder
Of this frigid, frozen fear
That casts those icy shadows
Of death, and grief, and tears.

I'm hoping for the sunshine,
Fragrant breezes, thunder, rain.
But most of all I'm hoping for...
A very early spring.

© 2008 - Christine Ross

In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

Published
APRIL 2010, Volume 25 No. 4
LIVING WITH LOSS magazine
Bereavement Publications, Inc.








Keep your faith in all beautiful things;
in the sun when it is hidden,
in the Spring when it is gone.

Roy R. Gilson









WHERE IS PETER COTTONTAIL?

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

Where is Peter Cottontail?
And chocolate bunny rabbits?
And Easter egg hunts on Sunday?
And brightly colored baskets?

Where is all the laughter?
And springtime with its flowers?
And dressing up in brand new clothes?
And just talking away the hours.

Where is his Easter morning smile?
And his Sunday appetite?
And his way of bringing happiness?
And his hug that held me so tight?

It all left with him long ago,
To where everything wonderful dwells,
A place where no one has to ask,
Where is Peter Cottontail?

© 2005 - Christine Ross








The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

Robert Frost (1874-1963)









'Twas Easter-Sunday.
The full-blossomed trees Filled all the air
with fragrance and with joy.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,









THE FACES OF APRIL

Yesterday's visions
Still drift through my mind,
Of springtime and laughter
When life was so kind.
The world reawakened
From slumberous sleep.
The faces of April
Forever to keep.

Presently visions
Reveal a new face,
Of angels and sorrow
And death in this place.
Forever in slumber.
Awakened no more.
The faces of April
Like never before.

Tomorrow's visions
Will take me away,
To springtime and laughter,
In that heavenly place.
My world will awaken
From slumberous sleep.
The faces of April
Forever to keep.

© 2006 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001








I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing!

~Edna Dean Proctor, "Easter Bells"


BLINDFOLDS AND CARROTS

  Luke was in a youth group when he was 16 years old. One night the leaders sent them all on a mission as part of a group activity. Those who had cars and wanted to drive, did so, and were assigned about 5 boys to each car. Luke drove and was given instructions as to where to meet the rest of the cars at the end of the activity. He also was given a bag containing more instructions, some items, and places to stop on the way to the destination.

So Luke and the 5 other boys got into Luke's car as instructed. Luke was not supposed to open the bag until they were inside the car. As they sat there in the parking lot, Luke opened up the bag. There inside Luke's bag were blindfolds and carrots!!! The instructions were that all the passengers (the other 5 boys) were to put the blindfolds on and hold a carrot in their right hand until they were to their destination where the activity would be concluded. Under no circumstances were any of the passengers to remove their blindfolds or let go of their carrots until they reached their destination, which only the driver of the car (Luke) knew. So the other boys put on their blindfolds, held on to their carrots as Luke drove out of the parking lot on the way to their assigned mission.

  All was going well. They were laughing and having the best time, stopping at the assigned places, staying blindfolded while holding on to carrots. Then there was a problem. At an intersection some woman  ran the stop sign and hit Luke's car. It was only a minor fender bender, but the police came to the scene for the report. What took place next is the best part of the story.

  When Luke got home that night, he said "Mom, I was in an accident, but no one was hurt". "You won't believe what happened". He then proceeded to tell me the above story. When he was telling me the part where the police came, he was laughing uncontrollably. By this time I was laughing too, not even knowing what he was going to say. Luke said "Oh, Mom, it was the funniest thing you ever saw." "The police officer came to our car and I had 5 guys in the car with blindfolds on and holding carrots". Luke said "I tried to explain it to the policeman that it was a game and what was going on, but I was laughing so hard that the officer thought that we had all been drinking." Luke continued to tell me how he was given a sobriety test and that he passed perfectly, except for the uncontrollable laughter. All the other boys in the car were laughing too, but could not see what was going on.  Through all of this they all kept their blindfolds on, held their carrots, made it to the destination, and had the best story of all the other cars to tell.

  If I could  choose to relive one day with Luke without any changes, I might just choose that day when he came home full of excitement telling me his story. But there are many other days that I could also choose. Oh how I would long to get all dressed up and go to church with Luke as a little boy on Easter Sunday. How wonderful it would be to decorate eggs, have an egg hunt, run through fields of flowers, look for four-leaf clovers, walk together through the forest, have a picnic, watch the sunset together, tell him over and over that I love him, or just sit and talk for hours and hours. There are so many good days to choose from.

Many years have passed since that night of blindfolds, carrots, fun, laughter, and a simple thing of listening to my son tell me a wonderful story. To this day, I smile through my tears and laugh just a little, every time...... I see a carrot.

© 2013 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001








TODAY I SPENT THE DAY WITH HIM


Today I spent the day with him,
Dressed up in our Sunday best,
Prayed there in the chapel
And knew that we were blessed.

Soaked up the morning sunlight,
Looked for bunny rabbit tracks,
Decorated Easter eggs
And hid them quietly in the back.

Ran through fields of flowers,
Had a picnic on the ground,
Searched for four leaf clovers
And yelled when they were found.

Walked hand in hand in nature,
Talked for hours 'neath the tree.
Today I spent the day with him,
Through all my memories.

© 2006 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

Published in Living with Loss Magazine
Bereavement Publications
Spring 2013, Vol. 28 No. 1










ONE MORE DAY

Last night I had a crazy dream
A wish was granted just for me,
It could be for anything
I didn't ask for money
Or a mansion in malibu
I simply wished, for one more day with you

One more day
One more time
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

First thing I'd do, is pray for time to crawl
Then I'd unplug the telephone
And keep the tv off
I'd hold you every second
Say a million I love you's
That's what I'd do. With one more day with you

Leave me wishing still for one more day
Leave me wishing still for one more day
(oh) how I wish I could forget those, (those) happy yesteryears
That have left a rosary of tears

Your face beams - in my dreams
(in) spite of all (that) I do
(and) everything - seems to bring
Memories of you

~ Words & music by Bobby Tomberlin and Steven Dale Jones
Recorded by Diamond Rio








LAMBY-PIE

I remember so many wonderful things from Luke's childhood.... how we held hands, his cute little giggle, the way he gently touched me, his hugs and kisses, and especially I remember Luke's relationship with Lamby-Pie.

When Luke was a little fellow his best friend in the whole world was his big sister Emily. They did everything together, but when she started school he was so lost. One day his grandma gave him a little white stuffed lamb. The little lamb had a yellow sewn-on T-shirt. Well, Luke absolutely loved that little lamb. He named his little lamb.... Lamby-Pie. This little lamb became Luke's very best friend and went everywhere with us.... restaurants, car rides, vacations, picnics, shopping, playgrounds, wagon rides, walks.... just everywhere.

Oh how Lamb-Pie loved to slide and swing and see-saw! A lot of children had imaginary friends, but not Luke, his friend was very real.... his friend was Lamby-Pie. Lamby-Pie loved macaroni and cheese, and snow cones, and milk.... and Lamby-Pie had the stains to prove it. After awhile poor little Lamby-Pie wasn't very white anymore.

I was amazed at the things that Lamby-Pie could say, but Lamby-Pie spoke only to Luke. Luke would tell me that Lamby-Pie said.... "Let's go for a walk around the block Mommy," or "Let's eat some ice cream Mommy," or "Let's play in the sandbox Mommy," or "Let's read a book Mommy". That Lamby-Pie sure was a talker and always got Mommy to do things even when Mommy was very busy around the house. But I loved it, and I was so glad that Luke had such a wonderful friend to help him not feel so lost without his sister.

Sometimes just after Luke and I would take Emily to school, we would go to the McDonalds just down the street to play on their playground. Luke and Lamby-Pie had so much fun together. I knew Luke was lonely without his big sister so Luke and I and Lamby-Pie went to McDonalds often. One day Luke met another little boy on the McDonalds playground and began playing with him. Oh what a wonderful time he had with his new found playmate. He was so excited telling me all about it on our way home. When we arrived home and started to get out of the car Luke reached for Lamby-Pie, but Lamby-Pie wasn't there. My little boy looked at me with big tears in his eyes and said..."Mommy, I left Lamby-Pie at McDonalds." I knew this was a very serious thing. So we immediately drove back to McDonalds. We ran out to the playground to get Lamby-Pie, but Lamby-Pie was nowhere to be found. Luke and I were both looking frantically for his little Lamby-Pie. Luke called out..." Lamby-Pie, Lamby-Pie, Lamby-Pie," but Lamby-Pie was silent. He walked up to me as I squatted down to hug him and his broken heart. He said..."Mommy, Lamby-Pie is gone." By then we were both crying.

I thought to myself, why would anyone want that dirty old, stained-up, little lamb. So on our way out of McDonalds, with one last effort, I walked up to the counter and sighed as I very sadly said... "Did you happen to find a little stuffed lamb?" The guy said with a huge grin...."Yes, I did and I put it behind the counter! I just KNEW someone would be back for it because it was so worn and obviously so loved." He went and got Lamby-Pie and handed him to me and I squatted down again as I handed him to my wide-eyed little boy. Luke immediately held Lamby-Pie close to his chest as those last big tears ran across the lips of a huge smile.

For the next several years Luke and Lamby-Pie were inseparable. As Luke grew older, his interests grew older, and Lamby-Pie spent a lot of time alone. I knew Lamby-Pie was a very special little lamb so I put Lamby-Pie in the cedar chest for safe keeping, hoping to someday give him to Luke's little boy. Luke never had the opportunity to have his own little boy so when Luke died, I brought Lamby-Pie out of hiding and placed him in a glass enclosed doll case and displayed him in the foyer with all of Luke's special things.

A few weeks ago, not long after Luke's 11th anniversary of passing, I had a dream of Lamby-Pie. In my dream Lamby-Pie told me that he had something to tell me. But I woke up without ever hearing Lamby-Pie's message. As soon as I got up that morning I went to the foyer, reached for the glass case, opened it, and took Lamby-Pie out. I felt such comfort standing there holding Lamby-Pie with his tiny scratched eyes, and his matted stained fur, and his little dirty yellow T-shirt. As tears streamed down my face, I held Lamby-Pie close to my chest, just as Luke did so many years ago when Lamby-Pie had been lost. I said.."Lamby-Pie what do you need to tell me?" But Lamby-Pie was silent, I guess he still only talked to Luke. So I just touched his stained fur and inhaled his stale scent. But as I was touching his fur, I felt something very lightly touching my finger. I looked and there barely peeking out from under the edge of that little yellow T-Shirt was a hair. I raised the edge of the T-shirt up and there was a single dark brown strand of hair, just the exact length that Luke's hair was when he was a little fellow. I held the strand in my hand, and realized that I was holding a physical piece of my son once again. A secret that only Lamby-Pie knew and wanted to share with me. I closed my eyes and called out Luke's name, just as Luke had called out Lamb-Pie's name all those years ago, but Luke was silent. Just at that moment, Lamby-Pie reached into my heart and gave me the spiritual presence of Luke. I felt Luke's presence very strongly, and I held that feeling close to my chest as my tears ran across my smiling lips. I then knew what Lamby-Pie wanted to tell me in my dream. "No matter how far away someone you love is, no matter how much time has passed, there will always be a part of that person with you. Just call out their name." I thanked Lamby-Pie for this gift as I gently placed the strand of hair back where Lamby-Pie had been keeping it safe for over 30 years. It was where it belonged and where it will remain.

Lamby-Pie doesn't need words to speak, and I don't need ears to hear him. Lamby-Pie is silent to my listening ears, but he is my friend, just as he was all those years ago to my little boy who needed a friend so badly. I guess Lamby-Pie comes to those who need him. And amazingly because of a sweet dream and a distant memory that was tucked away in the corners of my mind, peace has found its way to the innermost depths of my broken heart.

© 2012 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001






I REMEMBER

I remember...
holding hands,
walking barefoot,
summer sands,

baby giggles,
little boy eyes,
teenage laughter,
grown-up pride,

sleepy mornings,
stretching yawns,
midday naps,
afternoon storms,

glowing sunsets,
moonlit evenings,
whispered secrets,
midnight dreaming,

smells of Autumn,
hugs and kisses,
gentle touches,
birthday wishes,

rain in April,
cold Decembers,
treasured moments
...I remember.

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



YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND

When you're down and troubled
and you need a helping hand,
and nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
and you know wherever I am
I'll come running, oh yeah baby
to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
all you got to do is call
and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

If the sky above you
should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud now
and soon I'll be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
all you got to do is call
and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well they'll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Oh babe, don't you know that,
Winter spring summer or fall,
Hey now, all you've got to do is call.
Lord, I'll be there, yes I will.
You've got a friend.
You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
You've got a friend.

~ Words & music by Carole King






SOMEWHERE IN TIME

April and springtime have arrived. Winter is gone and summer is not here yet. We are in the time of spring. A time when the earth comes alive again, no longer buried beneath the cold days of winter. The memories of winter still warm our hearts and the anticipation of summer brings with it more memories of days gone by. The warm sun of Springtime reminds us how wonderful life used to be, and the spring breeze carries with it a freshness of new life, but we are sorrowful with the absence of a special life. A life that knows no more time.

Time? What is it really? Time no longer allows us to be with the physical presence of those special souls that have gone on before us. Those that used to run and play and be happy. Those that were consumed by illness or accident or something else that allowed death to take them away from our arms. We miss having them close and we miss knowing that they are waiting for us when we get home. If only we could speak their name and have them to come to us or look at us in that special way that only they can. But because of the passing of time and the events that time brought with it, it seems that we have lost those things we once had. Are they really lost?

Time is the only thing that separates me from my son, Luke, who died on April 3rd, 2001. Time is such a strange thing. When you are in the midst of something awful it seems as if time passes so slowly, and if you are in the midst of something wonderful it seems as if time passes quickly. But as years pass, this thing called time is still confusing. Sometimes it seems as if Luke was here with me only yesterday, but at the same time it seems as if it has been forever since I touched him and held him.

Time has brought many things for me since April 3rd, 2001. I went through all the stages of grief over and over and over and over. Anger stared me in the face and for a time I let it stay. Denial was there full force too, but the years have given me the reality of it all. Bargaining lasted only a few months for me as I begged to trade my life for his. Depression is something that still comes and goes and will be with me until the day that I join Luke in Heaven. Acceptance has been the most difficult stage of grief for me, but it has finally found a place within my heart and mind.

There was a time when I thought that I could never be at peace with Luke's death. But it happened! Much to my surprise, slowly over time, without myself even realizing the transition..... I felt different. I don't know when it happened, where it happened, or how it happened, but it did indeed happen. I wasn't crying every single day anymore. Somewhere along my journey I quit asking why? I had found some peace, some unexpected peace, in just knowing that he lived a good life, and then he died, but more importantly.... his spirit didn't die.

A dog can sense when his master has turned the corner and headed for home. I often think of when Luke was here on earth, at the house, but in another room. I couldn't see him, I couldn't hear him.... but I knew he was in that other room because I possessed that sixth sense that we all take for granted. His spirit was all around me even though he was in the other room unheard and unseen. It is no different now than it was then. He is all around me unheard and unseen. His spirit has survived! Death could not take his spirit away from me, nor could time.

This pain will never go away, but it is not as sharp as it used to be. Instead of fighting away the pain like I used to do, I have learned to live with the pain. It is just as much a part of me now as breathing is.... a breathing that has finally calmed to a slower pace. I have embraced this pain and I own this pain and it will always be with me, so I just decided to let it be what it is. I have realized nothing can be changed, no matter how many times I go over thoughts of 'what if.' I have finally put to rest all the horrible thoughts that have haunted me throughout the years of grief.

So many of my friends and family didn't understand my pain and because they didn't, I think they were afraid of my pain. It used to make me sad and angry because they didn't reach out. How could they not understand? The passing of time has made me realize that they had never experienced what I had experienced. So how could they possible understand? I am so glad that they do not understand this pain. O how I wish that I did not understand it.

I never thought I would smile again, but I did. And I really never thought that I would laugh again, but I did. And you know what I discovered when I finally did? I discovered that he was in my laugh and he was in my smile and he was still in my life.

I didn't believe that any of these new feelings could possibly happen, but they did, and I am so glad that they crept in without me knowing. I am now at peace with his death, and because of this I remember not only the time that he died, but the time that he lived. And oh how he lived, and oh how wonderful the memories of his life are. Those memories give me back the time that I thought was lost forever.

Death may separate me from his physical self, but time gives me his spirit and his love. I will relish this time that I have with his spirit until I reach that place where he is, where we will meet again, without the constraints of time. I will remember the good times, cherish my peaceful times, and look forward to another time and place. Time was, time is, and time will be again.

Springtime is a time for flowers, a time for birds, a time for rain, a time for love, a time to be born, and a time to die. There is a beginning of life and an end of life, but at the end there is another beginning.

Time is waiting for us all..... somewhere.

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






YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW

Was yesterday really a few years ago,
Or was yesterday just a few weeks?
Maybe yesterday never existed at all.
But yesterday is the day that we seek.

Is today really here in the present,
Or is today when we said goodbye?
Maybe today has never really arrived.
But today is the day that we cry.

Is tomorrow really tomorrow,
Or is tomorrow years from this pain?
Maybe tomorrow will never come.
But tomorrow is when we'll meet again.

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












   

I'M NOT SURE WHEN IT HAPPENED


I'm not sure when it happened
But I do know that it's real.
Somewhere between then and now
Something changed the way I feel.

I don't cry every single day
But these eyes of mine still cry.
And I don't have a need to ask
That same old question 'why?'

To know he lived a good life
Has given me some peace.
And I've accepted that he died
But his spirit never ceased.

Passing years erased the anger
Of loosing what was mine
By receiving lots of comfort
Knowing that... "it was his time".

The nights have been more gentle.
The dawn has turned to day.
I've finally embraced this pain
That will never go away.

Realizing I can't change things
I have buried all my guilt.
I've forgiven all the others
That didn't know the way I felt.

I've learned to live without him,
Just because I've had no choice.
His pictures bring me happiness
Just like the memory of his voice.

I've heard his laughter in my own
Although I thought I never would.
I've seen his smile in my own smile
Although I thought I never could.

That stabbing pain within my heart
Has turned into a dulling ache.
The breath I used to gasp for
Has quieted to a slower pace.

Those deep dark thoughts that haunted me,
The ones of death and fear and time,
Have found a special place to hide
In the corners of my mind.

I don't know when it happened
But I know I'm glad it did.
I have found the "peace in knowing"
That he died, but that... HE LIVED!


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

Published
March 2011, Volume 26 No. 03
LIVING WITH LOSS magazine
Bereavement Publications, Inc.














SOMEWHERE IN TIME

as performed by Michael Crawford

Where there is time, there is tomorrow
Somewhere in time, all sorrows pass to memory
And the end is the beginning
Somewhere in time, we are as we're meant to be

Where there is time, there is a circle
Somewhere in time, the circle yearns to be complete
Though you may feel this is illusion
Somewhere in time, I know we're certain to meet

Somewhere in time love is forever
A love that's here, a love that's now, to last for all time

Somehow I know this moment's waiting somewhere in time

Where there is time, there is a circle
Somewhere in time, the circle will be complete
Somewhere in time love is forever
A love that's here, a love that's now, to last for all time

Somehow I know this moment's waiting somewhere in time





"Is there any way that I can tell you how my life has changed? Any way at all to let you know what sweetness you have given me? There is so much to say. I cannot find the words. Except for these: I love you".
(From the movie 'Somewhere in Time')









The space between your heart and mine is the space we'll fill with time
~ Dave Matthews




PENNIES FROM HEAVEN

Luke was born on Halloween in 1979. It was the best year of my life because our little family of four was now complete. Emily (Luke's sister) and Luke both had piggy banks from the time they were born. When their dad (Robin) would get home from work he would always divide the change in his pocket and give some to Emily and some to Luke for their little piggy banks. They would run put their money in their banks and shake them and smile. They both said they were saving their money for a toy they wanted.

At Easter we would have Easter Egg hunts in the backyard. Robin and I would fill the little plastic eggs with pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters, and candy. Robin and I would take turns hiding eggs while one of us stayed in the house with Emily and Luke to keep them from peeking. It was so much fun to sit back and watch as they ran around the backyard hunting for eggs. When they would find an egg, the first thing they would do is pick it up and shake it to see if it had change in it for their piggy banks. When it rattled loudly they would grin from ear to ear. After the hunt was over, they would sit on the floor in the living room opening up each egg to find their treasure. After all the eggs were opened, they would head down the hall to their rooms with a chocolate candy in their mouths and a handful of change to place in their piggy banks.

When Emily and Luke were grown, we STILL had Easter Egg hunts, but not only pennies, or nickles, or dimes, or quarters. To keep them interested we also placed dollar bills in the little plastic eggs. It was so much fun to watch them running around the house looking for eggs that contained one dollar bills, five dollar bills, ten dollar bills, and twenty dollar bills. They would still pick them up and shake them, but this time if the eggs made a noise they would look disappointed. They laughed and ran just like they did as children. Throughout the years, no matter if it were twenties or pennies in those eggs, they all contained 'golden' memories.

When Luke was about three years old he went in his room, closed the door, and took the plug out of the bottom of his piggy bank and shook it and shook it until he had enough change. He was in his room for hours on the floor making something. When I would knock on the door to check on him he would say....."Don't come in Mommy". When he finished in his room he came running down the hall with the 'something' behind his back wearing a huge beautiful grin. He proudly handed it to me saying..."I 'make' this for you Mommy". There on a piece of notebook paper were quarters and nickels and dimes and pennies glued in the shape of a smiley face. Oh it was one of the most precious gifts I had ever received. My sweet little boy had been saving his change for a long time for a little toy he wanted, but instead he used his change to make a very special gift for me, a gift that I still have tucked away in the cedar chest. I held both the gift and my little boy close to me while I said..... "THANK YOU LUKE."

Then, eighteen years later, in mid March of 2001 Luke and I were watching a TV talk show about how people find pennies from their loved ones in Heaven. So many people such had wonderful stories that Luke and I became believers. I told Luke that when I die I will send pennies to him and he promised to do the same for me. Of course I never thought he would get to Heaven first.

Robin and I were out of town when Luke died alone in his room. He died in the early morning hours of April 3, 2001 at the age of 21 from Acute Bronchopneumonia. At that time we had no idea how he died and it was six long weeks before we received the results of the Autopsy stating his cause of death.

It was late that night, that awful night of April 3, 2001. The coroner had just left our home and Robin and I were finally allowed access to our home again. Luke's sister and friends and some others that I didn't know had finally each, one by one slipped away into the night to go back home with the knowledge that Luke was dead. It was only Robin and I there to face this unexplained tragedy all alone.

Robin and I walked into Luke's room together and just stared at that spot on the floor where our only son had died just hours ago. It was all so unbelievable and our pain and sorrow was almost unbearable. We walked around to the other side of Luke's bed so that we could sit there facing his clothing in his closet that we knew would never be worn again by our precious boy. As we sat there crying in each other's arms, I looked down and there on the floor, next to Luke's bed was one ... lone ... penny.... I gasped when I saw it. Robin looked at me and saw me staring at the floor ... He saw it too! He said... "OH MY GOD, it is a penny". I reached down and picked it up while wiping the tears from my eyes to get a good look at the date. I focused my eyes and clearly saw the date. I screamed "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD". Robin said... "What, let me see." Robin held the penny and he too screamed "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD". The date on the penny was 1979...... the year that Luke was born. I held my husband and that penny close and once again as I had done years ago, I said...."THANK YOU LUKE".

From that night on we found many, many more pennies from Heaven, but none that changed our lives as much as that one little penny did. That one little penny that was delivered to us on the worst night of our lives. That one little penny that made us richer than we ever thought was possible. That one little penny that showed us the way to signs from the other side. That one little penny that gave us the welcomed knowledge that Luke did not end with his death, but that his life just began in another way. We realized that we had to learn a whole new way of communicating with our son. We had to listen differently and we had to see differently......we had to develop new eyes and new ears. We had hope again! Not the hope that our son would be returned to us in the physical way, but the hope that our son would let us know he was with us spiritually in the signs that he sends to us.

Luke has sent us so many signs through all of these fourteen long and lonely years. He has shown his presence with pennies, with numbers, in dreams, and in so very many other ways. But no matter what way he chooses to let us know he is with us, any sign that we receive from him will always be known to us as 'Pennies from Heaven'. And, no matter where I am, or who is near, I will always say............"THANK YOU LUKE."

© 2015 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001






EMPTY EASTER

No Easter basket filled with grass.
No colored Easter eggs.
No laughter on this Easter morn.
No happy Easter day.

It's a sad and empty Easter,
Memories scattered on the ground,
Like the colored eggs of yesterday
Just waiting to be found.


© 2014 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


PIECES OF APRIL

April gave us springtime
and the promise of the flowers
And the feeling that we both shared
and the love that we called ours
We knew no time for sadness,
that's a road we each had crossed
We were living a time meant for us,
and even when it would rain
we would laugh it off.

I've got pieces of April,
I keep them in a memory bouquet
I've got pieces of April,
it's a morning in May

We stood on the crest of summer,
beneath an oak that blossemed green
Feeling as I did in April,
not really knowing what it means
But it must be then that you stand beside me
now to make me feel this way
Just as I did in April,
but it's a morning in May.

I've got pieces of April,
I keep them in a memory bouquet
I've got pieces of April,
but it's a morning in May

~ AS PERFORMED BY: Three Dog Night
~ WRITTEN BY: David Loggins






THE NIGHT THE ANGELS CAME

It was just a few weeks before Easter and we had already started planning for our Easter celebration with Emily (Luke's sister) & Luke at our cabin in northern Arizona. At that time we lived in the desert and going to the cool mountains was such a treat. Our cabin had just been completed in the fall, so this would be our first Easter at the cabin. We always had an Easter Egg hunt for Emily and Luke even when they were adults (Luke was 21 and Emily was 23), but of course the eggs contained money as an incentive. We also planned a big meal and some hikes and maybe a game of croquet.

Robin (Luke's Dad) and I left the house early on a Monday morning to take a little trip to the cabin, just 2 hours away. Luke was still sleeping when we left, so I went in his room and gave him a kiss on the cheek and told him goodbye. But he never knew this, because he was sleeping and I never knew that this would be our last goodbye and my final kiss before he left for Heaven.

Luke had told me the day before that he had the sniffles, but none of us thought anything of it. He got up that morning after we left and went off to work and worked a full day. Luke was working a new job as a real estate leasing agent. He was really excited at work because his new business cards had come in that day and because he had just closed a big real estate deal.

He called his sister everyday at 12:30 to say hey and see how she was doing. She always waited for his call. He called that day too. After work he went home to shower and change because that night he was meeting his friends at the sports bar to watch a pro basketball game on TV. He even had a $10 bet on the game. He called his friend at 7 p.m. to tell him he would be there soon. It was just a very normal day.

Luke never showed up at the sports bar and his friend tried to call him but didn't get an answer. We had also been trying to reach him to see how his day at work went. He never answered the phone at home or his cell phone. We didn't think much of it because Luke was always forgetting to charge his cell phone and the house had a cordless phone so we just assumed that Luke had also let that battery run down on it too. We never talked to him that night and this was unusual, because we always talked everyday.

We went to bed that night at the cabin and I had a dream that Luke was dying on the floor of our home. He was saying "Help me Mom, help me." I woke up, sat straight up in the bed, looked at the clock, it was 3:30 a.m. I thought, what a terrible nightmare. I dared not call Luke at 3:30 a.m., he would have thought I had lost my mind. So the next morning we tried to reach him but we got no answer, and assumed he was just sleeping, because he was a very heavy sleeper. Later, still no answer, and then I KNEW, WITHOUT A DOUBT, THAT LUKE WAS DEAD. I told my husband, "I think Luke is dead". He looked at me and said "what's the matter with you, why would you say such a thing". I said "I don't know, I just know that Luke is dead." I still don't know why or how I knew, but I KNEW!!!

We started our drive home. In the meantime we asked Emily to go home to check on Luke. When she arrived at the house she called and told us that Luke's car was there, so we all knew something terrible was wrong. She would not go in because she feared the outcome and because I told her that she shouldn't go in. She called a friend to go in.

Luke was found on the floor of his room, having been dead for about 18 hours (the exact time of my dream). There was no evidence of why he died. He was just dead, leaning up against the side of his bed, like he was sleeping. There was no sign of a struggle and he looked as though he died without pain. There were no drugs, no weapons, no apparent injuries, no blood, or anything to tell us why he had died. After the coroner left with Luke we turned the house upside down trying to find a reason why he died. We went through the garbage, through his clothing, through the cabinets, through the refrigerator, and through every possible thing in that house. We FOUND NOTHING, but shattered dreams.

It was six horrible weeks before we received the autopsy report from the coroners office that stated "Lucas Christopher Ross died of natural cause on April 3, 2001 from Acute Bronchopneumonia".

Easter arrived, but not before..... the night the angels came.

© 2014 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001






FOREVER LIVING IN THE PAST

Tears fall and the sweet memories of Luke,
Flood through my consciousness so fast.
Just memories remain so I begin,
FOREVER LIVING IN THE PAST.

Our desperate search for Luke has ended,
He is in his room all alone.
We are speeding along so anxiously,
Trying so hard to get back home.

We seem to move down the road so slowly,
Through the warm and stale April night.
I hear only the hum of tires and stare,
Straight ahead at the red taillights.

The scene grips my soul as we park the car,
Home sweet home as never before,
The eerie shadows of bright flashing lights,
Police tape across the front door.

We want to go inside and see our son,
We're not allowed is what we are told.
We wait forever in the heat outside,
Although the desert seems so cold.

Murmurs and voices are muffled and drift,
Across the still dark desert air.
The hours of endless waiting linger,
As I go to my God in prayer.

I ache in the dark and lonely silence,
As I shed my own private tears.
While in my suffering mind I relive,
All of those fond wonderful years.

I finally enter the house alone,
My footsteps stop cold at his door.
My heart is heavy with sadness and pride,
I want to hold him just once more.

Luke's Dad joins me and together we stand,
Holding on to each other’s clutch.
We can only gaze in dull disbelief,
Because we're not allowed to touch.

Outside his only sister cries: "No Luke!"
As it echoes throughout the night.
I painfully watch the coroners van,
Until it is out of my sight.

We enter our home once again and search,
For answers of what took his life.
Nothing is found but shattered hopes and dreams,
Stabbing through our hearts like a knife.

Somehow morning arrives and seems to move,
At an unexplainable pace.
Suspended we make unbearable plans,
That time will not ever erase.

Oh my God! I just can not believe it,
Twenty-one years old and he's dead.
Numbness absorbs me and everything feels,
So misplaced in my mixed up head.

The autopsy is done and finally,
I touch his soft beautiful skin.
Within my chest is a horrible pain,
Because of the absence of him.

Final good-byes before his cremation,
We give him an eternal kiss.
Once more I ask God to please bring him back,
This is my last and only wish.

But my only wish is never granted,
Once again he's warm in my lap.
He's back home again but only ashes,
Oh when I will wake from this nap.

Family members arrive for his service,
They all come from so far away.
To honor our Lucas Christopher Ross,
On this his everlasting day.

We are gathered with loved ones and flowers,
Within a never yearned for place.
There are hugs and precious words of comfort,
As tears stream down each saddened face.

Now solemnly his friends fill the chapel,
As they each enter one by one.
Words and music then the service concludes,
The emptiness has just begun.

After endless weeks of waiting to know,
We get an answer to our why,
Pneumonia crept in and left him to stay,
All alone in his room to die.

Our little family is not apart,
In some strange unusual way.
We share Luke's imperishable spirit,
Each day after day after day.

Our love, dreams and unfading memories,
Still make us cry and make us laugh.
And the FOUR of us spend a lot of time,
FOREVER LIVING IN THE PAST.



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




ANGEL

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that would make it okay
There's always some reason to feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction, a beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
Let me be empty, oh and weightless, and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of the angel, fly away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here

So tired of this straight line, and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack

It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

You're in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here


~ WORDS AND MUSIC BY: Sarah McLachlan














SEE OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES

(no more names can be added)



PAGE 01 ~ POETRY, STORIES, QUOTES, PAINTINGS, AND MORE



PAGE 02 ~ OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES ~ BABIES AND CHILDREN



PAGE 03 ~ OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES ~ TEENAGERS



PAGE 04 ~ OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES ~ TWENTIES



PAGE 05 ~ OUR CHILDREN'S NAMES ~ THIRTY AND OLDER










"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:
PEACEFUL MORNING