Walking For Cailean Walker…

May 15th, 2005 Posted in Free Form, Pictures | Comments Off

Yesterday, a group 27 strong plus one with a broken foot cooking at home participated in NAMI Walks for the Minds of America. Our team Walking for Cailean Walker raised over $2400 in donations. I have a bunch of more pics and people that I’d like to thank and will put up here this week, but I figured I’d get the group photo up here now.

Putnam County News Ad

May 15th, 2005 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

May 12th, 2005 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

I can?t beleive its already been 1 year. Where has the time gone? It seems like the other day we were still hanging out, listening to you play the guitar at the highlands country club. Not a single day or minute goes by without you in my head and heart. We miss your smile and the way you would make us all laugh. You are always a great freind, we love you and miss you


May 12th, 2005 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

Thoughts of Cailean weigh heavy on all of our heads today. I think about the person he was and could have become. I watched him grow up for almost 18 years and he never ceased to amaze me. Even in his death I continue to be amazed by the impact he has. I cherish every moment I had with him from the days when he was just a baby to hold and love, to a toddler that would beg me to sleep in his room every night, to a friend to go outside and play with, to a musician that loved to perform,, to a brother that I could talk to all night and lean on, to an uncle with so much love in his heart. He was my baby brother and I always tried to help him grow up because he was younger and I was the bigger sister, but it worked both ways. He helped me become who I am today and he will always be a part of me and everyone else’s lives he touched. He was a smile and still is even when the tears are falling down my face.

Our Very Sad Anniversary

May 11th, 2005 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

This is our very sad anniversary. In a way, it seems like I just saw Cailean last week and sometimes it feels like so many years. Nevertheless, I feel that he is still always with me. Thanks to Brittany, I will wear his birthstone every day for the rest of my life. Thanks to Mariel and Matt, I visit this website almost daily. Thanks to John, I constantly see the image and potential of his son. Finally, thanks to Dexter, I see the hope for a better future. To those of you who come to this site to read or write about Cailean, please know that what Cailean meant to you, you also meant to him. He had a real appreciation and love for family and friends. Thank you for being part of his life.

There is one incident from the past year that gives me comfort and assures me that Cailean is still with and watching over us. It goes back to last October when John and I were driving down to Pennsylvania to visit some good friends. Brittany called us to relate an unusual event- she and Pam were in the kitchen of their apartment when all of a sudden the stereo went on in their living room. Lo and behold, “Yellow”, a Coldplay song came on. This was the song that always reminded Brittany of her brother. I told her that it was a sign from Cailean. A few days later I related this story to a very good friend while we were on a walk, adding that I wished that Cailean would also send me a sign. ( To regress, I must now also add that last June some of my very good friends from college gave us a birdbath with a beautiful floral planter in honor of Cailean’ s memory. We eventually placed this in front of Cailean’s bedroom window with plans to place seasonal plants etc. on it.) In September I set a small pumpkin and some purple mums on it. When I returned from our walk that day I noticed that the pumpkin was gone – and no sign of it remained anywhere. Somehow I have to believe that Cailean heard my plea and responded. It comes full circle – “Yellow” is about stars- Mariel purchased a star for Cailean this past Christmas and “Yellow ” was the song dedicated to Cailean during the Heart and Soul Talent Show in April.

Thank you all for helping us get through this past year. You will never know how much your prayers, kind thoughts, concern, hugs, smiles etc. meant to us. I think Cailean (whom we miss more and more each day) would join us in these thoughts. Love, Maureen


May 10th, 2005 Posted in Family Posted, Free Form | Comments Off

Thursday May 12 will mark the first anniversary of Cailean’s death. I wanted to share a few things concerning him that hopefully illustrate why he was such a special person.

Several years ago, Brittany used to rent an apartment in West Newton, Massachusetts. We stayed there overnight many times. The house was situated on a very unusual street near a public park and many if not all of the residents were Sicilian/ Italian immigrants. The street was suburban in setting but was more like something from Little Italy 75 years ago. There were chickens walking around on their own and every house seemingly had serious vegetable gardens in back. Everybody paid very close attention from their windows to any outsiders who came and went, including us. One time there was a large party in the backyard of Brittany’s house with many local friends and relatives as we got out of our car. Cailean had on his beloved Celtic jersey. We started walking to the stairwell up to the apartment. Several teenagers were there. Cailean walked over and gave a serious handshake/hello to the closest one with a big smile on his face. He said “hey, how’s it going.” Without introduction or provocation, he had made a new friend in Boston. He was probably 15 years old.

Over the last few years, many people have asked me whether I played an instrument or wrote songs because of my devotion to music. I often said that Cailean was my music maker given his talent and dedication to the guitar and songwriting. One of the many painful aspects of his passing is the unfinished business regarding his musical aspirations. I think he would have been a gifted songwriter because he seemed to have a natural way of devising his lyrics which was economical and devoid of pretense. I remember when he got his first guitar and the many lessons and his joy and public acclaim when he played 2 songs at his 8th grade graduation. Several years before the guitar, he got a small drumset. He played it endlessly, including one time when he even played a song on our dog Susie’s head. She seemed to like it. I remember another time when I had just bought 2 Beatle albums which had never been on cd before. Maureen and I were listening in the kitchen on my brand new stereo. Ringo was playing drums on a particular song but it was unlike my memories from the vinyl album many years before. At first I thought the stereo or the cd was broken or flawed. Then I found him in the tv room practicing on his drumkit and overshadowing my friend Ringo.
Later, Cailean would get several acoustic and electric guitars and a serious electric keyboard and a mandalin and harmonica. All are now silent. His room is filled with hundreds of his cds and his musical posters and numerous books about the guitar, etc. He was fortunate to have attended many many concerts both with and without his parents and sisters. He wrote dozens of songs and poems and recorded about 9 cds worth of material, some of which he compiled on his own cd which he hoped could be marketed to a record company. Two years ago, I told him that I was going to ask John Inmon if he would give Cailean a week of guitar lessons in Austin Texas. John is one of my heroes and was a member of the legendary Lost Gonzo Band which backed Jerry Jeff Walker and then later Ray Wylie Hubbard. John is a very sweet guy and a great guitarist to boot. Cailean thought I was kidding but I meant every word of my promise. After all, shouldn’t a Lost Gonzo be the one to give guitar lessons to a wonderful kid from New York whose middle name Walker was chosen in honor of Jerry Jeff ? Besides, John had lost his own son Kenny and I think he and Cailean would have been great together

I also remember a weekday morning when Cailean was about 8 or 9 years old. I was walking out to door to go to work. He ran up and excitedly said that he was going to the Dutchess County Fair and he needed $10. for the trip. I reached in my pockets for the money. He then said not to worry because if I didnt have a ten dollar bill- he would take a twenty- with the biggest smile possible. He didn’t know that I would have given everything I owned then or now to see that smile again. Thanks for blessing our lives Cailean Walker. love, Dad.