Thanksgiving, 2005

Nov 19th, 2005 Posted in Family Posted | 1 Comment »

It has been many months since I have written on this site; however, I probably visit it almost daily. Cailean continues to be the first and last thought of each day as well as most moments in between. And that is the way it should be. The hardest moments are those I experience when I have the occasional dream in which Cailean is alive and well and laughing and giving joy to all. And then reality hits and I have to get through another day with just his memory. There are so many reminders, sentimental, some even silly, but all heart wrenching, of how he enriched our lives. The numbness is somehow wearing off, the finality is setting in, we are trying to be stoic?.

That leads me to what I would like to write about today. November is the month in which we give thanks; I would like to use this opportunity to express gratitude to family, friends, and even a few strangers, whose kindnesses have helped us over the past few months:
? to those who sent cards, flowers, telephone messages, and heartwarming wishes on May 12th, our saddest of anniversaries
? to those who joined us on the NAMI Walk up in Boston on May 14th. We had been overwhelmed by the wonderful response to the Sharing Sheeran CD and the Heart and Show Talent and really did not publicize this benefit locally. I will never, ever, forget receiving the message that some of Cailean?s friends had heard about the event and were planning on traveling up to Boston very early that Saturday morning to join us in the walk.
? to Mariel, who organized the event (and received several awards for our group?s efforts), Matt, and Dexter for hosting the after walk barbeque, etc.
? to Brittany and Pam for their hospitality that weekend as well
? to those who joined us for the event ? Betsy, Charlie, Kristin, Kaitlin, Carissa, Tyler, Justin, Becca, Bernadette, Jen, Raquel, Pam, Christine, John B., and Cailean?s friends – Alex, Bobby, Travis, Cathy, Rebecca, Aileen, Brittany O., Kay, Richie, ?? and to those who wanted to be there but could not.
? to the eighth graders of Garrison School who dedicated their 2005 yearbook to me. As I told them, I believe Cailean would have been very proud.
? to those who have sent in, and continue to send in, donations for the Sharing Sheeran CD. Dr. Fallon is amazed at the legacy Cailean left and at the outpouring of kind thoughts and donations he has received from all.
? to Father Shane of St Mary?s Episcopal Church in the Highlands for somehow allowing a cross with Cailean?s name to be placed among all those for war veterans on the lawn of his church the week of Memorial Day. (I think our son would have laughed at the irony of this, but I have to also add that, in his own way, he fought valiantly but lost his battle in a terrible war against Neurological Lyme disease.) Also, thanks to Father Shane, for including Cailean in the November 6th Remembrance Service at St. Mary?s. When his picture was shown on a large screen during the service, at first I could only think of how beautiful he looked. (Yes, I will again mention how his art teacher once described him as the Gwyneth Paltrow of boys/men.)
? to Cathy, Alex, and Ryan who remembered Cailean and us when they attended a Dave Matthews concert on Randall?s Island. They spoke to Mike Doughty who was the opening act for the DMB. Cailean really appreciated Mike and his earlier band, Soul Coughing. Mike autographed several items for us. Coincidentally, he was a performer at the Austin City Limits Festival we attended in Austin in September. While I was not able to hear him sing, I did buy (and really enjoy) his CD in Cailean?s honor. (I did get a chance to see the Coldplay concert – I was touched by the singing of ?Yellow?, the song dedicated to our son at the April Heart and Soul Talent Show, and how much Cailean did look like Chris Martin).

A look ahead to the future – there will be another NAMI Walk up in Boston on May 6, 2006. There are also plans underway for a bicycle trip in the spring to raise money in Cailean?s honor for Neurological Lyme disease.

I think John, in ?My Austin Texas Buddy?, rather eloquently expressed what we continue to experience ? the sad task of having to live with only memories of our son. The trip to Texas was just full of remembrances – mine a bit different than his- picturing Cailean sitting on the deck of the Oasis, standing in front of The County Line next to a large cutout of John Wayne, having fun in the pool and hot tub at the hotel, enjoying the breakfast buffet, making numerous trips to the music and guitar stores, playing miniature golf, enjoying his king size bed ?.Memories of so many happier times are what we are left with now, although we have to believe that Cailean?s spirit is still with us and we will see him again – that is the only thing that is getting us through.

We just learned that a very good friend, John Moore, died suddenly in his sleep on November 17. We had just spent a wonderful family and business weekend with him up in Boston – in a way, it?s a bit consoling to know that he had such a good and happy last weekend. My last memory of him was at a cocktail reception at Clery?s ?he looked so happy and pleased with the event. John Moore had been to Austin a couple of times with John. My first experience with John Moore in Austin was this past March ? I can still remember our pedi-cab race back to our hotel and how he thrived on the music and culture of the city. Now, there are two Austin Texas Buddies up in heaven and I can only hope that they are comparing notes.

Thanks to you all for continuing to join us in honoring Cailean?s memory. Please plan on joining us in next May?s NAMI Walk and/or, hopefully, the bicycle ride.

Love to all, Maureen

NAMI Walkers and Donators

Nov 11th, 2005 Posted in Free Form | No Comments »

On Oct. 15th I attended the NAMI-MA Convention. Its an annual event they hold in an effort to keep the public informed about mental health issues. Our team ‘Walking for Cailean Walker’ was named the ‘Team of 2005′ and I was given the ‘Captain of 2005′ award. Both last year’s and this year’s walk organizers were touched by our team’s story and all the support.

NAMI has announced the date for the 2006 walk and I have started our team page for those who would like to sign up. I’ll pass on more details as the date gets closer.


Walk site: NAMI Massachusetts
Location: Artisani Park, Brighton (Boston)
Boston, MA
Date: 5/6/06
Check in: 9:00 am
Start time: 11:00 am
Team: Walking for Cailean Walker
NAMI Affiliate: NAMI Massachusetts

Thanks again to all the walkers and donators who helped make this year’s walk special for all of us.