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EASTER MEMORIES

Music Playing: EASTER ANTHEM







2001



IN MEMORY OF LUKE

Sometimes people come into your life
and you know right away
that they were meant to be there,
to serve some sort of purpose,
teach you a lesson,
or to help you figure out who you are
or who you want to become.
You never know who these people may be,
but when you lock eyes with them,
you know at that very moment
they will affect your life
in some profound way.
Luke was one of those people to many and
remains that kind of spirit to all.
He made his journey in the Spring of 2001.








2002



IN MEMORY OF LUKE

He is all around us.
He is in the light of the moon,
in the laaughter of a child,
and in the private songs our heart sings.








2003



IF ONLY OUR CHILDREN WERE EASTER EGGS

(these eggs were decorated by Emily and Luke when they were children)




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
Spring 2009, volume 24 No. 1
Bereavement Publications, Inc.









2004



HIS GARDEN

Come to his garden.....
Where a stone bears his name
To honor his life
And love that remains.

In this solemn place
My memories grow
Into beautiful blossoms
From grief that I know.

Watered by tears
From my sorrowful eyes.
Warmed by my breath
From my mournful cries.

Where seedlings of sorrow
And roots of belief
And sprouts of remembrance
Bring flowers of grief.

Where candles are lit
And balloons are released,
In a place where I search
For some sort of peace.

The flicker reminds me
His light always shines
And I'll see him again
In some other time.

I watch the balloons
Drift up to the sky.
As he reaches out
As I wave goodbye.

Where butterflies scamper
And doves soar above
And I always remember
His undying love.

The butterflies tell me
His soul's been reborn.
That his sweet life continues
Although I still mourn.

The dove's graceful spirit
Floats through the air
On the wings of my hope,
On the wings of despair.

So come to his garden.....
Where my memories bloom.
Where he's never forgotten
And I'll see him real soon.

© 2013 - Christine Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross
1979 - 2001








2005

WHERE IS PETER COTTONTAIL?

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
~ In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001








2006

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








2007

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









2008


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.








2009


DIFFERENT COLOR

Everything's a different color,
It has a different glow,
It's something I don't understand,
But something that I know.

The walls within the canyon
All have a different hue,
As if the color faded,
When I said goodbye to you.

The sky above has changed somehow
It has a different shade,
Vividness began to dim,
The day you went away.

Everything's a different color,
It has a different tint,
I somehow lost the blush of life,
And still wonder where you went.
© 2005 - Christine Ross

2009 EASTER GIFTS FOR LUKE








2010


SOMETIMES

Sometimes in the early morning.....
When the sun is just beginning to peek over the mountains
I see a glimpse of you as the light fills my tearful eyes.

Sometimes in the midday.....
When the rain is just beginning to sprinkle down from the sky
I savor a taste of you as the drops flood my quivering lips.

Sometimes in the afternoon.....
When the the breeze is just beginning to blow through the trees
I smell the scent of you as the wind engulfs my lonely soul.

Sometimes in the evening.....
When the stars are just beginning to twinkle in the sky
I feel a touch of you as the darkness shadows my broken heart.

Sometimes in the night.....
When the sounds are just beginning to fade from the earth
I hear a whisper of you as the silence quiets my troubled mind.

Sometimes I know you are here
Sometimes.....

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








2011

I MISS HIM ALWAYS

I miss him as dawn is beginning to break,
When I awake to another day
And his memory is gently on my mind.

I miss him in the early morning breeze
When I catch a scent of pine trees
And breath in all the feelings that scent evokes.

I miss him in the mid day sunshine
When I see brightness all around me
And I smile remembering all of our times together.

I miss him in the afternoon quietness
When I hear a faint echo of laughter
And I laugh out loud just imagining it is him.

I miss him as the sun is beginning to set
When I feel the warmth that it provides
And I can feel the touch of his hug in that warmth.

I miss him at the close of the day
When the stars appear in the night sky
And I wonder how long it will be until I see him again.

I miss him in the middle of the night
When I awake from a dream of him
And I long to go back to sleep to dream of him once more.

I miss him as dawn is beginning to break,
When I awake to another day
And his memory is gently on my mind.

I miss him always.....

© 2011 - Christine Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001










2012

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



2012 EASTER GIFTS FOR LUKE





2013

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

LUKE'S EASTER BASKET

2013 EASTER GIFTS FOR LUKE






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2014

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 him. When she arrived at the house she called and told us the 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 - 2002






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're 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 otherís 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

EMPTY EASTER

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

Just an empty Easter basket
Filled with thoughts and hidden sounds.
Like the colored eggs of yesterday
Waiting to be found.

© 2014 - Christine Ross

2014 EASTER GIFTS FOR LUKE




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