I got all the Halloween decorations out of the basement last week. Then I sat down and cried. Last year Calvin was still here when I put out all the decorations. And then he wasn't here when I put them away. It's almost been a year. I really don't know how I've made it through this last year. I've tried to stay busy to keep my mind from thinking too hard. I've tried to remember all the good things. For the first six months I carried a little notebook in my purse and every time I remembered something I instantly wrote it down. If I didn't, I would forget it no matter how hard I tried. So many of them were just little things. But it's part of my memories that I've been trying to capture. I don't want to forget anything about him at all.

Last week we got pumpkins from the nursery. Both the boys picked out a good sized one to carve and then they picked one out for Calvin. As Baby said, "He's part of our family forever and ever and we can carve him a pumpkin too." Maybe we can take it over to the cemetery on Halloween. How fitting would that be? Calvin would love the irony. In fact when I had been at the store a few weeks ago I had a great idea. I decided I would decorate Calvin's grave for Halloween. So I started looking at the different decorations. There were crows, witches, skeletons, and tombstones. . .Wait. Tombstones. We just put a real headstone on his grave. I don't think that's real appropriate to decorate a real graveyard with tombstones. Calvin would love it but I just didn't think it would go over real well with the rest of the cemetery folk. So I got some fall decorations and put them out for him.

So as we get close to the year date I'm asking you to leave me memories of Calvin that you have. Email them or just leave them as comments on this blog. Please. I have so many memories of him in my life but I want more. I want memories from extended family and friends. I want memories I don't know about or just plain don't remember because my memory isn't the greatest. So please think hard and leave me a memory or two.


denverallens said...

The summer you guys visited our house, Calvin and Mac were into everything. Were they obnoxious and getting on my nerves? Of course, was is hard NOT to smile, absolutely! I guess Calvin got the great idea that they could escape during the night from Mac's bedroom window. In order to do it right they had to scope it out during the day. They needed to make sure the tree would sustain their weight. Well guess what? It didn't. It's a small Aspen tree. Shortly after the experiment they come sneaking and snickering into the house. "Aunt Jeni, do you have any bungee cords?" I asked him why, of course no honesty coming from him. "just cuz." I told him where they were in the garage and him and Mac went to get one. I didn't think a thing about it. The next time we left the house I saw my bungee cord. It was holding together my Aspen tree that wouldn't hold their weight. Ah Ha! Of course they had no idea how it broke. It wasn't until a year later that Mac told me how it happened. He confessed everything after Calvin passed. Most of it with tears. It was pretty good idea, fix the tree with a bungee, all that was missing was the duct tape!

Petit Elefant said...

I was telling you this memory when we went walking the other day:

Even when P was little and Calvin was hanging with the cool kids at church, he took time to stop and say hello to her in the hallway. It didn't elevate him to a higher social standing, he didn't get any benefit from it really, but he stopped to say hello to the new little girl anyway. Because he was just a great kid like that.

sally said...

There are so many fun and great memories of our Calvin that it's hard to pin point which one to tell.

Some of my favorites are from when Jay & I lived close to your family. I remember watching the boys a few times at my apartment in Provo. Once Calvin, Clayton, & I had a picnic in my front room on Calvin's baby blanket. We of course spilled pink kool aid on the blanket but thankfully were able to wash it to get out the pink.

I remember being in High School when Calvin was a toddler and you (Donna) helped me get ready for Junior Prom. Before I left my two girl friends came over and with Clavin all four of us were dancing. It was so much fun and I still have photos of it.

But probably my favorite memories is when Calvin played with my kids. We showed up with Bonnie and as soon as we entered the house Calvin was horsing around and making her giggle. I remember him looking at me and saying, "I'm making your little girl laugh."

Then at your graduation I was passing out baby pics of Chas. I remember he wanted one and so I let him choose which one he wanted. We later found it in his wallet after he died while we were gathering stuff for the funeral.

mommybake said...

I have to say that I love reading other peoples memories about Calvin and then it helps me rememeber more! I do have lots of my own memories, but for some reason they are so hard for me to put down into words!

He was great with all the kids! He always made my kids feel loved! He was like a big brother to Lexi and Ellen when ever we visited.

And how could forget how he could get his mom so mad! And then turn around and just smile at us!!

Or how much he loved his dog! Boomer could never do any wrong!

He had a great smile - but he sure knew how to put on the sad face too!!

He is such a loveable kid!! Always ready to give me a hug or smack my butt if I needed one:)

I think of you VERY often and miss you tons! I know that you are watching over us and giving us hugs and kisses as much as we are giving you them!! I love you!!

Urban Parks said...

Donna & Chris,

I have been thinking about this day for almost 12 months with a certain amount of dread. Even as I write this I find myself near tears and will probably be in tears before I finish.

Calvin, in all of his glory, was a representation of his mom and dad in so many ways. He had both the good traits we always wish to pass on and the traits we wish he wouldn't pick up. Yet, the good so far outweighed the bad (and that is a relative term in Calvin's case because bad is too harsh a word) or mischievous that we could not help but to love him with all our heart.

I still remember with fondness when he went to Boise with us to visit Suzanne and Sally. We were at Target and teenage Krissie was trying on school clothes. I tossed him over my shoulder (that was a while ago wasn't it) and as we walk out of the girl's clothing section with Krissie heading to the changing room he blurt's out "Krissie's getting naked!" I just know that had to come from his mother.

And yet, he cared about so many people, regardless of their age and regardless of what others thought about them.

He was, is, and always will be a great young man. He is waiting for us.


sally said...

Last night as I was falling asleep I remembered a favorite memory that just Calvin and I shared. You, Chris, Calvin, & Dee were visiting Indiana for my high school graduation. Everyone had headed out the Friday before graduation day to the Irish Lion (is that correct). I couldn't go because you had to me 21 yrs or older. So Calvin and I hung out. He was just barely talking and I asked him if he wanted to go get a kit kat. He responded with enthusiasm - Kit Kat. All the way to Target he kept repeating Kit Kat. Then as we headed home I gave him his candy. Thinking that he would gobble up the candy fast, I didn't know about kids & eating just yet. About the time we got home I looked back to see how Calvin was doing. He had chocolate everywhere. His hands, face, clothes, and I'm sure the car seat. I was very surprised but just laughed.

The memories of Calvin come at odd times and not when I want them too but when I need them.

Krissie said...

The year David was deployed, I spent halloween at your house. Calvin was dressing up as a pirate that year. He had a great costume, and I asked him if he wanted a black eye. He looked at you like I was going to punch him in the eye (not that he would have had a black eye in time) and then you looked at me like I was going to punch him. I looked at the two of you and was like...with make-up! Calvin's black eye looked great. He then ran to this one house, so he could get a dozen doughnuts. Then he shared them all with us!
The next morning I was leaving to drive back to Denver so I could fly up the next day with Jeni. I left super early, and Calvin told me when I was back up how he was sad I left without saying goodbye to him because he saw my headlights leaving your street.
He was such a sweet boy, and I still struggle missing him all the time. He was well loved and we all miss him.

Lonita said...

A couple memories from last summer when we came out to visit you...

We were going with you to one of Cole's baseball games but Calvin needed to be dropped off somewhere first. He hadn't had dinner yet, so he grabbed a plate and piled a bunch of food on it (stir-fry, I think). We took the Saturn, which had a bunch of stuff in the back seat, and Calvin somehow managed to balance on the piles with his huge plate of food. I was amazed at how gracefully he managed to exit the car, still balancing his plate of food (ok, and amazed at how he could eat that much and stay so skinny!)

That night, you helped Calvin paint his fingernails (green and blue?) for the last day of school the next day. (I think it was maybe a bet he lost?) Since we'd just found out the previous month we were expecting a boy, I remember thinking, "Wait, you have to paint fingernails when you have boys, too?"

Donna said...

Thanks everyone for the great memories. I love and will treasure each and every one of them.

Donna said...

PS. Lonita - I can't believe you're still in this crazy family after a ride in the Saturn That's always an adventure in itself.

quilts and quirks said...

My first memory of Calvin was when I came out to help for a few days after he was born. He was soft and cuddly. He seemed and was so perfect, especially being our first grandchild. He had 10 toes and 10 fingers and everything else he was supposed to have. At that time, I wasn't making quilts for our grandchildren yet. So, we went to Joann's Fabric and bought flannel. We made two blankets and we were very happy with them. I remember one was red on the back and white with dogs on the front. I think the red bleed to the front. My first experience with red and learning to not put red behind fabric with mostly white on the front. I know those blankets were used a lot. I remember the day he received his name and blessing. We went to the Hansen's across the street for a little celebration. I remember sitting for what seemed like hours holding and rocking him in the rocking chair in front of the fireplace. What enjoyment that was: Holding our first grandchild. It was a wonderful day. Several years later I made quilts for each of our grandchildren I hadn't made quilts for yet. Calvin's was a design of bottles with insects and bugs inside. I had so much fun making that quilt. We all have great memories of Calvin and he lives on in our hearts. We all love and miss him, just like you and Chris and the boys.