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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Monday, January 19, 2015
I can still see him standing at the top of the carpeted stairs in our Illinois house in his Blues Clues shirt, the two-tone green with the collar. The stairs had a railing on the right side but on the left were dirty smudges where the kids would put their hands to steady themselves as they climbed. At the time I didn’t like the smudges. I think we painted over them before we sold the house. Now the smudges don’t bother me.

In a chapter in a book I wrote about our family, At the Corner of Mundane and Grace, I told his story and tried to capture the essence of this little guy we called “Beast Boy.” He was rambunctious, full of energy, and had a mind that always seemed to be on-duty.

I was going to the mailbox one day when he saw me putting on my shoes. A little voice that was just learning to talk said, “Ki go?”

Later that day I was going to retrieve his big brother from soccer practice. I yelled to anyone who would listen that I would be right back. This time bouncing at the top of the stairs and a wide grin and two big, brown eyes.
“Ki go?”

Of course he was asking, “Can I go,” in his two-year old shorthand. I wrote, “The first time he said it, it took me a few moments to understand. Now I expect the words any time I’m going away.”

That was in 1998. Fast forward to 2015. January. Shortly after Christmas Reagan was accepted at his college of choice, a small, liberal arts school that teaches in a somewhat unorthodox method. Their classes are discussion based and take students through the most important books in every field of study. Andrea had heard of this college when she attended the University of Virginia and it seemed like the perfect fit for Reagan. We crunched the numbers, made an appeal, and figured out a way for him to go for at least one year.



With the sun setting in our rearview, Reagan and I drove seven hours (he drove all the way because it would be his last time in his beloved car) and registered. We spent the day moving into the dorm, going on a tour of the campus and in various meetings. Later that night we drove to his favorite restaurant and had dinner. Throughout the weekend I had a sense of mission. We looked for a warm coat that would fit the climate. We bought sheets and a blanket and bottled water and floss.



But with every check on the “to-do” list, I knew something was coming to an end. On Saturday I knew it was time to leave. We sat the coffee shop and talked about his upcoming classes and where he would spend most of his time, the cuisine in the cafeteria. He told me what the semester ahead held, the books and courses. The invigoration of higher learning was compelling. Just walking through the bookstore made me want to camp out and read until my eyes bled.



As much as I wanted to stay, I knew I needed to leave. I wanted to go with him, to search the library and tag along and explore his vantage point of the world. But there are some places you cannot go with your son.

Before I left we took one last picture. I fumbled with the camera to get it to turn around for the selfie.
“Here, let me take it,” he said, taking the phone from me.
We hugged. He walked into his dorm. And I could still see him standing there at the top of the carpeted stairs in his Blues Clues shirt. Maybe there was some part of him asking if he could go with me. Maybe there was some part of me asking if I could go with him.

1 comments:

bemodude63 said...

Dear Chris,
Reading your blog on taking the seven hour road trip with your son to begin his freshman year at college stirred a veritable potpourri of emotions within me. As a dad to an eighteen year old high school senior with a driving learner's permit (not to mention the fact that he's an only child), I can see the handwriting on the wall. It's bittersweet, and there's a part of me that wishes that I could stop the clock., and "savor the now". Don’t get me wrong; I'm glad to see him mature and develop, and start to "spread his wings" more and more, but it seems to be happening so fast!
Frequently I get those same flashbacks to when he was barely more than a toddler, with his "Blue's Clues doggie", and his, "handy-dandy notebook", and I find myself shedding a sentimental tear. The rush of emotion can be so powerfully poingient that it throws me for a loop.