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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Counting One's Blessings

Going through albums filled with so many memories

This time of year is one for reflection, that is most assuredly true. We all do it. Look back at the year that has passed, perhaps a look back at our years leading up to the current one. What have we experienced. What has shaped who we are, and what we most certainly would like to change if we had a chance..sometimes we do. It is also a time to count blessings, big and often we forget to do so, and to appreciate them. Today was a day I was counting mine ten fold.

I found out today that a very special person passed. His name was Darin. He went to be with God (I know that he believed)on Christmas Day. I knew he was to have heart surgery on this past Friday, but with the holiday had not been on Facebook much, and I had missed that sadly he did not make it. A rush of emotions ran through me, first at his loss, then for the loss of his presence to his wife Carrie and their teen triplets. I had only met Carrie only two or three times in person, the last was when we first moved back to California, when I also met the children for the first time. Carrie was always so very kind to me online, and nearly always could look forward to a Christmas card each year. I chatted with her more than Darin over the years, odd since he was my ex-boyfriend from when I was in High School. But there was occasions when he would post a hello on FB ; supporting us during the rough times, as did Carrie. I shook my head, saddened that they live so close and yet life, and my health or theirs, among other circumstances made for more of a distance than just miles.  

I met Darin the summer between my junior and senior year in High School. I was between boyfriends, and my friends talked me into going to a local club for teen night. Darin was there from out of town, his family and friends were camping at a local camp ground near the beach close to where I lived. He asked me to dance. He was a football player, and was muscular, tan, and had a mop of curly hair and a winning smile, so I said yes. He had a small town charm and we hit it off right away. When the evening came to an end, he and his friends were unsure how to get back to the coast from the club that was about 20 minutes away. I offered to let them follow me back. That was the start of our relationship. 

I spent every day with Darin, his friends and his family welcoming me to the fold. I showed them around and we even celebrated my 17th birthday together. I was head over heels. When he was not in town, we would talk on the phone all the time and soon, we were promised to each other. He worked hard in oil fields to buy me a ring. He traveled out to see me on occasion, as he lived a couple hours away, he had school and work, it was not often enough and soon, just as it does now, a short (in the scheme of things) distance became one of not just miles. I returned his ring, but he would always have a small part of my heart, and I his. 

As time passed I met my now husband not even a year later and well that was of course nearly 28 years ago! Through the years as I mentioned he and his wife kept in contact and were the welcoming comity to our now town of residence, as they are just a few towns over. I never thought that he would pass at the age of 44. Darin and his wife did not have an easy time of it, seemed between her bad health, and the economy and trying to raise three kids, they were always just barely making it...just when they would get a foothold, something would happen. I do not think they saw this least not soon enough.

 Darin worked hard, often a couple jobs at a time. Carrie did what she could to help, and still raise the children. Darin had a huge heart, a tender soul and even as life took it's toll I could see the same charming smile, and the twinkle in his eye come through in photos that were posted to Facebook. I shall always imagine Darin the way he was so many years ago when we were both still so very young and so very optimistic of what life would hold for us. I shall also always count my blessings for he was definitely one of them. 

Darin Wagner April 4, 1967- December 25, 2011

***If you would like to donate support to his family, please email me and I shall give you their info. They are in great need and anything would be appreciated and a blessing. 


  1. La Provence RosevilleDecember 29, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Wonderful post, and sending lots of love to Darin's family. May they heal from their loss in due time, letting the pain make way for the joy of the good memories and the love they found in one another.

  2. I'm so sorry about your friend Ruby honey. Prayers to you and his family. Kori xoxo

  3. Stephanie, I don't know what to say... you're words brought me to tears. And yes, Darin still considered you a treasured friend ... this is obviously why. I feel very blessed to count you among my friends even if the circumstances were rather strange.... :) I sincerely hope that we continue to stay in touch & that we can share our memories of Darin. Thank you so much ... your words mean more than you know .... Carrie

  4. Hi Ruby,
    My prayers are with your dear friends. So sorry to hear such sad news. We truly have to look at each day as a blessing and be thankful for each day God gives to us.

    Dee xoxo

  5. This has been a tough Christmas for mixed sorrows and joys. I'm so sorry about your friend, Darin. I, too, believe he's with God and just waiting to greet you. I've been busy with getting orders out and have missed visiting you but wanted to wish you a Happy and Properous New Year filled with treasured moments.


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