Chandler’s room is now a guest room. It is still Chandler’s room. I don’t know if we will call it that forever. But for now, it just does not feel right to call it the guest room. Chandler is supposed to be in there. Surrounded by his music festival clothes, his dirty dishes, his sleeping mats for when friends sleep over, his broken skateboards…all his stuff.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It was a hot mess, that room of his. I would give anything…literally anything…to open his door and see a petrified plate of nachos on the floor and a new music festival t-shirt on top of his dirty clothes pile.
How can I even say how much I miss him? He is part of me. I carried him for over nine months because, like most of my kids, he didn’t want to come out on time. His sweet face when he entered my world. The dimples that emerged. His little hand in mine. Countless trips to try out the newest skate or BMX parks…and the closest emergency rooms.
My other kids say that Chandler could get away with anything. It’s pretty much true. There was a childish innocence about him even in his mischief.
My lifelong friend Carole was the first person to stay in Chandler’s room since January, after it had been cleaned out. Yesterday, another lifelong friend, Pastor Bob Willis who so beautifully officiated Chandler’s memorial service, was the first to sleep in Chandler’s room since we got a comfy sectional queen fold out sofa a couple of weeks ago. This means we actually, for the first time in Espinoza history, have a designated space for our guests. I know Chandler is happy to welcome Pastor Bob, and tomorrow his wife MaryEllen, to his room.
To decorate Chandler’s room, we used the Dallas Cowboys jersey his Board & Brew friends had made for him along with several pictures my friend Stephanie had blown up for Chandler’s memorial. A few of Chandler’s favorite things — golf, dancing, skateboarding, biking, the beach, and hiking.
A focal point of the room is one of Chandler’s prized possessions — his orange lungi, a type of sarong that he got when he was in India. His friends joke about how Chandler just didn’t give a rip what anyone thought. He would show up wearing his lungi because it was “comfortable.” I love Chandler’s free spirit, his joie de vivre.
Chandler, honey, I love that your room is now a welcoming, comfortable space for friends and family. I think you like that too. But I would give anything on earth to have you back in there with your hot mess. May your enthusiasm for adventure and your care for people infuse themselves into every single person who ever stays in your room. I miss you so much, my Chandler Man.