Eulogy by Sergio Restaino (Dad)
Christopher Michael Restaino:
Chris was only 19 when he left us. In such little time he did an amazing number of things to make him everlasting in my heart. Most of his things were great and I’ll miss incredibly all the crazy, funny silly and annoying stuff that he did. How can you recap 19 years in few words…. I’ll try to share few things with all of you to let you understand what kind of person was my son in my own eyes. My SON, what a simple wonderful word.
Things started when he was 18 months old. That’s when we met and I entered his life. He called me “GIOGIO”! I was charmed by this little bundle of joy with such a heroic will for life even though, he had to take a shot of medication every day since his birth. And then soon after I became “daddy”. Our life together had started. How many wonderful, scary, and amazing things that happened in the following 17 years. What can I say? I remember that time that we were in Maui and I was teaching Chris to snorkel, he was 8 then, and I saw something interesting 10 feet down and I dove to check it out. I forgot to tell Chris not to follow me; we had not covered diving yet. But he had immense trust in his daddy, so he followed, and kept breathing normally…I had to rescue him. He went straight back to do more snorkeling and learn more. He developed a love for the ocean similar to mine. One of his greatest regrets was when he was denied a SCUBA certification for medical reasons.
He really wanted to go SCUBA-diving with me.
Experiences kept multiplying, we joined Scouts together (mostly at the insistence of Michelle). Our greatest adventure together had started! I can only share two episodes. The first, had to do with a famous back-packing trek in the Pecos wilderness, it was Chris’ first back-packing trip. The trip became a rescue trip for one of the scouts that became ill. Chris, with all the other scouts went down with Mr. Pants, to alert the emergency services. I stayed with the adults to carry our make-shift litter for 9 miles in hard mountain terrain. When we got at the trail head we were exhausted, I did not have an once of energy left, I was dragging myself toward our group when Chris, only 11 years old then, met me with a cup of hot soup that the scouts had prepared for us. No one word was exchanged between the two of us, there was no need!
And then at age 13 Chris and I went down the Grand Canyon for the first time. He was a little scrawny boy that could barely carry is back pack. We went down Tanner Trail (who has ever been down Tanner knows what I’m talking about). We came out three days later during a snow storm. Our pictures on the rim of the Canyon before and after the hike are among my most precious possessions.
He finally got his Eagle. How proud I was that Day. I may seem very biased
towards scouting events, I am! I bless the day that Michelle made me join the
program that would give me among the most precious moments with my sons. Of
course I can recall millions of other episodes, even the most insignificant ones
now appear to have a special meaning to me. Chris and I have not always seen
eye-to eye, any father here will understand what I mean. Many times I felt that
I should strangle him, because he was slacking off in school or whatever.
However, even during our most trying moments my love for him was there. He is a
major reason of what and who I am now. He has touched my life in so many ways
and through him I have met so many people that have become extremely important
in my life.
I always imagined myself taking his children hiking and fishing; that’s something that I will not be able to do. I am immensely sad for this. However, I cherish all the moments that I got to share with Chris. Thank you Chris, I LOVE YOU!