We welcome you to the ABCandME family and our journey
Imagine if you can, the heartache and pain of being separated from your children and loved ones for over 5 years. When men and women join the Armed Forces or become First Responders, they knowingly volunteer to be away from their loved ones for that period of time over a long career of deployments and duty standing. But this population of mothers, fathers, and families are not the only ones separated from their children, there are also: traveling business people, divorced families, grandparents, and especially parents of a child who’s isolated from their family in a children’s hospital undergoing cancer treatment. In those lost years people miss birthdays, school plays, skinned knees, kids first love, emergency room visits, weddings, and hundreds of other life events. While a person who makes these sacrifices for their family, community and country can’t make up those lost years and experiences, they can find ways to lessen the heartache of separation from their children and loved ones.
I personally know the pain of continually being separated from my loved ones as I was one of the millions of Armed Forces volunteers who sacrificed years of family time for our nation and its security. I was a Program Manager and Chief Warrant Officer 4 flying with the U.S. Coast Guard for 26 years, deploying to remote areas of our planet and flying during critical missions during Desert Storm.
My experiences of separation from my family were no different than what many other separated service members families experience. There were tears of saying goodbye in the cold rain, tears of missing the kid's first steps and then tears of joy upon returning to their open arms. Before my wife Megan and I had children I knew I needed to have some way of communicating my love for them even though I couldn’t always be there with them. I called this Being there, without Being there. One simple thing I did to show my daughters, Christie and Alison how much I loved and missed them every day as I wrote them their own bedtime songs, which we sang together each night-whether deployed or at home. These songs were beautiful melodies and lullabies sung every night, overflowing with all the love my heart could give! The first song was written the morning Christie was born and spoke of the love I had in my heart for my first daughter. It’s called “Sweet Little Child Of Mine”. The second song was again a melody and lullaby, but this time it told a different, but just as lovely a story. It’s called “When You And I Are Fast Asleep” and tells the story of a Gentle Little Spirit who comes to wash the world every night, combs the grasses hair, paints the sky with a new coat, gathers the old day up and brings out the new day for us all.
Megan and I spoke continually for over 20 years about finding a way to provide the songs and illustrated books to other families separated by deployments and long distances. We talked about starting a company that focused on easing the pain others were experiencing, just as we were able to do every night. Megan my beautiful wife of 25 years unfortunately passed from this earth on May 2nd, 2017 and was not able to see our dreams come true. Even though Megan may be gone, we know she is with us every day, watching over us and making this project come to fruition. Our company, appropriately named ABCandME, standing for (Alison Brad Christie and Megan Elizabeth) is in place to provide our songs, ebooks with embedded songs, physical hardcover books, coloring books, posters and eventually children’s quilts with the entire set of book illustrations printed onto the quilting material to all families around the nation. These books and songs will now allow other families to experience the same love, connection and continuity our family has had. Christie, Alison and I would like to welcome you to the ABCandME family and our journey!
These songs and books are, and always will be, our family’s continuity and love across the many separated years and many, many miles. We’d now love to share them with you and your family to help ease the pain and heartache of your separation.
Please enjoy them as our family has for over 20 years!