Even as a child, Chris Medina was "magnetic."
"He had a way of making people feel at ease," said his mother, Gloria Medina. "That's what draws people to him—his mild, calm demeanor."
Perhaps it was that quiet conviction and sensitivity in his that attracted fans from around the world, she said. As he spoke of his love and commitment to and his role as caretaker, many wondered what they would do in his position.
Though the footage shows a calm and cool Chris, he has his moments, Medina said.
"He gets depressed, he gets down," she said. "This is not a rosy situation.
"This is part of the healing process of a Traumatic Brain Injury. ...This guy has nothing but patience—where does he get it from?"
As the Idol audience fell for Chris, many wondered how a young man could demonstrate such strength of character. Although ecstatic at the rapidly growing Facebook fanpage for Chris (he's up to 147,000 fans), when the attention turned to Medina, she balked.
"Everyone asked me, 'How did you raise such a son?'" Medina said. "I didn't do anything special. I was just a single mom ... who dedicated her life to raising her kids—just like any other mother would."
Fans initially responded to the love story, but as time passes, many begin to wonder about Chris on a personal level—Chris as a child, how he matured. Medina decided to create a page where she could relay anecdotes about his childhood, with photos and personal reflection—a page All About Chris Medina. It was there that she gushed with pride on the one-year anniversary of his appearance on Idol.
Thank You all for putting up with all my posts about my son...And Thank You all for understanding that I am truly, truly just a proud mother....
"I felt pride beyond what you can possibly experience," Medina said, of her son's Idol experience. "As a mother, I'm very proud of who he is as a person."
She admits to struggling with watching him cope with aspects of Juliana's recovery.
"I thought, the night of the accident, that he wouldn't be able to handle it, but he proved me wrong," Medina said.
She fields questions from fans who wonder about his personal life outside of music. Some fans
"Christopher is a very realistic person," Medina said. "He doesn't see tomorrow, he sees today. One day at a time. He doesn't know what tomorrow brings.
"He doesn't want to expect too much, so he's not discouraged."
Medina prays for Juliana's recovery, "for my own selfish reasons.
"I want her to recover, for my son."
Most of the songs on his debut album are about Juliana, according to Chris. Medina worries that fans' feelings about his love story might prevent him from establishing longevity in the music industry, separately from the story.
"I would rather hear, two years down the road, that he's able to bring his music to the U.S., and the Idol story is just a back story," she said.
"Though both things make me proud, I'd rather he be known for his music."
As uncertain as Chris is about his future with Juliana, Medina is also cloudy on the outcome.
Like any mother, Medina said, she is troubled by her son in pain.
"Everyone on this planet looks for love, affection and intimacy," she said. "It hurts me to see him in the position he's in. I'm very proud of him, but it's hard for me to watch."
Her Favorite Song from Album 'What Are Words'
Summer Rain. "I listen to it in the car, and listen to the words. He's singing about how he was able to hold her, just the summer before her accident. I thought 'This is heartbreaking, how they were right before the accident.
"The only thing he has now are the memories."