Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A light has gone out

Christina December 1, 1955 age 4 *photographer unknown

Christina, my Dad, and Pauline June 26, 2004 *photo by our wedding photographer, who I can't remember his name at the moment

Christina in her and Jack's new Airstream August 29, 2007

Christina with Captain June 26, 2004 *photo by Phil's Uncle Dan

Jack, Christina, and Pauline June 26, 2004 *photo by Phil's Uncle Dan

me, Christina, and Phil June 26, 2004 *photo by Phil's Uncle Dan

This may look like an review of Phil's and my wedding, but in reality it's a tribute to the woman that married us and one of the most interesting, sweetest women I've ever meet. I was very lucky and priviledged to be her cousin. As many of you know, our family is very small and most of my dad's family is in California. Being so far away and removed once or twice from being first cousins, I don't know my father's cousins well. One of his first cousins came to visit at least once a year till I was 15. His name was Jim (Jimmy to my dad) and his wonderful wife was Lillian. Oh I loved them so much. They were like grandparents to me. When I was in 3rd grade, around Halloween time, they brought their youngest daughter and her husband with them. It was love at first sight for me. I thought she (Chris to me) was so sweet and interesting. Jack was way cool and had an awesome mountain bike. (We still talk about that trip and how he popped a wheely and wrecked!) And the best part was they brought their dalmation with them, Rex. He was a dashing fellow. From then on, Chris and I wrote each other and every now and then she would send me gifts. They were always so thoughtful and neat. Twice she sent me a beach in a tin. She collected shells and sand and sent them with her parents. I would play with them for hours and still have them. I didn't get to see the ocean till I was 22 and didn't see her ocean till I was almost 23. I remember when slap bracelets were all the rage. They sold so fast it was impossible to get one. And then Chris sent me the coolest one with designs on it and a seahorse. It was way cooler then the gold and silver ones the other kids had. (Yes, I still have it.) When I lived in Arizona, I decided I wanted to visit and get to know her and her sisters better. One I had never even met. I had several wonderful trips out there. She and Jack took me to see several really cool places and one trip I got to go out with Jack on his work boat. It was the best... Right before Phil and I got married Christina and Jack stopped and stayed with us for a day. They had their big Husky's with them and we all had the best time. They traveled on to Arkansas and dug fantastic crystals. Christina was just like her mother, she always sent you away with food for the trip home. It was always a thoughtful array. It makes me so sad that I'll never get sent away with food again, get to hear her stories again, just get to hug her again. I feel so sad for Jack who has loved her deeply for over 40 years. I felt the closest to her, because I wrote to her and got to know her the best. These are the ways I'm going to remember her, not how sick she got and how hard she's struggled the last two years. I'll forever remember how she looked holding Matthew. Truly a light has gone out in this world.


Auntie said...

Anne, what a loving tribute to Chris who you cared about so deeply, and who loved you right back. People like that come along once--maybe twice--in a lifetime. Loving blessings to you and your family. What a loss.

Mom said...

Oh, I am so in tears. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person. Thank you Anne. Jack needs to see this.

Angela said...

I'm sorry for your loss; remember the good moments because I'm sure that's how she would want it to be. Much love

Anonymous said...

Christina's light will never go out in your heart. Thank you for sharing your warm memories of our cousin. Your blog is a beautiful recording for future family too. And in a way keeps those moments and people alive.