I have really been missing Chrissy a lot lately, and I don’t know why. It’s been almost five years since she passed away, but in some respects it feels like it was just yesterday. I have even cried because I miss her so much, including today. It happens so quickly, too. I’ll be stitching or something and my mind will be wandering. Then it will suddenly just land on Chrissy. A lot of it has to do with my regret over how impatient I was with her the last year or so she was alive.
She was such a loving person. This is a picture of the two of us when we were much younger. Chrissy was two years older than me, so I can’t remember when she wasn’t around. When your entire life is spent revolving around another person, you don’t know anything else. What was normal for other families was not normal for us.
Learning what to do when Chrissy had a seizure, or how to change her diaper, became part of what we did. Both Kimberly and I would take care of Chrissy in various ways as we grew up. At times Kimberly resented it and I let my impatience get the better of me, but we always loved Chrissy no matter what.
Don’t get me wrong, there were many times that we became angry with her. Chrissy didn’t know what was hers and what wasn’t. It was like having a baby around all of the time, but one who could walk and get into your stuff. We had a few Barbie dolls who ended up with teeth marks on their legs because Chrissy found them and chewed on them. And you couldn’t leave a book laying around because she loved the sound of ripping paper. Chrissy was slightly autistic so the senses played a role in the toys that she enjoyed the most. Anything with loud music and flashing lights would grab her attention. The sound of ripping paper was on the top of her Favorites list.
One thing, though, was that she loved her family. When my dad would get home from work and sit down in the living room she would always have to go sit on his lap. She always loved sitting on your lap. She never realized that she was too big to be doing that. We used to get quite the looks when we would be in the doctor’s waiting rooms and she would be sitting on our laps, but we didn’t care. She was happy.
The term ‘love seat’ took on a whole new meaning with Chrissy. She didn’t care if it was already occupied by two people. She would just make herself at home between the two of you. If you were looking at something, she would look at it too. Not that she really cared what it was, but if it was brightly colored then it caught her attention.
Chrissy also loved playing the piano. Not that she knew what she was doing, lol. She would sit next to me on the bench and bang her hands down on the keys a few times. If I was actually playing a song I would instruct her that she was to play these notes, as I pointed them out to her, and when I gave her the nod she should hit them. Chrissy didn’t actually comprehend what I was telling her, and I knew it, but that didn’t stop us from talking to her like she did. She would sit and watch my fingers as they moved across the keys and then she would spread her fingers out like she was imitating me and maybe press a few of the keys. I would cross my hand in front of her and teasingly chide her for not keeping up with her share of the song, and she would just look at me and smile like I was silly for thinking that she really cared what I thought. Sometimes she would be having such a good time sitting there with me that she would laugh. Her last few years she didn’t laugh as much. She was so funny when she laughed! She would scrunch her face up, flare her nostrils, and give a squeal. She was also very good at the Elvis smile, with one side of her lip curled up. It used to make us laugh.
Her last few years were rough. This is the last picture that was taken of the three of us. It was one of her rarer good days. This was at the peak of my illness before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, too. Maybe I can blame that for my impatience with her. I can’t tell you what I would give to be able to let her sit with me once more. I would let her kick back and toss her legs across me, as she reclined against the arm of the chair. She would start sitting next to you, but within moments would start to wiggle and move, to eventually be laying on you. lol. She was such a snot, but I miss her so much.
She helped me to become the person that I am today. Without her I would be very different. She was the reason why Kimberly became a Special Ed teacher. Chrissy was never selfish or demanding. She just wanted to be loved and comfortable. We were lucky to have her in our lives for as long as we did. I was 26 when we lost her. For a while I didn’t know what to do with myself. When you spend 26 years of your life helping to care for another person it’s hard to let go of that and start living differently. It’s still hard. There will be times that I’ll be in a store and see something that I know she would like. I have to stop myself and remember that she’s not around anymore. Or when you hear a certain noise and you automatically think that you need to go check and see what she’s getting into. Maybe that’s her way of saying hello to us and letting us know that she misses us. I know that she’s in a much better and happier place where she doesn’t have seizures and can talk all that she wants.
Boogart, I really miss you. A lot. All of us do. We love you.