I usually have ideas of things I want to write about going through my head for days before I actually write them. Some of them I write pretty quick after thinking about them and others take me awhile. Some take time because a different idea pushes its way forward and others have to wait.
This one is taking time because it’s so incredibly painful. And beautiful.
All through his life, people have commented on how much Chris and I look alike. Some time I’ll post a picture of my dad around Chris’s age and you’ll see where we get our similar looks. I went for Parent-Teacher conferences one time and his high school science teacher looked at me and said, “You must be Chris’s mom.”
Chris and Austin used to joke and say that Austin was my favorite because he was the baby. But they are both my favorites. They are so different and both such beautiful people in their own uniqueness.
But Chris is kind of a Mini-Me. You’ll forgive me if I don’t make this reference really accurately because I know it comes from an Austin Powers movie, but I haven’t actually watched the movies. But I think the concept fits Chris and I.
Not only did we look alike, but our personalities are…were…so much alike. I don’t really know whether to use present or past tense for this post. I guess it would be both, but I don’t know how to write that way.
Chris and I are both extroverts and involved in so many groups and activities. People often love us or find us very annoying because we are both passionate and opinionated and we both speak our minds. We care deeply about justice, though Chris had to learn this. But learn it he did.
We both care deeply about immigration, the environment, economic justice, LGBTQ rights, equality, housing, racism, though the order of where we focused our efforts was a little different. We would call or text and ask if the other was going to be at a certain march or demonstration.
But mostly we just loved each other so deeply, and as Chris got older we were able to enjoy the places where we were so similar, the passion and deep caring for other people and for our family.
I suppose there will be a time when I will mourn what Chris might have done and who he might have become. But for right now I mourn the every-dayness of our relationship. We were starting this new phase where we could call each other up and say, “I’m going salsa dancing. Do you want to join me?” And we and our friends might hang out together. And things like that. And though we might see each other 3 or 4 times a month, or sometimes more, I can’t get over the fact that I miss his being, his soul, his presence every single minute of every single day.
And so, I also feel so incredibly blessed to have shared so much joy with Chris. With just us together. With Chris. With Tom. With our friends. I feel so deeply we were blessed with so much joy for 22 years, even in his semi-rebellious middle school years.
We got to do so many things together, both big and small. The week before he went missing, I saw him twice, once at Easter and once to give him my car for lunch with Austin and their beloved friend and piano/guitar/boy band teacher Joy. Chris and Austin brought their dad to our Easter service with Tapestry. I communed Tom. Chris was radiant. We were all at peace and in joy and in love.
And so I will forever be so incredibly grateful for my Mini-me and for the time we had together. And I will forever miss him.