sweet christine

by grace on September 8, 2019

on labor day, sept. 2nd, i was working out at home and christine’s name came up on my phone. i was happy that she was calling; she had called on christmas day and kevin and i were watching a movie, and i told her i’d call her back.

but i didn’t.

i kept meaning to.

i kept working out, thinking i’d call her back when i finished. she didn’t leave a message, but people rarely do anymore, do they?

she called again, and i called her back…but when she said hello, it wasn’t her.

it was her sister, beth. she told me that christine had died on friday. august 30th, 2019.

WHAT? i yelled. i couldn’t believe it. her sister cried, i cried…the whole thing still seems unreal to me.

i felt like she was my best friend…we’d met when we were both living in austin in 1994. then i moved back to spfld, and at some point she moved to LA, and then i moved to LA. when her rotten husband blair said he wanted a divorce, christine moved in with me. i can’t remember how long she was there – a year? a couple of years? i’ll have to try to piece it all together.

i hate it that i can’t remember more about our time together – i know that we spent lots and lots of time hanging out in the apartment, drinking wine and laughing and talking.

ugh.

i flew to denver on thursday, the funeral was friday, and i got back home last night.

here’s a photo i just found, when she came to visit at the beginning of may in 2010.

she had chron’s disease, and she had pain from it back when i met her, and the pain got worse through the years. i visited her last december, 2017, and i know the pain was so much worse. so at the funeral i was shocked that she apparently hadn’t shared her pain with anybody i talked to. our friend jerri, who christine also knew in LA, had no idea. i kept saying, “her joint pain! she had horrible joint pain!” nobody knew. her sister must have known…

so, besides being kind, funny, super duper smart, easygoing, a wonderful friend, christine was also incredibly private about all this pain she always lived with. it makes me sad that nobody knew, but on the other hand, that’s what she wanted.

i don’t exactly know how i’ll be able to convince myself that i don’t totally suck for not calling her back on christmas. if i’d been better about being in touch, i might have persuaded her to go to a doctor – a friend of hers in denver told me that she’d had issues last spring but didn’t go to the doctor.

i know there’s nothing i can do about it, but i can’t help but feel bad. and so sad…

the gathering after the funeral was at christine’s house and that was very surreal, because i felt like i’d just been there. i was there in december and she’d had it decorated and i helped her put up her tree. i took lots of secret pictures of her two dogs, and made her a great calendar, which she loved. that makes me happy, anyway.

whew. i hope the dogs are given good homes. i think somebody said that one had a home, and they were looking for a permanent home for the other one.

whew.

ok then,

mrs. sunday morning hughes.

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