Hello…These are my friend’s Seth and his Mom, Chris. FB_IMG_1496679217598.jpg Seth came to work at St. Vincent De Paul thrift store. I instantly connected with Seth and Chris, and we became good friends. The kind who always remain in your heart because you actually become family.

Chris had a very enthusiastic nature. As she would tell me about all the things she was doing like hiking, fishing and photographing nature, her eyes would sparkle and that smile of hers was pure joy. She was a beautiful light in a sometimes dark world.

Chris told me how she bought herself a canoe and tied it down on the  roof of her little car. She was so excited, as she shared her plans to get an RV and to travel once she retired working at the Veterans hospital. I admired her love of life, her happy nature was contagious.

Just as Chris was nearing retirement her dream of getting an RV and traveling, turned into a journey far different from what any of us had envisioned.

Though she was diagnosed with cancer, amidst the battle and treatments she braved through, she managed to make a trip to Colorado to see her son Josh.FB_IMG_1496679520993FB_IMG_1496681537650.jpgShe also made it to Richmond, Virginia to see her daughter Sarah graduate.FB_IMG_1495577204774She got to meet and spend time with Seth and Angie’s newborn son, Levi.FB_IMG_1496681852904Chris and her beautiful grandson Levi.FB_IMG_1496678916136Her last entry on FB was logged on Easter day. She was smiling and joking about being alive. It was the funniest post and of course as she always did, she had a way to make people smile. Chris sent these photos and wrote…

“Happy Easter! Just wanted to say I’m still alive and kicking. Thank you for all your love, prayers and cards. I can talk here and there depending on how much energy I have. Love & miss all my family and friends, and I am eternally grateful for all the love & support :)”

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FB_IMG_1502800517914That’s Chris at her finest. Smiling and making others laugh in the midst of struggle and pain. So many lives were touched by this beautiful woman.

Shortly after this entry Chris went on a new journey.  Peacefully and lovingly surrounded by her family, Chris entered through the gates of Heaven.

I never heard a more beautiful Taps as the one  played for Chris.FB_IMG_1496679066460

At her memorial I learned she was known as Christie by her family.FB_IMG_1495577273837 I learned that she was a peaceful, and strong, FREESPIRIT!FB_IMG_1496681460311She served our country from a young age and continued by working as an RN in the Veterans hospital until her health would no longer allow her to do so.FB_IMG_1495577237209.jpgShe was a wonderful photographer who enjoyed the outdoors. They had many of her photographs on display and I was amazed as I looked through them all.FB_IMG_1495577278396.jpgFB_IMG_1496681019939.jpgChris loved her family.FB_IMG_1495577286681And she is VERY LOVED by MANY.FB_IMG_1496682309804.jpgChris was an inspiration to all who knew her. Her courage and sheer determination to make the best out of her situation will never be forgotten. Since she left, I have vowed to live each day of my life to the fullest. To make lemonade out of lemons because life has a way of giving us lemons at times.

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Never take life for granted. Every day we are given, is a gift. Live like Chris did and be the smile in someone’s day. She traveled over a 1000 miles from Wisconsin to Virginia to be there for her daughter’s graduation. Imagine how hard that must have been, but she did it and made alot of people smile.

Rest easy Chris, until we meet again.       I shall take you with me in memory, where ever I go. Your desire to help wounded veterans will live on as I travel. For we are not to be proud like a Stallion nor stubborn like a Mule, but are to be meek and humble like a donkey, bearing one another’s burdens. I pray Project Healing Waters will be blessed through this journey, as well as your grandson Levi.

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