Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Saying Names

I can't believe we're only two weeks to September now. And as I write these words, I can't help but feel sad because September (19th, specifically) marks two years since Christi passed away. Two years is such a long time. It's too long. It's too long for parents to miss their child and for a sister to go without her best friend. It's simply too long. Time can be so unforgiving that way. It just keeps right on going when you wish most that it would stop, even if only for a moment, to recognize this great loss.

I'm sorry that I can't be "cheerful tonight". I don't mean to be depressing, that's not my intention at all, but I need to be honest. I want to take a moment to share with you the wonder that is Christi- how one life could have such an impact on the world- even if she was only here for 9 years. And, more importantly, I wanted to say her name: Christi Thomas.

You see, when my brother died, we stopped saying his name. I whispered it among my sisters, carefully, when no one was around, but never out loud. I still have a lot of trouble saying his name today. And, for some reason, through Christi, it is easier for me to speak of Manny. Not only does she, and her entire family, remain an important part of my life, but they helped with something much deeper and for which I will never be able to thank them; I have not yet found the words.

I need to keep saying Christi's name because she deserves to be remembered. People are always so afraid of death (understandably) and it can be painful to speak of those important to us (trust me, I understand this), but they still deserve to be acknowledged. No one is ever truly gone until we have forgotten them. And I will never forget Christi.

This is what I think about as I run. It's what gets me up at 5am, and it is what convinces me that running 13 miles is worth it at all. While I enjoy running, I run as I do now for a purpose: to help keep Christi's memory alive and to share her story with others. In contributing to her Memorial Fund, it ensures that she will be forever remembered regardless of the time that may pass. It's a way, if you will, of winning over time's unforgiving pace.

I do all and any of this because I can. Because it is so very important to me to keep her name resounding in the universe. And for as long as I can, to whomever will listen, I will say her name, so that others can hear it, and understand her wonder, and keep her spirit alive.

1 comment:

Jennifer Lehmann said...

Well, thank you for ending my day with tears...sad ones and happy ones. September 19th sucks, the end. But thank you for being so determined to keep her memory alive. I don't know if anyone that met Christi for a second would be able to forget her. I'm glad that through Christi you've found some healing related to Manny. Lots of love to you!