Bear with me while I try to capture the essence of Christina. Her creative writing would put mine to shame but i’m going to try to shine light on her beautiful life through my words. This post is a bit longer than my normal.

I remember her like it was yesterday. Her talent, her smile, her hair, her style. Driving through that tiny town, red Jaguar with the top down. To and from that Mansion she went, even at 16, a different kind of elegant.

She was our Hollywood, a small town girls. Could’ve owned our high school, the wealthiest of sorts. She was her best friend, my big sisters. And if you would’ve asked me then, I’d have told you those girl, they were soooomethin’!

Our mom’s were best friends in high school too and Her little brother was my age and together by their pool,

We’d spend our summer days..all…so…young.

On the river bend, that Mansion, just beyond those trees,
that family of 4 did quietly dwell in isolated peace.
We were grateful for them, for even as their family friends, their life in those 4 stories, mysteriously lived.

Christina though, an interesting one, quoting Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. Obsessed with piano, her Oboe was her fun. Her art was insane, even our art teacher was amazed. She’d create in that humble castle beyond the corn field haze.

***

Come with me now, to that same house, and let me paint for you this scene. This next part will be kind of hard because life is bittersweet…..

In a tiny southern town of only 5,000 people,
stood a home so magnificent trees couldn’t hide its steeple.

This Gothic-like house,
down a loooooong lonely dirt road,
Allowed only what those treetops showed,

canopies trapping lightning bugs galore, made this fascinating place even more fun to explore.

Up the steps, between the pillars, through the HUGE front door.

I can still hear the shouts of laughter from her room on the second floor.

Through the front door, sets a black grand piano, accompanied by a spiral staircase, look to the left and see the library, behind a bookshelf a secret passageway.

Look up to the ceiling, no formality. Sunlight falls with grace. Sprouting from the staircase, a wood balcony, aligning the walls like a maze.

Follow the passage past the windows that stretched ceiling to ground, and a mirror, the entire wall space. Keep rounding it along, Freddie Mercury greets you with song, lit up by Christina’s face. Do I let myself go back inside.. just once. I must embrace.

My sister, her, Melissa..the life! The make-up, the boy talk, the girl talk, the fights. Her baby grand piano, her closet not light, aromas to soothe, bathroom vintage so bright, that giant painting on her wall, a ballerina in blue, taken flight.

Your voices, southern, through the massive stairwell,

through the third floor, Fourth floor into the rivers swell..

Echoing through that mansions kitchen, out by the pool..down to the sandbar, through the corn fields full.

Echoing echoing but not anymore.

The voices grew quiet.

Fields colors grew dull.

***

And I want to hope that on the night she died, the stars spared her a moment to look at the sky.

Did she lay on that hillside and recap her life? Regret her decision, that fury filled drive. Was she lying there peacefully to breathe her last breath? Was she panicked, scared, even realized she wrecked??

Did she have to time think about the person she’ll never be, the career she’ll never have, the lover she’d never meet. I need to know, was she ever in pain? Our beautiful Christina, she was taken in vain.

I’m so mad at her life. I’m So angry I can’t think. All of her beauty was gone in blink. The one-of-kind nose, we all loved as kids, that Christina laugh, her hug a deep grip. That Christina smile, her humor, so fun. Her SNL skits, friends crying with laughter when she’s done!! Charismatic, humble, smart and wild she was every one of those things compiled.

My sister and her best friend Melissa, will bury their best friend Christina in those next few days. 23…all.so.young.

ln an instant I’m back in her room and it’s cold, it’s night. and it’s dark. Death’s gloom. No life..no Christina. She hasn’t been there for years..so empty. So quiet. A life no longer lived. A vintage mirror still hangs without her reflection, a closet full of fancy clothes, no human connection… bet that room is still getting used to it’s new life…which is no life. Just quiet….an unwanted neglection.

just still…but still the same room, nothing changed, nothing moved…

Maybe a lonely ghost….a girl, so beautiful, so talented, wondering around that wooden balcony, staring out her window…Trapped in that room, in that Mansion, next to that River, down that road, outside of that small town, her whimsical spirit now bound. That room.

And when I go back to that town, I’ll see her mother, at the cemetery, sitting graveside with fresh flowers.. Christina’s grave always has the most colorful ones. To shine light on a life most inspiring, it was. But right there, under the trees she’ll remain. For her mother to sit and remember the loss she’s now gained.

Playing dress up in my mom’s old Majorette uniforms when they were in middle school. Three of them eventually became Dardanelle High Schools Majorette team! Left to right: Christina, Melissa, Stacy
Those Christina hugs❤️
❤️ Christina ❤️
Best friends.❤️
My favorite candid of Stacy and Christina. This was the year she threw a MASSIVE Halloween party. Complete with Tarot Card readers, palm readers, fortune tellers, etc. The entire high school was there. She was such a good Marilyn Monroe!
img_20190227_1918481191696223991652240.jpg
A quick water color I did last night while reminiscing. Their property from the highway view. The fourth floor peeks just above the trees. Best memories made at that place beneath those trees.

Love you Christina,

-Stephanie

21 Replies to “The Girl She Was.”

  1. I cannot thank you enough for giving words to one of my best girls… I have tried and simply can’t pen the essence of her. You did just that, so beautifully. We had every class together from kindergarten through grade 7, therefore she is situated in nearly every childhood memory I possess. I’m grateful for her and all she added to our lives. Forever missed, I hope I’ll meet her again, on the other side-or in another life. For now, I beg that she continue to visit my dreams, where we laugh until we cry, just like we always did… thank you again, Steph❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so welcome sister. From past conversations I’ve gathered that it’s hard for you to write about her because you truly can’t go there..even still.. your words aren’t quite enough for your liking, ya know. You feel like you can’t do Justice to her life, your beautiful friend. And I understand that. I love you so much sister. She does still laugh with you.❤️ Our Christina.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Steph…..This is beautiful! Christina was truly one-of-a-kind….one of the most gifted students I had in thirty-three years of teaching. Her parents are precious people your dad and I grew up with in our sweet little town; I think about them and pray for them often. My sweet friends having to live with the grief no parent wants to experience… for almost a dozen years now. Christina was a great friend to y’all and will forever be missed. (I love your writing, my sweet baby girl! 😘💋❤️)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for reading mom! I knew you would love to read about her. She was just beautiful.❤️ Such wonderful memories made out there in that big huge house with those amazing people. Love you so much and thank you for reading!❤️

      Liked by 2 people

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