My sister-in-law, unwittingly, put a huge smile on my face and gave me a wonderful memory this evening. She liked a picture on Facebook of a “See and Say”, a toy that my son had when he was little that we played with all the time. It made him laugh and smile and brought joy to us all. I remember us playing with it and can still remember some of the sounds of the farm animals. It was a great toy!
He’d hate me for telling this but Christopher also was a huge Billy Ray Cyrus fan when we lived in Leavenworth in the early 90s. He had memorized all the words to "Achy Breaky Heart" and would sing it at the top of his lungs without shame when we were riding in the car. There were other country songs he liked at that time, fallout from living in Alabama for 18 months, but when he got older he would never admit it and would tell me to be quiet about it. Since he’s no longer able to stop me – I can talk about it all I want!
When we moved from California to Alabama Christopher became “Southern” more quickly than he knew. In a local restaurant one evening one of our friends was talking to him and asked his name. At age 4 he still called himself Christopher, which is what we always called him. He responded to David that his name was Christopher. David said “Christopher? That’s a good name. But we’re going to have to give you a Southern name. I believe we’re going to call you Bubba…” His mother and I witnessed this conversation and he was “Bubba” for a couple of years, at least. He didn’t seem to mind.
When we moved to Puerto Rico in 1993 Christopher got more interested in pop and new wave music. In just a couple of years he was embarrassed by his former love of country music – even though he ended up living in Oklahoma. He never really went back. He liked KORN, Green Day and even Led Zeppelin. The first two didn’t mean much but his request for Led Zeppelin’s greatest hits the last Christmas he was alive meant a lot to me. I still have that CD collection I bought him that year.
Anyway – thank you, Theresa, for putting that smile on my face this evening. I miss Christopher very much but occasionally I am handed a very happy memory that cheers me more that it hurts. Tonight was one of those occasions. And I’m very grateful!