Happy 23rd Birthday Kristi...
February 1st is a day that represents so much for me. It's the day I watched my best friend give birth to her first child and my youngest cousin, who is also the same-ish age as my oldest child. Kristie's delivery was also the first time I had seen my uncle terrified, and it's also the first time I willed a piece of me, be used by the creator to breathe life into another human being.
I had just turned eighteen and was still upset that My uncle, who is five years older than me, would sneak behind my back and sleep with my best friend. I remember being a prick and forbidding Kristie to be born on my Birthday (01/16th) or interfere with the Super Bowl XXXII, played on January 25th, 1998.
I want to say that it was raining the night Kristie made her entrance into the world. I remember walking into the delivery room and told to hold my friend's leg and to push into her while she pushed against me. Looking down at Kristie, her chubby little face, our eyes connected for a moment. She was the coolest little thing I have ever seen.
That's when time stood still, the earth moved at a slower pace, and I offered a piece of my soul so that she may breathe and live. I became so angry as I looked at my uncle, cowering in the corner of the room, watching the medical team stimulate this tiny, helpless body. Then the anger took hold, and I couldn't understand why he wasn't doing something. Anything other than standing there looking as if Lucifer himself was holing a gun at him.
In my family, women aren't allowed to be timid or fearful. We learn from a young age to take action. If you see a problem, you do something about it. Even prayer is better than ever looking helpless hiding in a corner. That's precisely what he did, nothing. So when Kristie took her first breath in and let out a cry proclaiming her existence on this planet, time raced back to average speed.
Throughout her childhood, I was always around. Kristi was my blood cousin, but she was also the same age as my children. I was more of an aunt to Kristi than a cousin. When I ended up moving out of state, I was always there when she needed anything—always calling to check in on her. I never wanted her to want for anything, and I was able to help with her needs.
When Kristie was twelve years old, I moved back to Arizona. Immediately we started spending time together, camping, hiking, fishing. She and I would have an adventure one summer where the boat we were on died. I tried everything to protect her from the sun, but despite my best efforts, we both were sunburned, and to this day, I have the pattern of my tank top in my skin. When I tan, the lines darken, and I am reminded of that dreadful day.
Eventually, Kristie went to live in Virginia with her mom. For five years, I watched Kristie, through Instagram, become an incredible woman who was secure in who she was as an individual.
She was Twentyone years old when she decided to come back to the place she called home. The night she visited me, we talked about how she wanted to hunt with us in the fall, hiking during the spring, and fishing during the summer. We had everything planned out, and before she left my house, I gave her some ghost beads. The house she was staying in has a lot of negative energy. Bad things happened in that house, and I prayed the beads would ward off the evil.
Over the next month, Kristi would grow sick, getting worse every day. Until she was gravely ill, no one could deny that she needed medical help. I requested a picture of her eyes. I wanted to see the whites of her eyes, so I comfort her mother, my best friend.
I told her mother she'd be fine. I told her to turn off her phone, get some good sleep, and everything will be right in the morning.
December 26th, 2019. After waking from a nightmare I had about Kristi. I woke up, disoriented, to the sound of my phone ringing. I didn't want to answer it. In my mind, if I didn't hear the words, then it wasn't real. With handshaking, I picked up the phone.
Kristi was the first child I had ever seen come into the world. Through her, I learned so much. She was an example of unconditional love. No matter the situation, she always found joy in a crappy situation. Kristi's glass was always half full, and nothing was ever going to break her spirit.
In the end, Kristi was not only my first in living color birth, a tiny human I would feed and clean up after. She was the first child that made me understand why you should always watch your mouth. Kristi also turned out to be the first person in my children's age group that I would stand over, pray for, and sing into the next place.
You may have seen her while watching my live streams or videos. She's always with me, a candle to light her way.
Happy 23rd Birthday, Kristi. The world is literally a worse place without you.