If there is to be only my story to tell of Christian’s life; it will be incomplete. Missing is the story of the perfect child, son, brother, cousin, schoolmate, marching band leader, young artist, nephew, Uncle, and Father. We may never know the story of those who simply knew his brilliant smile or that look that seemed to say he knew something no one else did. I’m sure every person, he ever bought a cup of coffee from (and there were a lot of cups of coffee) felt his warm poise and gentle sureness. It was in times like that, not in a crowd, but one to one that a person could know Christian. Alone in his grace you were the focus and he would listen and laugh with the ability to really tune in to you so that you felt him there. When he spoke you really listened and he was clear and definite. He was capable of really being with you and perceptive of everything at the same time. On many occasions, I would have to ask Christian what had happened at events - that I was in attendance to - without him there, there would be so much that I missed. If you were one of the lucky people who knew Christian, if for even the briefest time his attention was with you. You had a richer life for it.

Words fall short because from the moment of our meeting; wordlessly, we were connected. Seeing him for the first time in our Freshman drawing class at Alfred University, I was stunned speechless. To me he was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. Our first date was two years before we started dating, in another drawing class the next year, we had to go draw at our teachers farm which was a drive away and Christian had a car. He drove me in his Chevy Celebrity and we stuck together drawing cows, checking out the pigs, and finally skipping work all together and sitting under a plum tree eating sweet fruit together all afternoon, until the sun started slipping away and our stomachs hurt. I don’t remember saying much at all, but we were together.

When we returned to Alfred in September of 1996 for our senior year, to everyone’s surprise, Christian and I began dating the very next day. Again - no words necessary - it was as if we were waiting for each other and with relief had come home. We were elated and that feeling and the instant and complete rightness of it all lasts to this day.

For me he was home.

Our foreheads touched and we connected to a source greater than us individually. In it everything was OK. In it was boundless energy. In it there was nothing we could not do. In it everything was possible. To speak of it would have diminished its magic. In our lives drawn together, one touch communicated everything I will ever need to know. With a glance or a touch of hands wordlessly we knew - we were of one mind. The experience of having someone as amazingly talented, kind, and strong as Christian being FOR me is the great blessing of my life. There was never anyone else so much FOR me, deeply in favor of me, as Christian was. And no one is FOR him as much as I. Anything, unquestioningly, I ever wanted, needed, or hoped for Christian was for it, too.

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