Imagining

I regret profoundly that I was not an American and not born in Greenwich Village.

John Lennon

It was almost five years ago when Chris suddenly passed away.  Since then my life has changed — yet remains much the same.

Looking for a picture of her on this occasion, I found one from our trip to England and Wales with our friends James and Nicky just weeks before she died.  That was the last time she saw her mother Cathy.  She posed next to a statue of John Lennon we had found in a Liverpool street.  Gazing at the photo I can’t help but imagine the two of them having a conversation somewhere. Chris could win over anybody.

In December 1980 I was driving from graduate school in California to an unknown future in New York City.  At nighttime in the middle of Nebraska I heard on the radio that John had been shot in front of the Dakota apartment building.  This made me wonder: How could I go there now?  John was an early idol of mine, along with Bob Dylan and all the other artists that have drawn me here since my youth.

I came anyway, followed by Chris several years later.  Nearly 40 years after my arrival I imagine her with me, walking the Greenwich Village streets we both loved.  Like John she left us far too soon.  But I doubt I’ll regret spending the rest of my time in the city that became our final home.

12 thoughts on “Imagining

  1. Five years in a flash.

    The world she knew had a degree of optimism, missing today. The disbelief that people actually leave us short of memories, artifacts and dreams, was shocking to learn as a child. We develop to transform it to grief. The finality of it all diminishes us all.

    Again, goodbye Chris.

  2. Chris was such a ray of light.

    She was warm and engaging and we all miss her and think of her often. The last time I spoke to her was shortly after your trip to England. She had such a great time. I can still hear her voice.

    Thinking of you and her today and always.

  3. Chris was a bright and shining light. Always positive, always hopeful, with a contagious laugh and a heart as big as they get. I miss her terribly. I was blessed to have known her for the time that I did.

    Hugs to you, Gary, and Cathy too.

  4. I Will never forget meeting you and Chris on the train home from London. We were firm friends by the time we reached Waverley.

    Chris was a hugely warm, funny and an engaging presence. A light went out when she passed on.

    Hope you are doing okay, Gary. Love to see you any time.

  5. Remembering her voice, her laugh, her stories and her irrepressible sense of optimism. She brings a smile even to the dour Scots..

  6. Beautiful reflection, Gary.

    We think of you and Cathy always on this anniversary, on her birthday, on Halloween (the boys’ favorite time with her) and a hundred times in between.

    This photo says so much about her sense of ease and ever-present joy. And could that be, hanging out of her hand, her “co-pilot” of Diet Coke?

    So much love to you.

  7. I enjoyed meeting Chris and corresponding with her from time to time. She was so radiant and a lot of fun to talk to.

    I will be thinking of her, and you, on Saturday.

  8. Thanks for writing this, Gary. Chris was such a gem. We have a photo of her on our piano and see her every day — her radiant smile brightens our days. I can still hear her laughing and giving you a loving ribbing, as only she could. 🙂

  9. I think of Chris often and miss her always.

    I am still shocked when I remember that my lifelong friend is gone, but her ebullient, joyful spirit and love of life is with us always. I smile every time I think of her and remember how easily she made everything (even 12-hour work days!) feel like a fun, exciting adventure!

    Hugs and love to you, Gary.

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