I just got back from Chris’ memorial service. It was strange because our agency (where we both worked) planned and organized everything. It’s just so nice to think that someone’s place of employment thought so much of him to host his memorial service.
There were tears and there was laughter – in fact, I commented to Wendy (my office-mate) that I haven’t laughed so hard at a memorial service in my entire life. Chris was a huge fan of music (aside from country), and his favorite was The Beatles. As a teacher for the school-age kids at the day care center, he introduced them to all kinds of music, but they took a definite liking to The Beatles. Chris’ brother and three of his musician friends from River Music Experience (including Ellis Kell) performed “In My Life” at the end of the service – everyone sang along. We were offkey, but it was perfect and I think Chris would have loved it…
Of course, Chris and I bonded very closely over our love of The Smithereens. In the spring of 2004 he and I worked together to bring in Pat Dinizio to perform for the kids and teach them about songwriting. I wrote a grant and he worked with his class to raise money. In August 2004, the dream became a reality and Pat Dinizio performed for us. Chris and I were like two little kids as Pat played the guitar and sang our favorite songs (and yes, I got him to autograph my ticket stub from when I saw him perform in 1992!).
At least a few times a year Chris and I would talk about that day and I would always tell him, “Chris, that day was one of the top 10 moments in my life – maybe even the top 5.” He would always laugh about that, but then he’d agree with me.
I’m glad I told him that when I had the chance. I’m glad that Chris will always be linked to one of the best moments in my life.
I came home from the service in a bit of a sad mood, but I popped in my Smithereens CD (the acoustic version that Chris made for me) and I cranked up “A Girl Like You” as loud as I could – my own personal tribute to someone I’ll miss very much.