Christopher ~

When I chose to begin to blog I did it with the intent to use the everyday experiences of my life to find deeper truths and opportunities to celebrate life.  I feel, to this point,  I have been able to accomplish that goal. But sometimes life hits you with  experiences that defy understanding and leave you with the wind knocked out of your sails. Today, it would be safer to avoid this particular blog but I am going to try to be extra brave as I attempt to use this space to talk about about something much more difficult but I pray the result with still encourage you in a fresh way.

Christopher Ryan Smith.  How those three words grip me to my core; I love that young man! Christopher was my first nephew, a darling little toe-headed blond with a rich sparkle in his eyes. I remember chasing him around the yard, pushing him in a swing, singing songs with him, rubbing his back, swimming with him; doing all the things doting aunties do!

I guess I took for granted that Christopher would always be here.

Christopher was creative and sensitive, his spirit was tender. He loved to talk with family members about his thoughts and ideas, he loved music, he surfed and engaged in most every water and snow sport. Christopher loved his parents, his brother Paul, and his cousins. He has a special place in his heart for his grandparents.

I guess I took for granted that Christopher would always be here.

As a young man, full of creative plans of genius Christopher charted his own path. Off to CA to build his business and as true to his nature, he was brilliant when building ideas but over-trusting when it came to people.  Along his path of learning he encountered people who would disappoint him, let him down, or use his talents and abilities for their own gain. Even in that, Christopher kept on trying to be successful with new ideas, innovative thinking, and vision.

I guess I took for granted that Christopher would always be here.

It was incredibly endearing to watch Christopher as an uncle to his nieces. He loved those girls deeply and couldn’t help spoiling them with every toy and gadget possible. When he would show up the girls lit up like light-bulbs. Their love was richly reciprocal. My most recent memory was over a year ago he allowed those girls to dig a hole so deep in the sand that he was buried chest high!! It was fun to see him so playful with them. Another memory was around that same time in Disneyland where he went into the princess shop and decked them out in full blown princess attire; the thrill on his face was precious!

I guess I took for granted that Christopher would always be here.

This week I learned that Christopher’s life had been taken by one of  those businessman with whom Christopher has unwisely partnered. The motive was money, the cover up extensive.  In the wake of this information we are a family whose hearts have been shattered.  When his life was taken we lost a son, grand-son, nephew, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, and friend. As we try to reconcile all that has taken place we find ourselves talking about all the precious interactions we remember and now place incredible value upon in a fresh way.

I guess I took for granted that Christopher would always be here.

As I turn to the Lord for grace and comfort, I accept the fact that I will never understand the “why”.  I understand that I will miss him until I go home to be with Christ one day. I understand that no one will ever fill his shoes or the hole that has been left in my heart. I understand that in order to move forward I will have to remember and value all the “good” and “amazing”, “thoughtful” and “kind” parts of Christopher without getting caught in only remembering the trauma that took him home.  I also understand that I will experience the need to cry often and that’s ok too.

An untimely death, whether by disease, an accident, or trauma reminds us all, again and again, that we should never take for granted that anyone we love will always be here. Certainly, we cannot live in fear of loss, but we can make certain that our relationships are strong, that we have shared verbally how much we love and appreciate those in our lives, and we can make time for those we love. I find it challenging to find ANY good takeaway from losing our precious Christopher, but I sense God is alerting me to the simple fact that it is so important to invest in those we love intentionally.

Over a year ago, as I rode with Christopher in his car, we chatted and he had looked at me and said “it’s sure good to see you!” Those words are now written on my heart.  Christopher Ryan Smith you made our lives richer and you will be missed every day until we see you again. Your life was ended much too soon.

18 thoughts on “Christopher ~

  1. Dianna,

    So touching and deeply and beautifully expressed. I’m so sorry for the loss you and you’re family have suffered. May the God of all comfort give you His amazing peace that passes all understanding! Much love and prayers. Rhonda

  2. Dianna, my heart breaks with yours and I pray the Lord infuses you with His strength, wisdom and peace! The message in your blog today–and Christopher’s life as you reflect it– has already impacted me, and it will bless many others too. Thank you for sharing your pain and your faith!

  3. Oh Dianna. I only just now heard so went to your FB page to confirm and found your blog – my heart is hurting at this news too. Beautiful Chris. Greg Fry was in (everyone else has gone for the day) and so we prayed for all of you. Love and prayers to all of you.

  4. Dianna
    We are so sorry to hear about Chris. It is unbelievable that this could happen to such a great young man! We too remember him as tow headed little guy that was full of life. Our prayers are going out for you and your family. Can’t imagine how Steve and Debbie can cope with this terrible situation. We are praying that God will give them the strength and peace that passes all understanding. Love Bob and Suzanne

  5. Dear Dianna,
    Although I did not know Christopher, I can see him through your eyes. What a painful loss for you and your family. But what a wonderful living memorial he is leaving for all who really knew him. I pray healing for your precious heart, comfort in our Father, and peace for your family. Your blog today has encouraged me and uplifted me. Even if we don’t have all the answers to why? We know He will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for sharing your heart, my friend. Love you.

  6. Dianna,
    Love you my friend. Please know that Ric and I are praying for you and your family as you navigate through the homegoing for Chris and the life that lies ahead for his family here without him. Thank you so much for ahring like you did on your blog post, Ric and I are up here in Canada with our family spending precious time…..I believe I will treasure these moments even more now….Thank you and GOd BLess You!!

  7. Dianna,

    My sisters and I read your blog and it made all of us cry. We too are saddened by his loss but remember him for the intelligent and remarkably generous Chris he was. Thanks for being so brave to share this. We love you so much.

    Lauren, Jamie, Anna and Marie Ruef

    • You are all precious girls–in Chris’s honor live your life to the fullest and be wise along the way. THAT would be such a precious win. You are all talented, blessed, and beautiful.
      Thank you for your thoughts/

  8. Dear friend, my heart is heavy for you and your family, but I am praying for God’s amazing peace and restoration to take root in your lives. We love you all dearly, Karina Bonn

  9. Amazing words from my sister is so our heart.
    As Chris’ mom I will always grieve my loss of an amazing son who so filled my heart, but I will also look forward to seeing him again..for in Jesus we live for ever..amazing miracle..nothing compares or gives me more strength and courage…it is a conviction strong to my core. As people celebrated Easter, for me it is life changing…everything changed at the death and resurrection of Jesus..he paid the price..conquered death..rose again with an amazing spiritual body..appeared to his friends and mom to comfort and encourage them that they too will have the same..his tomb is soul is full and Chris had a personal experience in 2006 that rocked his world..kept him heavenly focused..I will see him again…Eternity is beautiful and amazing.
    Debi Smith

    • debi~~ What powerful words- especially coming from you after the season you have and continue to walk through- You are brave and wise. Your unwavering faith is astounding…thank you for encouraging us all!
      Love you sis.

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