Today, I need to talk about my beautiful friend Christine. She lost her fight with an aggressive bone cancer this week, and to say I am grief stricken is an understatement. Our friendship has been been an epic journey for the past 20 years. She had so many extraordinary gifts and is the only person I know who never complained - about anything. The eternal optimist. She always made sense out of situations that I felt were hopeless and gave me the inner strength I needed throughout our friendship and even in creating Splendid Stems. She was excited when I told her about my new business venture 11 years ago. Gallagher - her last name - didn't even question my choice to leave my teaching position and responded, "Yay Castro!!!" (my maiden name). Christine was always willing to help with set ups (she was on my staff for my very first wedding and many others) and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the wedding industry. Without her, I would not have pursued my passion.
Christine lived life to the fullest, had the best smile, twinkling Irish eyes, and has been my voice of reason. She is the only sane person I have ever known, because lets face it we are all a different brand of crazy.
She even picked out my wedding song. She had a thing called 'obsession songs' - "Taking You Home" by Don Henley was one of her obsessions - She said this would be a great song for you and John - I'm pretty sure it was featured on an episode of ER - to say she loved George Clooney (another of her obsessions) would be an understatement.
"The Sign" is my favorite obsession song of hers. We would play it over and over again as we were getting ready to go out on the town. For some reason it empowered us. We would scream the lyrics at the top of our lungs, shimmy our shoulders and point at each other.
I am going to both mourn her and celebrate the dynamic person I am proud to call my soul sister, who is forever a part of me.
I love you Gallagher, you will continue to be my source of inner strength. In times of angst or sorrow your "Don't you fret Castro" was always helpful. I'm trying.