Hi Christina,

When I went to Kelowna for your service (almost a year and a half ago), I thought about asking your mom for something of yours. It didn’t matter what. A necklace, a hair clip, a scarf, anything really. Just something. Something to remember you by.  But it wasn’t the right time to ask.

Almost a year later (last September), I went to Kelowna again, to visit friends and see your parents.  (I don’t know who needed the visit more, me or them.)  They very graciously offered some of your closest friends some of your things: purses, sunglasses, jewellery… little pieces of Christina. I got that gorgeous blue and silver jewellery box you used to keep on your dresser.

gym-bag-fullAnd I was also given your fancy silver Lululemon gym bag. I remember complimenting you on it when you came for a visit one time.

I’ve had it for over six months and I’m finally bringing it out to clean it. I wasn’t ready to before now.

When your mom first gave it to me, I thought I needed it. I thought I needed it to remember you. I thought I needed it to hold onto you. I thought I needed it to so I don’t forget you.

But I don’t need it. Don’t get me wrong- I am so very, very thankful to have it. I feel privileged to have a little piece of you.

But I don’t need it.

I don’t need it to remember you. I don’t need it to hold onto you. I don’t need to remind me to not forget you.

Christina, you are so woven into my life, I will never forget you. So many things make me think of you. And some days it still makes me sad (I don’t know if you could even imagine how much I miss you; how much we all miss you). But just the thought of you makes me smile. And the smiles help make me a little less sad.

So I’m going to go clean out our gym bag now (I like the idea of it not being “your” bag or “my” bag… It’ll be “our” bag from now on.)  It’s time.

And I know I’ll smile every time I use it.

Love you always,