Posted by on Sep 27, 2017

Tintype by Margaret Muza

When I first meet Christine, shyness seems to peek out of the corners of her words. I expect I’ll need to coax her out of her shell of timidity.

But I’m mistaken.  I realize that if I look at Christine indirectly, through the eyes of her aunt Donna, I’ll see her more clearly.

Christine just returned from a roadtrip through the Southwest, which she went on with one friend and eight people she’d never met.  (Adventurous.)

On the trip, she waited impatiently each morning for the other young women to shower and choose outfits, all the while longing to be out on the trails and seeing more sights. (Confident.)

Also on that trip, she learned to shoot a rifle, and found her mark every time. (Precise.)

She “can’t sit still”. Her foot taps while you talk. (Engaged.)

Instead of a television in her apartment, she has an electric keyboard to keep herself entertained. She’s also adept at the French horn, and is training to be a physical therapist. (Skilled.)

Years ago, she taught herself to play all the Guitar Hero songs left-handed. Why? Because she’s right-handed and had already learned them the way that came easiest. (Driven.)

She will cancel anything to spend time with her cousins. (Loyal.)

And Aunt Donna? Christine tells me about her, with laughter.

When Donna came to Christine’s middle school band concert (Involved, Kind), all of Christine’s friends loved her. (Memorable.) They called her “Christine’s crazy aunt”. (Crazy!)

Since Donna’s mother had passed away before Donna or any of her siblings had children, oldest daughter Donna took a special interest in her 12 nieces and nephews, becoming the closest thing they had to a grandma. (Responsible. Loving.)

She was a professional story-teller.  (Creative.)

She loves wine. She talks loudly. She drags her husband into things. (Spunky.)

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 at the age of 45. (Brave.)

She is now cancer-free. (Strong.)

Donna and Christine, very different from one another, speak of each other with settled admiration. (Lucky.)


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