Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In Memorium: Jim Christie

I received an email from Michelle letting me know that our friend Jim Christie had died. He was only 43. I met Jim back in 1998 through my friend John A., who was Jim's co-worker. I had a second connection to Jim through Astro Michelle and the Mad Planet group including Al H. and Craigo. Jim and I weren't close friends, but I would run into him at various parties and at Mad Planet. He was always kind, friendly, and non-judgmental. I went to Jim's funeral on February 10. It was at an ELCA Lutheran church in Cedarburg. Michelle, Sarah French, and Mark were there for the visitation but didn’t stay for the service.

I was able to greet Jim’s parents before the service. I’m sure they had no idea who I was, but they seemed grateful that so many people were there. They seemed like nice people. The church was pretty much full for the service.

There was a choir comprised of members of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. Jim used to sing with that group, so it was nice that they sang at the funeral. That added a really nice element to the service. The first hymn was “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and all of the music was beautiful.

Two of Jim’s friends gave reflections. One was a woman I had never met, but she had known Jim since their freshman year of college at UW-Madison. Al H. gave the other reflection, and he did a really nice job capturing Jim’s personality. He talked about his unique and infectious laugh, and how Jim was always late for everything. Al also mentioned how everywhere Jim went, he knew people. It was very touching.

The pastor did say in the sermon (and he had permission from Jim’s family to do this) that Jim suffered some human difficulties I won't articulate here, but those things did not define him; his spirit and love were more powerful than those afflictions.

I found these photos of Jim. The first two are from my 26th birthday party in September 1999. That party was hardly out of control, but my neighbors called the police, who showed up notifying me to keep it down or they'd give me a citation. The first one is Al H. and Jim. The second is Al H., Michelle, some guy I don't remember who might be Little Mike S., Craigo, Jim, and Gina (who I haven't talked with in years, but by choice). The third photo is from my favorite Jim Christie story. It was August 2000 at Anne's birthday party at her then-new condo. Jim had been out in the sun all day with no sunscreen. He was so sunburned; it looked quite painful. To help soothe his sunburned face, Jim had a little spray bottle with him. Every few minutes, he would spray his face with the cool water to soothe his sunburn. It was hilarious, and so fitting for his personality. He was the life of the party that evening. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to know Jim.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will blow away
Maybe I won't feel so afraid
I will try to understand
Either way...

Long may you run

9:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home