I may be a broken record at times. Moments tend to stick out to me and I can never remember if the thing that is so important has been said before. With that being said, one of several things people said to me was “I was worried about you. Now that I’ve saw you, I know that you have some of Chris’s strength in you.”
I’ve been called strong before. There was some stuff with my family a few years ago. I lost my Papaw, who was my hero, in 2015. I moved from Kentucky to Texas when I couldn’t find a job. However, being told some of Chris’s strength transferred to me was/is one of the highest compliments.
Chris was strong. He just looked it. He could be very intimidating when he wanted to be. His eyes were this clear bright shade of blue (see below) that made me melt. While they bought comfort to me, he was told that they would put others ‘in their place.’ Add into this equation that he was a martial arts enthusiast (he joked that this was the ‘other woman’), and he gave off this aurora of strength.
Chris was also very mentally and emotionally strong. To be completely honest, that is what aggravated me the most about him. It helped me find my own strength. However, when I was sitting there in the middle of a breakdown and he would say “Just breathe. This won’t last forever” I would give him death glares, mostly because that is him. He was slow to anger put held his own very easily.
I looked towards Chris to be my protector. He got his nickname, Raggedy Man, partially because I view the Doctor as a sense of hope and protection. Chris would hold my hand and I’d become almost fearless because I knew he was there with me. That if i got into trouble, he would protect me.
We had the chance to visit our families literally the week before he died. On our way to my hometown from his sisters town, we had the chance to stop at a gas station I avoided as it was one me and my ex, who Chris called Greyback (yay Harry Potter reference!) would frequent. Said ex also lived less than 5 minutes away, or had in 2013, so I avoided it.
Chris and I made the plan to stop but I had one of my ”I’m going to cry and panic but not really say whats bothering me because I can’t understand’ moments. He figured it out, per usual, and said we should still go. After all, my favorite smoothies were made there. So we pulled into the gas station, my hand in his, and we went in. He held onto me the whole time we waited just in case. I came out of there smiling because I had done something. He told me he was proud of me. I only was slightly let down because that silly part of me wanted Greyback to see I was protected.
Greyback is one of the main reasons i didn’t want to come back. I didn’t have my protector and what if I ran into him? So for the last 2 months, I’ve been looking over my shoulder and holding my breath when I’d enter into ‘his’ territory, which includes the largest mall in the region and said smoothies. Yesterday, it happened. I saw him.
My heart did stop. I did start to panic. However, I did it. I saw Greyback and I didn’t freeze. I saw him and he didn’t hit me. He honestly probably didn’t see me. The point though, is i did it. I faced a fear without my protector physically being there. That helps me see the strength inside of me. That helps cement in my mind that I am a fighter and Chris just helped bring out the strength that was in me all along.