Saturday, May 19, 2012

Uncle Chris


Chris and Tina's wedding day.

Tina and Chris.  I believe this was May 7, 1988 (four days before my wedding)

I met Chris when I was 13.  Chris was in our ward (church congregation) when my family moved to Missouri, and he started dating Tina before much time had passed.   Tina was 16 and Chris was 17.  Chris became good friends with my brothers Brian and Ray too.  Ray and Chris would sometimes go camping.  Brian and Chris like to play games.  Chris was often at our house, and I remember occasionally being at his.  Chris likes music, and in an attempt to expand my horizons (or to save Tina from Air Supply being constantly played) he took the time to make me a tape recording of music that he thought I would like.  I still have at least one of those songs on my ipod's favorites list today.  Chris is good at playing the piano and used to play quite a bit of ragtime music.  I was not above begging him to play, and he was always fabulous to listen to (in my opinion). 

Chris went to Japan on a mission, serving honorably there, and trying occasionally to teach some of us a little Japanese when he got home.  I think I can still ask where McDonalds is in Japanese, and perhaps sing a few lines of a song.  We had moved to Colorado before he got back from his mission, and I went off to college before he married Tina.  I remember waking up in my apartment and thinking "my sister is getting married today", and wishing that I could be there.

Thankfully, Chris and Tina moved to Provo and didn't live too far away from me when I went to BYU.  They were very good to have me over and feed me.  I'll always remember the timely phone call Tina made that meant I didn't have to finish the noodles with salt I was having for dinner!  I spent Christmas with them the year that I met Derek -- a couple of weeks before Derek and I got engaged.  Tina made me a stocking (that I still use every Christmas) and they both were very welcoming.  I was so thankful to have family to spend Christmas with!  They had their first baby boy by then and I always enjoyed being with baby Bryce.

After Derek and I got married, going to Chris and Tina's became a regular thing and and we'd all watch Star Trek together, and often eat their food together too.  Chris went to school for a really long time, and eventually got his PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in behavioral neural biology.  They had several children during that time, and even more after he started working as a professor at BYU-I.  Tina and Chris now have 8 children, 2 children in law, and will soon have two grandchildren.  They are good at knowing the importance of family, and we love to visit with them still, though it's a little harder to find the time to drive to Idaho!

I know a lot of this is about Chris AND Tina, but I do not think Chris will mind.  Chris is a good person.  He is thoughtful and kind.  He has a lot of different talents and has tried out a lot of different hobbies over the years.  He really has enjoyed backpacking and hiking and he has taught his children to like them too.  The brothers on my side of the family try to get a backpacking trip in every year.  Some have gone more smoothly than others, but they always see beautiful things and enjoy each others company.  Chris has been my brother for a long time.  I am thankful for him and his good example to me and to my children.
Tina and Chris with their children.  I couldn't find a more recent one.  My apologies to Jamie and Kat.


Saimi said...

What a nice post Sher. Man Chris seems like he was your brother long before he became your brother in law.

It's great that you all are so close, I couldn't imagine family any other way!

Tina said...

You're a great sister, Sherie. Thanks for noticing what is good about me and trying so overlook the multitude of things that are not.

I have lots of fond memories of talking to you both before and after Tina and I married.