I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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December 14, 2009

A goodbye

oh look, it’s Monday again. Which means time for my weekly post? No, no. Let’s not make this a habit, self. But yes, I am slacking a bit in the blogging department. This time of year is so busy with so many things and to be honest, in the morning I don’t want to be sitting in front of my computer. Hence the sparsely spaced posts.

This weekend was the memorial service for my uncle. He passed away the weekend before Thanksgiving. Expected? To some extent, yes. But that doesn’t mean you’re prepared. He waged an intense battle against a particularly aggressive cancer that in the end took him very quickly. We are all so sad. He was an amazing man, father, teacher and generally essential member of our small family. I don’t think I can do him justice in a post, but it’s very strange that he’s not here.

The only bright spot was hearing from so many of his students and colleagues and friends that he made in his 51 years. He truly touched so many people, which is the mark of a good teacher I think. One whose untimely memorial service was jammed full of students and former students he taught at Santa Monica High School for so many years. He was the front man in a band in his youth, he was a wild adventurer, a philosopher, an inspiration to everyone he met. There’s no reason on earth that his life should have been cut short. Except that cancer sucks.

But I will say that as terrified as I was that my family would never be the same once he was gone (and we clearly won’t), I think we will be okay. And I know this because as sad as Saturday was (and the weeks that preceded), we still found moments of laughter. And for a family that thrives on silliness, things would have felt truly dire without those windows of happy normalcy.

My aunt asked me to make bookmarks to give out at his memorial. And I did have fun with the colored ribbons I tied on the tops of each. Sort of therapeutic, to be making something nice for people to remember him with, tucked inside a book I hope.

So that was the focus of my weekend. That and the surprising back pain that ensues when you wear heels all day when you’re 7.5 months pregnant and you haven’t worn heels since May.

If you’re in LA and haven’t been to Lincoln Fabrics in a while, I strongly suggest stopping in for their crazy ribbon and vintage trim selection. They have fluorescent ribbon people. It’s pretty cool. But warning, the store is not fancy, some of the fabric is decades old. Kind of like a scavenger hunt…

More soon, I promise.


  1. ashley.readings said on December 14, 2009

    i'm sorry to hear about your loss.

    Take care.


  2. Simply Mel said on December 14, 2009

    What a beautiful tribute to your beloved Uncle! I love that the day was filled with laughter and happy memories along with the gorgeous and bright bookmarks. Therapeutic indeed!

  3. Rachel said on December 14, 2009

    I'm so sorry. Losing someone special is difficult, and I hate to say it but it doesn't get that much easier over time, in my experience.

    But knowing that the person was well loved makes all the difference. And it is a beautiful reminder to tell people, daily, that you love them and are grateful to have them in your life. Because it's the unsaid things that haunt you, I think.

  4. jamie said on December 14, 2009

    sorry to hear about your families loss. (((hugs)))

  5. Sara E. Cotner said on December 14, 2009

    We're thinking about you and wishing you well, Kristina…

  6. Paisley Petunia said on December 15, 2009

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. That is so wonderful that he touched so many people in his life.

    (sidenote, I live right by Lincoln Fabrics and have been meaning to drop in, now I will – thanks!)

  7. washmom said on December 15, 2009

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure that the people that received the bookmarks, appreciated having a special way to keep him in their memories.


  8. mk said on December 15, 2009

    I think the bookmark idea a lovely expansion of the prayer cards usually prepared. Especially considering its function: to hold a place. Now that function is two-fold. Two hold a place in a book, to hold a place for your uncle in the memories of those who loved him. How wonderful that you were able to create this for his family and friends. It sounds like although his life was short, it was truly well lived. I wouldn't worry about lackadaisical blogging. Your first job is to live. Blogging about it to entertain us is wonderful, but not nearly as important as being in each moment.

  9. bigBANG studio said on December 15, 2009

    Thank you for writing about the small victories of humor amid the blind, helpless loss. What a beautifully written post, and what a wonderful little gift those bookmarks are for each of the people who came to his memorial. Clearly, he was an amazing man. Big hugs, and hope the prospect of this new little person in your family's life will help inspire good cheer over the holidays. xo

  10. Kim B. said on December 21, 2009

    Everybody's already said it better than I could. Very sorry to hear of your loss, but I know your family is comforted by how much he was loved — and the bookmark *is* a very poetic idea. I like that you had some zen moments preparing them, too.

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