I began putting this article together about a week ago. My intention was to help alleviate some of the financial stress and pressure on a family that has fallen on very hard times. I wanted to help raise money for their bills and the funeral that was going to be coming in the near future. As I write this in the early morning, that time is here.
I feel the need to share her story. She was a special person. She was a heart person. Christine was born in December of 1978. Ten years after her birth her mother passed away from small cell ovarian cancer, leaving her and her younger brother, Adam, with their father, who suffered from Type 1 Diabetes, her Grandmother, who suffered from chronic emphysema, and her Aunt Donna.
As the years passed, Christine became the main caretaker. Her Aunt Donna moved out, had a child, and began working, leaving her mother to babysit, which, in turn, fell on Christine’s shoulders. She went to school, cooked, and cleaned. While home she catered to her father, grandmother, her brother, and her cousin. She did the best she could with what she had. To many, she earned the title: “Cinderella.”
In 1998, her father passed away, leaving her orphaned at 17. A month later she lost her grandmother. By now she had her own daughter, Jessica.
Yes, Christine was a single teen mom. She struggled. She did have a lot of help from her Aunt Donna and Uncle Tim Duncan, and her Aunt Deanne.
Then one day she met the love of her life, Bill Morris. All bets were against them. Against the advice of most, they married.
They struggled, like we all do, and they had another daughter, Carolyn.
As they grew up together, they grew stronger as a couple. Christine worked hard for what she had, and so did Bill, together, they didn’t have a lot materially, but they had built a Morris Empire, they had more than most, they had love.
Christine was a wonderful mother. She became the mother she always wished she had. The bond she had with both of her daughters was limitless and beautiful.
Christine would give you her last dollar, her last loaf of bread, or drive you someplace on her last gallon of gas. She would give whatever she had if you needed it. What she couldn’t give with money, she gave with time. She was passionate and very alive.
Months back Christine started having female issues and decided to simply have a hysterectomy. She thought it was the safest thing to do since she could possibly be genetically linked to the same small cell carcinoma that took her mom. All the pre tests came back negative. She went in for the surgery and tumors were discovered. She was diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer.
The next few months, through surgery after surgery, chemo treatment after chemo treatment, through wig after wig, Christine kept her vivacious spirit intact. If you didn’t know the situation you would never know she was suffering from such a serious form of cancer. I assume she hid a lot to keep from letting anyone know.
She was unchanged, even after they told her she was now in Stage IV.
As her body weakened, walking became harder, driving impossible. She began depending on her daughter Jessica to drive. She was losing her independence, but her spirit remained intact. She forced herself to do the family trips they do together every year, because she wasn’t going to let her family down.
As Christine grew weaker Bill began missing work, losing time and money, to take care of her needs, which were growing daily. The financial issues, though not a word has been said, have to take a toll.
Today, Christine’s daughters, Carolyn 13 and Jessica 16, lost their mom, their best cheerleader and best friend, and Bill lost the love of his life. Christine passed away this afternoon.
I am begging each one of you that reads this article to donate at least a single dollar to help raise money for Christine’s funeral. It’s a secure link and the money will all go straight to the family to help ease their burden.
Thank you for reading and please donate…they are in dire need. This is my Christine Russell Morris Fund Link:
This is my personal open letter to my cousin, Christine:
I hope my words somehow reach you. You were a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit. So many times I wanted to come and sit by your side silently and simply hold your hand, but it was a time for immediate family. We talked about it, I hope you understand.
I have a lot of great memories of you. You always made me smile and sometimes laugh pretty hard. My memories have danced through my head thousands of times.
Your illness has taught Dave not to waste a minute of life, because it’s fragile and short. A long life isn’t promised. Without even realizing it, you gave him a gift. He wanted to come and see you, but couldn’t.
You did a phenomenal job raising Jess and Carolyn, your mothering will carry them. They are beautiful and smart young ladies and they will hear your whisper guide them.
Here, there is a lot of sadness and grief, but that’s ours to suffer, your suffering is over. It’s your time to fly free, little one, go fly with the angels…
I love you,