| Guest Book - Page 6 of 7
following are emails/messages I've received to be added to the guestbook.
Please remember that you can email me any comments/pictures/etc
that you'd like to be added here to:
or by ICQ (UIN 278071). (Please do not message me comments on the
IRC. They'll most likely be looked over.) Thanks to everyone who
has submitted comments and memories here.
It's a bit strange to realize that someone that
I've known for a number of years -- someone younger than me -- has
passed on. In his life, though, Chris was a better person than I
can hope to be.
Having met Chris briefly in person a year or so
ago, I can wholeheartedly say that the world is a slightly dimmer
place without his presence, and I regret not knowing him better.
But I subscribe to that philosophy depicted so well in a certain
Barenaked Ladies song, "I'm the kind of guy that would laugh at
a funeral." I think Chris would want us all to enjoy the holidays
remembering the good things about his life rather than dwelling
on his absence.
My heart goes out to Chris's family and close friends.
May his memory bring you happiness in the days to come even though
his physical presence no longer can.
Undernet operator and semi-official troublemaker
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This is TerraByte from Undernet, #Wasteland. Jonathan Disher (Jonafun)
just told me what happened. I really don't know what to say, it
was a shock to hear. I just want to express my condolences to everyone
else who knew Chris.
Goatbert on AIM/IRC, Formerly TerraByte
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After knowing Chris for a couple of years through
the IRC medium.. I always found him to a be a very helpful person
with subjects that he had knowledge of.. which were very many. He
was quite unique and an extremely intelligent individual with great
potential to do many great things in life. Not to mention, he was
a very congenial and friendly person to all those around him. He
will be missed greatly, and my heart and prayers go out to his family
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I waited this long
before posting something, because I was not entirely sure what I
wanted to say. I was honestly too baffled to fully deal with what
has happened in a more than ceremonial or 'correct' way. Now, having
returned from Boston, I feel that I can adequately express myself
without sounding too much the fool.
"Hey Shawn. Pat, Bosse
and I are going over to the Fox and Hound with Chris and Andrea.
Would you like to join us?"
Bosse and I are going over to Chris and Andrea's tonight. We're
going to have a drink or two and watch some movies. Care to join?"
These are invitations
that I heard from Ed a fair number of times over the past year or
two, and more often than not, I declined them. If you know me, then
you know how hectic and crazy my life is. People have often said
that I know everyone in western Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio and
New York, and my free time both here at home in Pittsburgh and up
at school in Erie is often taken up with one or many of the myriads
of people I know; I declined these invitations seven times out of
ten, because I figured, "Chris and Andrea will be around for a good
long while. There will always be time to see them when things are
not so busy for me. I can make more time for them later."
If only I had known.
Before Chris first
came down to Pittsburgh, I used to talk with him extensively over
the internet. He and I had many similar experiences socially, and
we often connected on the same wavelength when it came to things
happening to us in life. We both were often not very pleased with
the way things were going in our lives, but pleased enough that
we could see to when things would be better. I suppose it would
be five years or so now that I have known him. Perhaps six or so.
He had a perspective on life that was very close to mine, but he
was an uninvolved party to whom I could come for advice -- advice
I might have given myself, had I not been to close to the problem
to see it. He was a wealth of interesting conversation topics. I
was so very pleased when he came down to live among us.
He had moved in with
Joe. The two of them had this hole-in-the-wall apartment that, while
there were no rats, and the door had a lock that worked, was still
very much an apartment that screamed "two single men live here.
Enter and walk at your own risk." It was not a bad place, and they
managed to make it homey for themselves.
We were always over
there. Ed and myself, of course. Various others. "Hey, let's go
over to Joe and Chris'" was the cry. We all would hang out and have
a good time.
Then things became
more serious with Joe and his girlfriend Dawn, and things between
Chris and Andrea were just as, if not more, serious, and suddenly
Joe and Chris had a difficult time seeing eye to eye. They still
cared about one another, sure, but certain things were causing difficulties.
So they went their seperate ways.
I spent a lot of time
with Ed, because he lives so very close to me, and I spent a lot
of time with Joe, still, because he and I had a strange bond developed
during high school, and naturally I still saw Chris and Andrea,
but not nearly as much as I used to (or would have liked.) The two
of them went to my high school prom with me. Them, and another friend
of ours and his date from high school. If you look at the pictures
of the six of us, we all look so happy and carefree. It was such
a pleasant evening. Andrea looked fabulous in her dress, and Chris
was smashing in is tuxedo. I think we all still have the pictures.
When they were taken, we were outside, and the sun was shining bright,
and Chris had that trademark smile of his.
That smile of his.
You have never seen
that man without his smile.
If he was sad or angry,
it was still present, but it was a sad or angry smile, and it still
kind of made you want to smile too. But when he was happy, watch
out! When he was just coasting along for a while in life, and when
he was simply happy with the way things were going, or the current
instant, he had a smile that just made you want to grin and laugh,
and pat him on the back and tell stories that everyone could enjoy.
He would talk and laugh and listen and become so enthusiastic about
whatever it was he was doing that you would have to be inhuman if
you did not have the irresistable urge to talk and laugh and listen
along with him.
His smile was infectious.
Chris himself, truly,
was like the colorful bird that made our own dull, drab surroundings
that much more bearable.
This past weekend,
I was part of the group that travelled to Boston. In between the
viewings, I went back with the others of our group to Andrea's place
for a luncheon before we would return to the parlor. Her house was
packed. There was the party we had brought from Pittsburgh, Andrea's
family, Andrea's extended family, and their animals. The house was
decorated wonderfully. There was Christmas music on, ever so faintly,
and the television was on, but muted. There was plenty of food and
drink. I was standing in the living room next to Tony and Tim, and
Ed was standing off to one side. The furniture was full of our friends
and some of Andrea's family.
I turned to Tim and
said, "You know, Tim, we're here, and Andrea's family is here, and
there is plenty of food and drink, and the atmosphere is almost
pleasant. Almost everyone is here. It is the holiday season here
in beautiful Boston, and almost everyone is here. It would be an
absolutely wonderful holiday celebration, but we're missing someone..."
I had to stop, as
my mood had turned very, very sour, and I found it difficult to
finish the last few words, and I noticed that everyone around me
was nodding in agreement while reaching for kleenex or handkerchiefs.
It would have been a perfect moment, but someone vital was missing.
Why is it that we
never really had such a perfect gathering before? Sure, we had the
bash over the summer, but it wasn't the same. It was just a party,
and sure people had a good time, but it was not something into which
everyone had put their heart.
Chris is a good man
-- a strong man -- with a heart of pure gold. I am proud and honored
to have known him as I did. My only regret is not accepting Ed's
invitation to join them more often than I did.
In the past year or
so, I was not as close with him as I used to be, but I still cared
deeply for him, and thought highly of him.
Goodbye, Chris. And
Shawn R. FitzGerald
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