richard and christa
To know Richard and Christa is to love them. they are two friends of mine so generous in spirit that they continue to amaze and humble me. Richard had just started working with me at perspective charter schools when shiya was born and ayrie was diagnosed. We ended up in a situation where the kids were kicked out of their daycare and i couldn’t find a new one. I was new enough at my job that I was afraid I would lose it if I took too much time off. Richard told me, “My girlfriend Christa could take some time off of work and watch the boys.”
I was thinking, “Seriously? Why would she do that?” I barely know Richard and had never met Christa. But that’s exactly what she did and the two of them helped me get through that rough spot. Little did they know that that was just the beginning of a long series of rough patched they would be helping the me through!
They became some of our best friends in Chicago and the boys and I definitely quickly came to think of them as family. They cheered ayrie on at his soccer games, geo cached with us in the middle of some cold thorny woods, celebrated birthdays, watched elections and more. And when things got really bad? When we were flying to Boston for surgeries? Richard and Christa trained for a half-marathon and collected donations for us, calling their endeavor “Running for Ayrie.” They solicited donations, gave prized, organized an online presence and more. It was amazing and we definitely could not have continued ayrie’s amazing treatment in Boston without them.
Not only did this bring us closer, even as they moved half way across the country, but it also brought us an even bigger family as we came to know Richard and Christa’s extended family, all equally generous and kind.