When Chrystal was born I’ll never forget the first thing my mother said. Upon seeing her complexion for the first time she exclaimed, “Finally! One that looks like me!” Chrystal is fair skinned like my mother and can often pass for Caucasian. She is right. There have been times they have been together and people thought Chrystal was my mom’s daughter instead of her granddaughter.
Chrystal grew up trying everything. She was the first to do tee ball, and soccer. Every weekend she had some activity going on. But what she really enjoyed and committed to was dancing.
I remember her first performance. It was an all weekend thing and I picked the Saturday afternoon show. I was probably more excited than she was. Anyway, the program lasted a couple hours and Chrystal had like 3 to 5 spots. After the show all of the dancers met with their parents, relatives and other supporters who would dote on them with many congratulations and compliments. I waited patiently and knew she would be so excited to see dear ole dad and I couldn’t wait to shower her with praise. Finally our eyes met and there she went! “Daddy! Daddy! Where are my flowers?” “Uhhhhh, what flowers I said.” I noticed that other people had flowers in their hands but didn’t think much of it. Nice gesture if anything. I had no idea that bringing flowers to a performance and presenting them afterwards was proper protocol. “I’m soooooooo sorry baby. Daddy didn’t know that I was supposed to bring flowers.” Chrystal was always a cool little girl. Nice, pleasant, forgiving. She would pardon the old man you’d think. Her response? “Waaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!” She burst into tears totally heartbroken and disgusted at my utter ignorance. She went straight for her grandpa and didn’t want to look at me. I felt like the scum of the earth pretty much. Yep! That’s how I felt alright. Needless to say I never showed up at another performance without flowers.
What I appreciate about Chrystal was her willingness to be herself which was often different from the norm. She has always been into exotic art, goth and other less than mainstream items. She got me hip to the Hot Topic clothing store because there was a time she wouldn’t go any other place to shop. She came home with gay friends 6-7 years ago. Some of her friends appeared to be social rejects looking from the outside. And they all seemed to love and adore her. She has always been a very loving, non judgmental person. If a friend of hers fell out with their parents and needed a place to stay for a while, she always brought them home and asked if they could be granted temporary asylum.
Chrystal was the kind of youth that did her own thing. She rocks plenty of body art but is savvy enough to keep her tats from common sight. For a while it didn’t seem like she felt the need for her dad as much. Now that she is married and has a son, it seems that we’ve become closer than ever before. We talk about most everything and I am still often surprised by her boldness.
I took her and her husband Justin to one of our favorite breakfast spots the other day. We met there once and now she’s hooked. She’s been on me lately to take them back there lately. “Look dad, me and Justin will pick you up and you pay!” Finally I conceded to the deal, a sucker’s bet. But taking life as it is she brought along a friend of her’s who was having a hard go of it these days. She wanted to give her some support by treating her to breakfast. “You don’t have to pay for her dad, we’ll pay for her meal.”
Right! Like I wasn’t going to cover that.
But that’s Chrystal. Always looking out for her fellow man. I so appreciate her for that.
Currently she is school to be a surgical assistant. I am not surprised. Of course she would pick an industry of service and helps.
And yes she still dances. She has a show coming up in June. And married or not, I’m still bringing flowers.