I remember sitting in human sexuality class at Portland State, this guy was sitting next to me, he had black hair with bangs swept over his forehead, he was cute, he had the hood up of his grey hooded sweatshirt and was wearing vans and skinny jeans. It’s amazing how after such memory loss, that is a memory that sticks in my mind. It was 2007, i was newly separated from my husband at the time and living in Portland at my late grandparents home, I would move on campus and downtown shortly after meeting this guy and seeing how convenient it was having an apartment downtown, close to campus. The professor was explaining Cunnilingus, I had missed what it meant. We were in a lecture of about 200 students. I looked over at this random guy with his hood over his head and asked him “what is Cunnilingus?”
That was how I met my college best friend Christian. Quite the introduction explaining to some random girl what Cunnilingus meant. You know, oral sex to a vagina. Not an awkward thing to answer to some random female in your class. But it broke the ice, and the rest is history.
I think after class we went and got a drink at the local hangout Suki’s, the on campus bar and restaurant that had daily happy hour for a bite to eat and a drink. This place would definitely become a regular place I would go and it was 2 blocks from my on campus apartment eventually and had a cheap, broke college mom budget drinks and eats daily!
I’m so glad I asked that uncomfortable, ridiculous, uneducated question. That question led to a life long friendship, a friendship that saved me during my college years and the struggles I would endure from leaving my ex husband, a friendship that taught me SO much that I had no idea about in life. I drove and had a car, Christian did not and he lived less than a mile away. I think that I loved his apartment so much, that is what made me want one at Portland State, plus my son went to daycare at Portland State. I still worked out at LA Fitness in Hillsboro, so when I would take my son to his dads, I would go work out. It just all worked for me at that point In my life.
Christian served such a purpose in my life, he taught me so much. He is a special education professional that has now gone on to starting a doctorate program in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He left Oregon to go to Kotzubue, Alaska, a tiny fishing village to teach and make an impact. I definitely used the R word when I first met him, not even thinking about it and how that can be offensive to others and is just so rude to use. He highly disliked when I would say it and he taught me not to use it and why, anytime I said it, he corrected me. It definitely took some time to change my bad habit, one that was so normal since growing up, but being around Christian really shaped me and taught me not to use a word that is a derogatory word. I appreciate that from him and he would be so proud to hear my son, who he definitely knows and was around for many years who does not use that word and when my dad does or anyone else, he corrects them. It makes me so happy when I hear Jax correcting others and educating them why not to say it. And it’s even more heartwarming knowing that technically, Jaxson could be called the R word due to his intellectual disabilities. And I get it fully now, if someone called my son the R word I would punch them. Just because he has some disabilities from being so sick as an infant and as a toddler, it in no way gives anyone the right to call him a name, especially not the R word. He gets a 4.0 and yes it requires a ton of hard work and an IEP and a lot of school supports, but he does it and I’m always so proud of him for correcting others and the only thing I can contribute a lot of that from is Christian being a big part of our life since he was about 3 years old and learning by his example and friendship.
I at some point before my TBI lost touch with Christian. We had usually stayed in touch, last time he was in Seaside, Jax and I went and met up with him. That was I think In the summer of 2016, after I had broken my back. When I woke up from my coma he was someone I wondered about and didn’t know why he wasn’t still in my life. I knew he was still in Kotz and had a girlfriend, possibly a wife. Kotzebue is a small town, approximately 3000 or so people and he worked for the school district. It’s a small fishing village. Last we had talked he had a serious girlfriend but I kept thinking they were getting married but my memory got so affected I didn’t know if I was making that up. He still had a facebook, but he was NEVER good at social media. I emailed him and text him but I don’t think I had the right number or email. I googled him. But I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I then decided to post a picture on Instagram of us and wrote a caption about how I was looking for him and to reach out if anyone could help. Holy shit! I cannot believe I thought of doing this and used hashtags that related and were common for Kotzubue. A day later I got a direct message from Nicole, his wife! Best day ever. I have text with him since and messaged with his wife and hope to catch up over the phone soon. His wife and him are having a baby this summer and will most likely be moving back to the “lower the 48” this summer. I can’t wait to catch up with him and I am SO unbelievably grateful for his wife and for her reaching out. Hands down this was one of the highlights of this year. I’m so excited to reconnect with him and meet his wife and I’m so proud of myself for finding him through Social Media despite my issues and inability since brain injury and the simple fact he doesn’t use Instagram or social media.
Happy Birthday to my friend Christian, yesterday was his birthday. I’m so thankful to have him back in my life, he is a huge part of my life that was missing. I have learned so much from this guy, had so much fun and life experiences with him and he is one of the most real, genuine men I have ever met. My college best friend, my forever friend, someone I respect and care about deeply and am proud to know.
I have lost my pics over the years with new phones and computers. They are somewhere but I don’t know where. I did talk to Christian and he has these readily available, I think they are from the last time I saw him in Seaside when Jax and I drove down and met him. There are none of us, but it shows how little my kid was and how long ago it was.