This beautiful lady, her husband, and their unborn child were murdered in March. I didn't mention it in March because I didn't know what the hell to say...it has been a challenge mentally and emotionally to process what has happened.
We were Facebook friends, and she knew some of my relatives, having grown up in South Mississippi and going to school in the same county as I did. She was briefly on Food Network, you may remember, competing to be the next Food Network star. But that was a mere hour of edited television, and not an accurate reflection of who she was. I hope her family and friends who have come to her defense concerning this know that most of us who were watching are aware of that and do not label her based on a TV show.
Cristie was a feisty, intelligent woman with an impressive resume, and more importantly, a tremendous amount of passion. I've followed her journey as a chef, celebrity caterer, newlywed, and expectant mother. She was so happy, and so excited about her future.
There have been a great many tears over this cruel, senseless, unfathomable loss. It's hard to describe the feeling of disbelief, despair, and outright anger that everyone who knew her is experiencing. Nearly six weeks after it happened, I attended her memorial service in a beautiful historic church, but all I could manage to say was "Okay...I'm so sorry." There are really no words for this.
I'm glad I went, in spite of being utterly useless to the family. Her parents greeted everyone at the door and thanked us for coming. Her mother and brother even stood up to speak, as difficult as it was to do so. They are so strong, and I admire them so much.
May Cristie, J.T., and baby Skylar rest in peace.