It is an extraordinary gift for a mother when she gets to see her child through the eyes of another. I am forever grateful for the stories that have been shared about my son, Christiano. Here is one of them brought to us by a young lady named Adria. She went to high school with Chris and they were on the swim team together.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Barbosa,
Hello, my name is Adria Spivey. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the chance to speak to your family and to you throughout the events of this past weekend. However, I felt drawn to share with you how your son, Chris has had such an incredible and amazing impact in my life.
I first met Chris my senior year of high school when he came out for the swim team. At first all I knew him as, was the extremely tall kid (A.K.A. Tall Chris); but even then I knew there was something extremely special and bright in him. As the swim season went on, I learned about that giant and fell in love with his contagious smile, his encouraging personality, his caring heart and his gift to make people laugh.
As you already know, Chris was one of those people who could instantly change your bad mood into a positive one. One look at his glowing face was enough for you to forget all the bad and solely focus on the good. He truly was a bright light in this dark world. He made everyone see the brighter side of life, and showed people the amazing gifts that God has blessed them with.
Not only could Chris make people see the brighter side of life, he was one who created laughter. From his incredibly animated swimming, to his fabulous stories on the bus and his unforgettable, uplifting words of encouragement, Chris was truly a tool used by God to make people laugh and smile, as if seeing a glimpse of Heaven.
I remember one day after practice, my younger sister and I were waiting for our father to pick us up, but he was running late. For the next 45 minutes or so, Chris made time fly as we conversed and almost fainted from laughing so hard. When our father finally arrived, we stared to pack up and walk out just as Chris simultaneously stared to pack up, as well. In confusion, we asked him, ‘aren’t you waiting for a ride?’ With a grin on his face, he innocently answered, ‘No. I walk home.’ My sister and I were both so taken aback that someone would be so caring and thoughtful to have given up their time just to make us happy. Likewise, no one made me more excited to see them just by passing each other and sharing a high-five or hug in the halls during school, and I cannot wait to see that bright smile again someday soon.
So thank you. Thank you for raising and sharing such an incredible man; one of honor, respect, graciousness, mercifulness, joy, love, peace, happiness, encouragement, and one after God’s heart. His legacy will truly live on through the people he has effected and through the lives he has changed. And, I rejoice in knowing that Chris is resting in the presence of God, waiting for the day we can all join him at home.
EPHS Swim Team 2012. Christiano is the 10th one in from the left in the back row.
After Swim Fun at Gregg’s Restaurant. Adria is pictured on the far right.