Little Johnny Christian- 20th Anniversary!!January, 27th 1993, I’d just turned 10 years old a month before. I remember being in Mrs. Tuck class so I must have been in about the 4th grade. This should have been a joyous and carefree time for me. Fresh off my birthday, Christmas, and starting a new year. I was actually the complete opposite. I was very sad. My father was the sickest I’d ever seen a person become in my life. The once lively, smooth, debonair guy that was full of life and loved singing that I knew could no longer physically force himself to do much besides lay in bed. Occasionally he would have to muster up enough strength to sit up so that I could help him change a bag on his stomach that would help contain the fluids that slowly dripped from his tiny body through picc line in his stomach which the bag also kept covered and protected. L
For some reason on this day my father was very adamant about going to Mississippi to see his mother for the weekend. The plan was for my mom and I to come home from school/work and my oldest brother would drive us to Mississippi in my father’s van. Unfortunately when we got home my dad didn’t look good at all. My mother sent me downstairs to my aunt’s apartment and she called the ambulance to have my dad rushed to the hospital. I tried to wait up for them, but at some point I fell asleep. When I finally woke it was the following morning, (I assume my brother must have carried me upstairs) I was waking up on the living room floor wrapped in a blanket.
I remember feeling a very strange energy in the house. It was very quiet. I remember my brother looking at me with concern as I walked into my parent’s room. My mother was sitting up in the bed. My father wasn’t there. I crawled in the bed next to her and thought she was about to tell me that the hospital was keeping my dad again, but we’d go visit him later. Instead she has to explain to me that sometimes God calls his children home. Lord did I cry and still cry. In a matter of 3 months a disease I’d never heard of in my life had taken my father’s life. He had lost his battle with cancer. He fought hard all the way through it though. He forced himself to get up and do what he loved no matter how bad he felt until he just physically couldn’t anymore. He sang, performed, cooked, laughed, and loved until the end.
January, 2013 will mark the 20th year anniversary of his passing. I am approaching my 30th birthday and it still hurts as if I am that 10 year old girl and it is 1993 all over again. I only got a chance to have him for 10 short years, but in that short time he gave me so much love, laughter, support, hope, dreams, and inspiration to last a lifetime and for that i am forever grateful.
However, I would like to honor my father by celebrating his life, his love for music and bring awareness to cancer by releasing a few of my favorite songs that he covered on http://littlejohnnychristian.bandcamp.com/ and donating all of the funds to a local Chicago Cancer organization. Let’s keep the individuals battling this disease and their families in our hearts and prayers.
Jenna Marie Christian
I love you Dad!! R.I.P. Little Johnny Christian