Anyone who knew Chris really well knew that he could be quite sentimental. He was also quite a pack rat! These two attributes meant that he saved lots of cards and letters that he received over the years. I've found a scrapbook of get well cards he received when he underwent surgery as a boy as well as birthday cards dating back to when he was a toddler.
There are also dozens and dozens of letters he received from close friends during his university years - especially when he lived in Belarus for a year. I haven't been reading all these letters line-by-line... partly because they were not meant for me but also because there are soooo many of them! But by skimming them to confirm their senders I have read again and again the deep affection and bond shared between Chris and these friends.
Chris was a true blue friend, through thick and thin - even after many years of not communicating - when he did reconnect with close friends he was attentive and always interested in their news. Not satisfied to merely catch up, he wanted to know how they were feeling and what was uppermost on their mind. Never one for small talk, he quickly got to the heart of the matter without being pushy or nosy. He simply gave his friends the support and encouragement to be themselves.
I am going to try to "repatriate" as many of these letters and cards as I can. I hope that they will provide fond memories and comfort to those who sent them. Simply browsing through them has only confirmed that Chris was a very special and loving person whom we were all so lucky to have in our lives.