July 17, 1968 ~ March 10, 2020
Christie Lord–proud mom, loving partner, loyal daughter, sister, and aunt, and steady friend–died peacefully at home in Asheville with her beloved son Cail and wife Amy Siler by her side on March 10, 2020 after her challenging journey with ALS. She was 51.
Over the course of her life, Christie accomplished many things. She was a high school state champion basketball player and University of Georgia college volleyball athlete. She served as a North Carolina State Trooper. But her greatest impact was in who she was and how she lived. She valued family above everything else. Her love was unwavering. To be loved by Christie meant that you felt safe and protected, seen and honored. Christie brought calm and continuity to so many of her friendships and to the world. She will be missed by many.
Christie loved simple pleasures.
She treasured her childhood memories of endless summer days spent outdoors on her family’s farm in rural Georgia, horseback riding and visiting piglets in the barn. Anyone looking for her knew to find her swimming and canoeing slow-moving creeks and rivers on the land at Millhaven.
Christie began each day with a cup of coffee–handmade espresso and Amy’s homemade caramel sauce. Each morning Cail pretended to sprinkle love in her coffee cup. Losing her morning coffee ritual was an especially hard ALS-related loss.
In their first years together, Amy and Christie were happiest taking their pull-behind-camper to Edisto Beach. She was at her most peaceful walking the beach at low tide searching for seashells. She loved the culture of camping and the people they met who were friendly and good-natured, undervalued traits that Christie deeply appreciated.
At heart, Christie was a nerd. She loved listening to ABBA at full volume, musicals both live and recorded, watching Marvel movies (in what she believed was a non-negotiable “right” order), UGA football (Go Bulldogs!), gardening (especially growing purple and white variegated dahlias), and lazily bird watching on the front porch. The morning after she passed, spring arrived in Asheville. The birds had never been louder. If you find yourself looking for her, look for a Black-capped Chickadee.
She never craved anything extravagant, well…except food. Christie loved going to the Admiral for a custom cocktail and tasting whatever the chef dreamed up that day. Christie daydreamed about Strada’s Tortellini Alla Vodka. Undoubtedly, her love of good food came from a childhood spent at her grandmother’s table.
Underneath her tough exterior, Christie had a tender heart. From painting houses to patrolling state highways, Christie’s work was never easy, but she described the years she spent as a stay-at- home mom to Cail as the most rewarding and hardest job she ever had.
To know Christie was to know that Cail was the highlight of her life. Together, they threw epic dance parties and spent countless evenings telling and re-telling the adventures of Bootsy the cat, a childhood companion. In his early years, Cail loved to pretend that today was a holiday. Together, they spent hours taking down invisible boxes of decorations from the attic and decorating the house. Their invisible lights and garland and Christmas trees were something to behold.
She was thrilled to raise a boy who is deeply sensitive and kind, and in this way, Cail reminded Christie of her brother Bill.
Toward the end of her life, she became increasingly passionate about climate change, particularly the health of our oceans. She had a lifelong passion for politics..but as she so beautifully did throughout her life…we won’t go there.
So many people walked alongside Christie, Amy, and Cail during the years since Christie’s diagnosis. Her parents, William C., Sr., and Patricia Smith Lord, were unwavering in helping Christie have what she needed to live at home over the last two years. Her sister Michele Hutchings, her brother John Frankhouser, her many nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins showed support by visiting and sending sweet notes. For almost fifty years, her older brother Bill was her dearest friend. Even in the midst of losing so much due to ALS, his death was Christie’s greatest heartache. There is no doubt that they, wherever they are, are together.
Jamie Warren was an especially amazing friend. In the final weeks of her life, Jamie visited Christie every day–laughed, cried, and loved her to the very end. She had countless friends who were family to her, and her Asheville neighbors and community showed up to support however they could.
Over the last two years, Christie and Amy chose to LIVE. They traveled to cities and beaches. They saw incredible live music and musicals. They visited friends and prepared Cail for his first day of kindergarten. Wherever you are in life’s journey, you can honor Christie by living your authentic adventure today.
In the days after her death, Cail built a fire. He turned to Amy and said, “I can do all this by myself. Mom taught me how to do this.” Cail is her legacy.
To make a donation in honor of Christie’s life, please consider a tribute donation in Christie’s name to Team Gleason Foundation. Please include Amy’s email address email@example.com so that she and Cail can acknowledge your donation.