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Jazzmyn's Story

$350 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 3 months
My son literally died in the arms of his fiance Jazzmyn Cramer just 15 days after they moved with their two dogs from Seattle to Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  There they planned to get married, build a house, and start a family.  Alone in a new town, Jazzmyn chose to stay and forge a path as close as possible to the one she and Chris had dreamed about for the last four and a half years.


Christopher Pal Phillips, my beautiful son, died May 15, 2018 during a "Welcome to Colorado" rafting trip on the Rio Chama with river guide friends.  It was the third and final day when just before sunset Chris dove into the river and broke his neck, severing his spinal cord.  He had been thrilled by the glow of the sunset on the painted canyon walls, giddy with happiness at being out of the Seattle hustle and bustle.  Chris made an impulsive decision to dive into the river and it cost him his life.  He died in Jazzmyn's arms after briefly opening his eyes, looking at her and mouthing, " I can't breathe.”  Jazzmyn said In a moment the message in his eyes shifted from “babe- something’s wrong" to "I’m so sorry",  as Jazzmyn said he appeared to realize the seriousness of his condition.  Jazzmyn said the deepest sorrow flashed and faded in his eyes as he slipped away.  As his mother I have to say that vision will forever haunt me and I'm sure it haunts Jazzmyn.  


Jazzmyn, the two river guides, one an old friend of Chris’, were in a remote wilderness area on the river when the accident occurred and the sun was setting.  They were forced to lean in to their state of shock, quickly repack their camp into the 3 rafts, load up the dogs, and travel down river to find help.  The river guides put Jazzmyn in the lead raft so she could not see Chris' body in the last raft.  Over an hour of hard rowing passed in near silence, Jazzmyn said. ​ ​I honestly cannot imagine how difficult that must have been for all of them.  The first thing they came upon was a monastery outside of Abiquiu, New Mexico where they were able to call the authorities to report Chris' death.  Jazzmyn called me about 10:30 that night;  it's a phone call I will never forget, every parents' worst nightmare.  


Chris and Jazzmyn were together four and a half years​.  T​hey met in an art gallery in Seattle and clicked right away. Chris was a master carpenter, a musician, a song writer.   He grew up in Alaska and was an expert skier who knew mountains and avalanche dangers,  He had a love for the wilderness, for hiking and mountain biking.   Most importantly, Chris was a good man known to his many friends for his kindness.  He taught Jazzmyn to Alpine skiing in the back-country, and together they took up surfing on the Washington Coast, where they would make friends, feed them hearty, warming food which usually led to playing music around the campfire with the dogs snuggled up at their feet.  Jazzmyn is a concert level violinist, a creative baker who loves to cook, she designs and makes clothing and jewelry which she sold online to earn extra money for their move to Colorado, all while holding down a full time job.  


 Jazzmyn has a head for business, and has recently invested her ​meager ​remaining funds into a small building that needs some work with the goal of opening a bakery/coffee shop in Chama, New Mexico not far from where the tragic river trip began. Equipped with an entrepreneurial spirit, she is resourceful, creative, frugal, determined, and one of the hardest working people I know.  ​She is doing this venture on a wing and a prayer, and could use some financial help to purchase equipment and supplies so she can work to rebuild her life. Being the person she is, Jazzmyn has done her best to carry on after Chris' death and is trying to build a future for herself.  She started with a modest 12X12 insulated canvas dwelling with no utilities or cell service in a field of dreams.  She gave ​us ​Chris' dog Lady thinking she could not handle two dogs over the winter.  Lady is a ten year old rescue dog and needs lots of love that Jazzmyn thought a couple of retirees ​like me and my husband ​could provide. ​​ In December somebody shot her dog ​Thor ​when he ran off.  He was a big curious youngster and he always came back after roaming around for a ​while ​but not this time. She heard the shot, the yelp, and another shot.  She never saw her dog again.  It threw her right back into the trauma and probably PTSD that I know she must have ​suffered ​when Chris died but the saddest part of this new loss was when she said to me, " Well, that's the last of my motley little family." 


That my son lost his dream, everything he worked the last decade for, and his life, goes without saying but the dream also ended for Jazzmyn when Chris died.  She lost her love, her dreams, her future. ​ ​She lost everything.  As Chris' mom who thinks the world of Jazzmyn I was able to offer modest financial help but not the kind of help Jazzmyn will need to rebuild a new life in a new town. My helping Jazzmyn helps me deal with my son's death.  I know it is exactly what my son would want me to do.  
Please know that all donations will go directly to Jazzmyn.  If​ ​ ​she​ can get this bakery up and running it will enable her to carve a healing path in the very place her dream (and love) died.  ​Updates on the progress ​​and fruition ​of the bakery ​will be posted regularly and sent through this GFM portal.


​               With heartfelt thanks,
​     
                Christie Brown37032232_1550007865680253_r.jpeg37032232_155000790173755_r.jpeg37032232_155000793558759_r.jpeg37032232_1550007954201915_r.jpeg
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$350 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 3 months
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