Remembering Chris Keith, aka “The Adventures of a Thrifty Mama”

Chris just made this her Facebook header photo recently. I smiled every time I saw it . It should be said that Chris’ had a fabulous sense of humor.

I “met” Chris through my Facebook page for my personal blog crazy dumbsaint of the mind and I in turn become a fan of her blog Adventures of a Thrifty Mama in the City ‘Stead, and then later we got to know each other outside of blogging. For those  who don’t know how online friendships work, they might be confused when I call Chris my friend. Online friendships are funny things and sometimes it happens that the people you trust online with your experiences  and thoughts are these people you’ve never even had so much as a cup of coffee with.

Chris & I had a lot in common. We were both struggling to feed our families real food on a food stamp budget and defied being stereotyped as “welfare mom living off the system”. We both were striving  to create a sustainable  and secure food sovereignty for ourselves that didn’t require the safety net of the system, yet both strongly felt that the safety net needed to be there for people who need it to eat. Just a couple months ago, she  was interviewed on a local TV station to talk about the November food stamp cuts and what it could mean to low income families. We both had a history of domestic abuse &  trauma. Beyond that, we had very similar parenting philosophies and were proud Mamas to our larger-than-average family.

It hurts to write these things in the past tense, knowing that that tense does not apply to me as I’m still very much alive and still those things and she is not.On December 5th, Chris and her 14 year old son Isaac were shot and killed by her estranged husband, who was given his guns back by police only one day before.

I don’t want this to be Chris’ story. She was a survivor and now she isn’t. It’s murky territory to presume to speak for the dead but I think Chris would want it said that even though domestic violence can affect all different kinds of women (and men),  the fear of poverty is what prevents many mothers from leaving and if they do find the courage to leave, they do indeed find themselves subjected to poverty. Photo: Eaton Rapids High School Class of 1994 Lost a great friend, daughter and mother yesterday in an act of violence that I can't even fathom. Please keep Chris Keith's children and family in your thoughts and prayers in this very difficult time. If anyone you know is struggling with an unhealthy relationship and you can help please do not hesitate.There is a clear need to address the way families are affected by domestic violence and the part poverty can play on it.

I’ll put that discussion aside for now. When I talk about domestic violence issues in the future,I’ll be thinking of Chris. Right now, my thoughts are with her family & her three youngest children who are safe and being cared for by family. There is a memorial fund set up by Chris’ church. You can go here to make a contribution.

The church and family request that no more toys,clothing and gifts be donated. Monetary donations to the memorial fund are the most needed as Chris’ mom will need to remodel her house a little for the children to live with her and of course, both short term & long term care of the children.


35 thoughts on “Remembering Chris Keith, aka “The Adventures of a Thrifty Mama”

  1. Reblogged this on The Monster in Your Closet and commented:
    As a domestic abuse survivor, this breaks my heart.

    If you can help Chris’s surviving kids, please do. If that’s not possible, I hope you will consider reaching out to someone else in your community.

    Societally, we must endeavor to ensure that no one is left to choose between poverty and abuse.

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of two such beautiful lives. (((HUGS)))
    I’d love to help. Maybe you already mentioned it and I missed it, what size/age are the boys that need clothing? Is anything else that you think make them feel special or maybe briefly put a smile on their face however brief?

    1. Her church says they are working on a list of specific things they need. They don’t want to overwhelm the family,understandably. I will update info in the post as I get it.

  3. Never physically abused. Just verbally and emotionally. Sounds like she was a loving mom to her children and trying hard to help others living on a shoestring. God will have a special place for her.

  4. My heart aches tremendously.
    So sorry. So sad.
    My sister was murdered on May 26th, 2010 by her husband.
    The world is much darker w/out her.
    We must keep telling our stories…keep fighting…keep people aware.
    Btw, the comment above saying “Just verbally and emotionally” THIS IS ABUSE! Please do not say “Just.” My sister’s murderer saved his physical violence for the very end…

    1. I am so sorry. This must feel very personal and emotional to you. Thank you for sharing. I agree….the stories need to be put out there so that people remain aware of the issue & hopefully change this system we have to protect victims of domestic violence.

    2. This breaks my heart! I can only imagine what you are going through. I want to bless you for loving your sister and for being supportive of her!!!!. I recently left a domestic violent situation and my family not only believes my husband, who is in denial, that he never hurt us, but they also tell me that 95% of a husband’s happiness is dependent on the wife, and that if he is not kind, then I must have made him that way. There is nothing I can say to get any compassion. I either made him that way, or, if he is abusive, I still should not leave because it is better to be faithful to death even if it costs your life. I am surrounded by friends and extended relatives who care and protect us. I cannot even start to describe the pain of betrayal from my own family . . . my husband was abusive in all ways for years but the physical abuse did not start until this year. I left when he made a death threat. I am so, so, sorry to read this . . . there is something badly wrong with the law to give a man like that his guns back, EVER!!!!!!!!!!

  5. My heart broke when I read that. I’d followed Christine’s blog and enjoyed her posts, but I never commented or spoke to her. I can’t presume to know her, but from what I’ve read – she was a remarkable, smart and kind woman. May she and her son rest in peace.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend.

  6. Spousal abuse is always devastating and a waste of human life. I cannot get my head around such anger and need to pull the trigger. Thankfully, the rest of the children are safe. Why is it that the angry spouse blames the other for his insecurity?

    My Ex pointed his hunting rifle at my head once. He was so drunk he might have pulled the trigger. I was sure I was a goner. To this day, I can’t recall what happened next. How lucky the worst didn’t happen. I’ve never told anyone this. Thank goodness we had no children at the time.

  7. Val, I am saddened by this loss, this completely inexcusable loss, and am sorry you have the unhappy task of sharing it. As you well know, it is crucial that Chris’s story, and others like hers, must be told.

  8. How terrible … so saddened by this post – that not even in our homes with our loved ones we can be safe – this is a problem all over the world. Just wonder what our world has come to … I know it happen in the good “old days” too – but not like now. Abuse, violence, guns and other weapons … adults and children, we are all targets … for no reason. So so sad … my heart is bleeding – what a fantastic post.

  9. This is a tragic story which is too oft repeated in today’s world. Our scholarly educators tell us mankind is evolving into a better creature. Obviously they don’t deal with real life situations on a daily basis.

  10. Thank you for sharing your connection to Chris. I was her minister for several years from 2005-2012 until she switched to the Lansing church after she moved up there. I was at the Lansing church for their prayer vigil on Saturday and can tell you they have things well in hand for the Christmas presents for her three surviving children. Chris had made a list of things she needed for Christmas for the church to help with, and so they knew exactly what to get, and those items had all been taken off the tree where they were listed by the end of Saturday. So please don’t worry about that piece of things. But the care calendar for people in Lansing or the memorial fund for those who aren’t are a great way to be of help.

  11. Nothing to say but letting you know that my heart is breaking and my tears are flowing. Oh God, when will this madness against women and children end? Thank you for sharing this, Val. I fear very odd “liking” it, but I wanted to register my support.

  12. This is a very sad piece my friend an something that happens all too often. It is not enough to say that these things happen without something being done to prevent it, and i hope that one day this kind of story will be a thing of the past.


  13. My Lord! Another woman, another child. Both preventable losses. We must expose this kind of violence everywhere it threatens to take residence. This should not and cannot continue to happen. Will share via social media also.

  14. I am in shock …. I wondered why I hadn’t seen any posts from her and just did a search to find her……. I cannot begin to imagine what you and her babies are going thru…. God bless your family.

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