Colton Corner: Coming together in the midst of sorrow
The floor of the Colton High School gymnasium was filled as friends, community members and first responders from Colton and Molalla came together to celebrate the life of four-year-old Kirsten Bjorn.
Kirsten passed away April 28 after a drowning accident at day care. But this day was filled with stories that left those who came to celebrate her short life smiling as often as wiping tears. Her family spoke of the life of the red-headed girl with the big heart that was matched by her big smile, generous spirit and imagination.
Her mother, Beccah Bjorn, spoke at the memorial service of the love and fun Kirsten shared with everyone. How she would make cupcakes with pink frosting to hand out at football games, how much she loved her mother and father, her new baby sister and her big sister and brother. Kirsten was a fan of whimsical, mythological creatures, unicorns and sprites.
A video was presented featuring Kirsten with family members, farm animals and another passion, trying on high heels in the shoe store. The stories shared gave those in attendance smiles and laugh-out-loud moments as well as tears.
The family spoke of Kirsten and her love of life, but some who didn't speak told stories. Kirsten would go with her mother and help her deliver food as part of the Gleaners program. My neighbor who is a recipient of the program said Kirsten would always make her smile, in fact the neighbor would have her "toy box" ready for the little girl to explore and spend a few minutes of play time between deliveries. "Kirsten just made each day a little better with her visits and smiles," she said.
Kirsten's photo was often shared in Colton Corner as she loved to participate in community events. She put her smiles and joy into everything she did from hunting for Easter eggs, talking to Santa or climbing into a fire rig to taking a turn at playing firefighter.
Beccah Bjorn said Kirsten was born with eyes wide open so she wouldn't miss anything. One of her favorite things to do was share. She handed out teddy bears at the Oregon City parade and from the family garden she would take sunflowers to her neighbors and friends. The family handed out packets of sunflower seeds for those in attendance to take home, plant and grow (and share) in memory of their little red-headed girl.