By Jessica Easthope
Christian Santo is hard to forget. His parents Karen and Bill couldn’t be more proud of him.
“Christian was just one of these people that just wanted to help everyone,” Karen said. “He put himself last all the time.”
When he wasn’t giving haircuts to children with autism, playing baseball or spending time with family, the 27-year-old Xaverian H.S. graduate was finding a way to help someone else.
“I learned more about my son Christian when he passed away than I knew of him when he was alive,” Bill said. “He was all heart, my son.”
On Sept.17, Bill’s birthday last year, when he hadn’t heard from his son, he and Karen drove to his Bay Ridge apartment just a few blocks from their family home. Christian had died of heart failure and in a flash – everything he was became a memory.
“I have no regrets, we had a good life with him,” Karen added. “I cry because I miss him but I really feel he’s in a better place.”
Determined to keep that memory alive, the Santo’s acted fast, raising money for academic and baseball scholarships in Christian’s name at his alma mater St. Thomas Aquinas College and creating a sandbox memorial.
“It’s really a reflection, because that’s what my son would want for you,” Karen said of the small, peaceful space on Shore Road.
Christian’s passing has taught the Santo’s what it really means to have faith.
“When I go, I’m going to see my son because I miss him terribly and that’s where my faith comes in,” Bill said. “I truly believe I will see my son again.”
As the first anniversary of Christian’s passing approaches, the Santo’s are getting ready to give away two full tuition scholarships and they’ll continue to help anyone and everyone in Christian’s name, because that’s what he would have done.