It was the day after Easter in 1985 when Mary and Anthony Thornsberry brought a daughter into the world. They named her Christina and raised her in both Imlay, Michigan, as well as Emmett, Michigan. Later in life, when Christina’s junior high friends struggled with the number of syllables involved with her name, they shortened it to ‘Stina’ and ‘Berry’.
Christina has the heart of an artist and among her many gifts is her profound ability to turn her creative spirit towards solving hard problems.
Her son, William, says this about his mom, “My favorite qualities about her are how she can make any situation into a light-hearted fun time where everyone is laughing. She can even turn painful scenarios into happy, funny ones, and she can come up with an idea to solve anything.”
Life problems or project problems, Christina has the strength and wherewithal to manage them all. She can see a dark cloud and turn it into joy and laughter. In fact, laughter might be Christina’s second language – one she shares and teaches freely. A common tongue spoken amongst her friends and family.
Christina would start a relationship with Adam Maxlow sometime after the turn of the millennium. It was in the fall of 2005 that William was born, and then he became part of Adam’s family when Christina and Adam started dating, and Adam officially adopted William in 2019. Christina and Adam would marry a few years later, making her a Maxlow and rendering her old nickname an artifact to a previous time.
Changing her name and becoming a mother did not alter who Christina was at her core. Christina’s drive to create led her to graphic design with a particular love for turning thread into incredible works of crochet, sewing or embroidery. She would follow that dream into a degree and freelance work.
All the while the Maxlow family would build memories and a life together, settling down in Oxford, Michigan. Laughing and singing on family road trips was the music of William’s childhood.
“All of my favorite memories of her include the family trips we’ve taken, when we’ve gone to places like Chicago and Tennessee. I love going on trips with my parents and going to new places. My mom being there made it so much more fun. When she’s around it is always so much more lighthearted and interesting. She can make anyone laugh and she is so fun to be around.”
Christina has a knack for do-it-yourself projects – the greatest of which would be her taking the risk of starting her own business. This business used her experience and skills building crafts and accessories for customers who want something made just for them. The business was named after her childhood nickname – Stinaberry Designs. The risk was worth the reward, regardless, because she was able to be there for her son before he took the next steps in his life.
William, thinking about his mom and all she means to him had this to say, “She has taught me so much about how to be the person I want to be. She guided me to be a better person. And that I can always improve myself, even if I feel like I’m at a low point. She is the reason I know what I want to do with my life, and she has given me the confidence to be strong and push forward. Even though I’m leaving home for a while, I still love you and I will always come back. Through everything, you have been there for me, and I appreciate you so much.”
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