CPL. Ciara M. Durkin
Website created, owned, and operated by the Durkin Family.
Friends' stories of Ciara...
This page is under construction, but will be added to on a regular basis. If you wish to add a story, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and add a picture of you and Ciara if possible.
From: Helen P.
I feel such a strange set of emotions in writing this recollection of Ciara; a friend lost far too soon. It is difficult to realize Ciara really is gone because in my memories she feels so very much alive.
Though I had lost contact with Ciara over recent years her infectious laugh has left its indelible mark in my mind and can bring tears or a smile whenever I think of it. Ciara and I met upon her return from Ireland. I was introduced to Ciara in a manner which was quite silly (quintessential Ciara story – what is a story about Ciara without silly somewhere in it?). At any rate, we were never meant to form a friendship; let alone one so strong.
Some kids from the neighborhood brought Ciara around with the purpose of creating trouble; under the guise of Ciara having a crush on my then boyfriend and something needed to be done about it. Well, in the end the joke was on them, as that was clearly the last thought in her mind! Unfortunately for the boys, no fighting was to take place. They chose the wrong girls for their games, and from the day we met, we were inseparable.
I think over the span of our teenage years we saw more of each other than we did of our own families. We definitely fit the cliché of “opposites attract”, on the surface that is. We were best friends during a time in our lives when we were naive, uninhibited and open to new adventures, of which we had many! Actually everyday spent with Ciara was an adventure. Her personality was so big, her love and laughter and sense of adventure so strong, she really was not a quiet person that just watched life go by. I look back on those times and am thankful, not because we came through fairly unscathed, but because one can actually say, though Ciara’s life was cut too short, the life she led was done to the fullest!
Recently while talking with some friends at the office another silly Ciara story came to mind. There was a car fire on the side of the highway that morning; the driver thankfully safe. We were discussing the incident when the funniest story came to mind. I can still picture it as it were yesterday a story I had completely forgotten about for years but remembered and laughed, and cried about, and wished I could reminisce with Ciara about. The weekend I received my driver’s license I was involved in a car accident (whole other story…) that totaled my father’s car. As punishment my father made me take my life’s savings from working, which as you can imagine was not much, and buy another car for the family (that sure taught me some lessons!). At any rate, my money did not go far and the piece of junk car in its entire splendor became known as “the ghetto slider” [dubbed by our friend Brian W.]. Five nights per week Ciara and I, sometimes just the two of us, and sometimes, but always to my father’s chagrin, with a slew of teenagers in the car would pick my dad up from work to drive him home. The running joke with his buddies at the post office where he worked, many of whom were senior citizens like himself and I think confused enough that they believed us, was that Ciara was his other daughter. Ciara of course played that one up and I’ll tell you those old guys always loved the attention she gave them and the fact that this kid was interested in how their day was going and joked around with them brought many smiles to everyone's faces.
On one occasion as we waited in the parking lot for my father with the car idling, music blasting, windows up, singing very loud and probably off-key, giggling away at something or other, we didn’t notice the big commotion going on around us. Turns out the postal police, and some bystanders were frantically yelling to us as they ran towards the car, waving their arms. By time they reached us, with clueless looks on our faces as we rolled the windows down and still had the music blaring, we were informed that our car was on fire! There was smoke coming out of every single part of the hood, but because of the wind the smoke did not blow up into the air, just down and along the sides of the car. Since we didn’t see it we were not at all worried and lackadaisically popped the hood of the car only to see that the entire engine was engulfed in flames. The rest of the incident was a bit of a blur because at that point we were in shock and froze, but the postal police, and Boston Fire Department got the situation under control. Meanwhile, this of course happened within seconds, my dad strolls out of the facility taking in the crazy scene at the main entrance to the postal annex with all sorts of people out and about, merely shaking his head at the sight of me and Ciara sitting on the curb giggling as the car was being tended to by the fire department. I didn’t get into trouble for that one, and thankfully since we were safe my father did not follow through on his threats to call Ciara’s mother and tell her about the incident. We really were in our own little world.
I miss Ciara. I will treasure my memories of her and our friendship forever. I don’t know if I will ever find the right words to convey what she meant to me, but I am glad to be able to share my memories of her with others that loved her too.
I cannot pinpoint an exact cause of us drifting apart, but can say that sometimes we take different directions in life that over the course of time tends to separate friends. I have never been superstitious or a believer in “signs”, but out of the clear blue on Friday September the 28th I thought specifically of Ciara while at work (not sure if it was a sign or more ADD as my husband accuses me of having). I went so far as to do a search online to see if her number or address were listed. Nothing turned up and I wondered how I could go about reconnecting with her (thinking of even calling her family since I found them listed). Only two days later I found out she died, probably sometime while I was thinking of her. I think I’m becoming somewhat of a believer in signs now and just wish this one did not turn out the way it had.
Life’s good lessons are never taught easily, and for me I know that if I am ever so lucky enough to form a best friendship or bond with someone as I did with Ciara, I will not let us simply drift apart. Thank you for all of your efforts in creating this site, it is comforting that Ciara’s spirit, legacy, and story can live on!
From: Kristine B.
I can remember the first day that I met Ciara. It was a sunny, Sunday afternoon in the end of May. I was at a friend's house, sitting outside while he worked on his car. Ciara walked by and saw us there and I think she could see the boredom written on my face! She walked over and introduced herself. I recognized her as someone that went to Fontbonne with me, but I had never met her before. We spent the next few hours talking and that was it. We remained almost inseparable for the next few years.
One Fourth of July, a group of us decided to go to the Hatchshell for the fireworks. We got up early, went to the store to buy our supplies, which consisted of chocolate chip cookies, gum, and soda, and began our day. We spent the entire day just hanging out, eating our cookies, waiting for the fireworks. It began to get dark and the Pops began to play. We got into position to watch the fireworks! We made a train, with Ciara in the back, our friend Brian in the front and me in the middle. Brian leaned on me and I leaned on Ciara. The fireworks began and Ciara jumped with each boom! After the first 15-20 fireworks went off, and Ciara still jumping with the noise, I turned to look at her. Ciara had tears streaming down her face with a look of pure exhilaration behind the tears. I asked her what was wrong and she said nothing. She told me it was the most beautiful thing she had seen!
Ciara and I lost touch a few times, but never for too long. We reconnected in time for her to be at my daughter's baptism, and again just a short time before she shipped out. Ciara always talked of joining the military, from the very first conversation we had in our friend's driveway. When I heard that she was going overseas, I was able to tell her how proud I was of her and how happy I was that she was doing what she had always talked about.
Ciara was such an important part of my life. That day on the Hatchshell, I leaned on her to watch the fireworks and that seemed to be Ciara's strength. She liked to be the one people went to with their problems. She liked to fix things, give you a shoulder to cry on, one of those smiles when you needed it most, or an evil plan for payback, always told with that twinkle in her eye.
A few years had gone by after that day on the Hatchshell when we lost our friend Brian. Ciara and I once made a trip to Brian's grave and while we were there she told me that as long as I remember, than he will never be forgotten. Thank you for making this website for Ciara. By posting the pictures, stories, audio and video, you are ensuring that we will always remember, and she will never be forgotten.
From: Christine C.
I don’t remember the first time or the last time I saw Ciara. I can sort of pinpoint how old I was and where I was when I met her. I was about 15 years old and just started to hang out in Lower Mills, the forbidden part of Dorchester for a Neponset girl. I was hanging out with a big group of kids and was having the time of my life. I spent endless days and nights in front of the Lower Mills library, in Tedeschi’s parking lot, and at Dot Park. I was now a kid with a “corner”. I was the new kid. Even though Lower Mills was in Dorchester, I felt like it was a million miles away from my home. This was the most interesting group of people ever assembled. They were made up of kids who liked rap, heavy metal, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and the list went on. They dressed weird too; I remember seeing flannel, combat boots, baggy jeans, concert tee shirts, and skateboard sneakers. These kids talked different too – they even pronounced their “R’s”. But I think the best part of this group was that they had the best attitudes of anyone I knew. They were just “chill”.
Like I said before, I don’t remember meeting Ciara and the introduction that was made. She wore concert tee shirts, flannel, and skateboard shoes. She drove like a maniac. Her eyes went right through me. But then something happened. I began to see her almost daily and hung out with her more. Her clothes no longer mattered, I enjoyed driving around with her, and her eyes became friendly. I had a new friend. I enjoyed going for walks up to the park, to Spukies, and to people’s house. I remember when my cool boyfriend at the time dumped me and Ciara and I would walk by his house and see if he was around. I’m not quite sure what we were looking for but, we looked anyway. I remember going to the park when it was dark and making Ciara do that call to see who was up there. She’d always laugh because I never quite got it down. She always made me feel good about myself by the words, actions, and looks she’d give me. If she was around, I felt safe. I remember one summer, I did a play at St. Greg’s and after practice one night, Ciara had her video camera and made a video of the group that was out at the park. I don’t think I have smiled like that since. It was just fun to be around. I was 16. This was great. Ciara always gave me ride if I needed one. Whether it was to the park, my house, or to CVS to get my dad’s prescriptions, she’d do it. I don’t think I really thanked her. She’s been to my house and I had been to hers. I’m sorry to say I didn’t really know her family, but I do remember meeting Pierce on occasion and how much Ciara talked him up. I remember talking to her one night about families, and how amazed at her I was. Being an only child myself, I couldn’t believe she had a bunch of siblings. She was so cool in my eyes. I always felt like I could tell her anything and she’d remain non-judgmental. I just felt good around her.
It has been years since I saw Ciara last. I think one of the last times I saw her was in CVS in Brighton. I know we talked for about a half hour catching up on things, but I have no idea what we talked about. I’m sure it was something good though! I became Ciara’s “friend” again on Myspace.com about a year or so ago. I began to check in with her and check out her page and message her every once and awhile. I began to tell people I had a friend in Afghanistan and she was safe. I read her updates and would reflect on them but always knew that she’d be okay. I knew she was home in September and there was a cookout, but I figured I’d wait until she got home and really reconnect with her. I’d let her catch up with her family and close friends. I was proud that she was a soldier. I knew I could count on her. She was my friend.
I found out about Ciara’s passing on that Sunday. A friend had called me and knew that I was friends with Ciara. I just couldn’t believe it. I read the online article, but still couldn’t believe it. My friend died. Those next few weeks were awful, I just couldn’t help but think about how much she had meant to me when I was younger and how I never really got to thank her, or even really catch up with one another.
I guess the saying that you never really miss someone until they are gone is true. I can only hang on to my memories of Ciara, and hope someday we will catch up again.