The following is a tribute to Dr. Cristy Iverson. Yesterday I attended a beautiful celebration of her life at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.
Last summer, my husband heard a pathetic meow when he walked into a gas station. A feral kitten was trapped in the downspout. The employees poured water down the roof drain and washed him out (this is a bad idea by the way). The poor little tan kitten with chocolate brown swirls looked like a drowned rat. The next day, I brought him with me to Alta Vista Veterinary Hospital hoping someone would give this little guy a permanent home.
Dr. Iverson spotted the furball hiding behind a towel. The card on his cage read ‘Michael’ in honor of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and the kitten’s close call with water. Even though Dr. Iverson knew it would take a lot of patience to tame this feral boy, she brought him home that evening. From that day forward, Dr. Iverson updated me on Michael’s progress every time I worked with her. She showed me pictures of him on her cell phone and regaled me with funny stories as he grew into his big paws. Her face beamed when she talked about her animal kids.
At her desk in the clinic, Dr. Iverson displayed a picture of her human children. She taped a picture of Lindsey and Greg holding Cody and Trevor above her desk. When I asked her if the handsome family was hers, she stared at the picture for a minute and then nodded. A warm smile spread over her face. She glowed as she told me funny grandma stories. Cristy really loved her children and grandchildren! She could not wait to welcome her third grandchild into the family.
There are many ways to describe Cristy Iverson including talented bell ringer, the only science major in the ASU choir, gifted veterinarian and devoted mom. But the best description I heard came from a surgical technician named Rochelle. When I asked her to describe Dr. Iverson, she said, “I love Dr. Iverson. She’s a teddy bear to work with.” I could not agree more. I will always remember Cristy as a blonde teddy bear with gifted hands, a quick mind and a huge heart filled with love for the people and animals in her life.
Rest in peace Cristy. Your life made the world a better place. We will miss you!