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Christina DiRienzo

Plymouth

Christina DiRienzo's family decided to delay her wake until tomorrow. They did not want it to coincide with her son's birthday.

Peter Jr., who turns 17 today, and his 15-year-old brother, Beau, live in Wareham with their father, Peter DiRienzo, but "Tina" often saw her children and loved them deeply, said her mother, Patricia Pina of Wareham. "The kids are not taking this well," she said.

Pina also is mourning the loss of another daughter, Theresa Rakoski of Taunton, who was with DiRienzo at The Station. The sisters' friend, Kristine Carbone of Taunton, also died in the fire.

"Tina and Terry were very close," their mother said.

DiRienzo separated from her husband about three years ago and lived in Plymouth with her boyfriend, Russell Tripp Jr. She stretched an acre lot into a farm, with a vegetable garden, three goats, a rabbit, stray cats, and a spread of red flowers to attract hummingbirds. "Oh, she loved the hummingbirds," said Pina.

"Tina was a farm girl, a worker. She'd get out there and help Russell build a fence, drive tractors, everything."

Thursday was usually "card night at mother's," Pina said, and often included a spaghetti dinner. Last Thursday was different -- the card game was canceled because the sisters were to attend the Great White performance. DiRienzo still came for dinner, and left afterward to meet Rakoski.

"She looked beautiful that night," said Tripp, who was also at Pina's home, but did not go to The Station. "I was always concerned when she went out, but I told her to be safe and have fun." Tripp said he had known DiRienzo for almost 20 years. "It took a long time for us to get together, but when we did it was magic," he said.

Friday morning, he awoke alone, heard about the fire, tried in vain to contact DiRienzo on her cellphone, and called her mother.

"My heart went down to my feet,' Pina said. "but I thought, my daughter's a survivor. She'll drag the other two out. She can grab a bull by the horns."

Saturday, the sisters will be laid to rest, together, at Center Cemetery in Wareham. And with spring's bloom, Tripp will wait in Plymouth for the hummingbirds to return.