Hey there, blog-land! Sorry for the long delay, but I’ve been battling with when and how to write this post for a while now, and I think it’s time to put it out there.
As many of you know, Flyboy and I lost a very important person to us just hours after the New Year. Although celebrating his life with his family has been a true and unmistakable blessing, it has been a very gut-wrenching, inexplicably painful time for us. We are still very much working through the grieving process, so bear with us. I must sincerely thank those of you who have reached out to us during this time. Without our traditional support system around us in Hawaii, the phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages have meant far more than you could ever know.
|LTJG David Reis|
That’s been a bit of a stumbling block for us in our grieving – did David know how much WE loved HIM? I hope so, but did we actually tell him that? Did our actions show it enough? Thankfully, we were able to spend 2 days with David in San Diego as we travelled across the country. We hadn’t seen him in over six months, so it was a wonderful reunion. During that time, David was happier and more huggable than ever, and so as we said goodbye (for the 4th time, because I SUCK at goodbyes) it just seemed obvious that I remind him that I loved him. And that I really meant it. And that I couldn’t WAIT to see him in Hawaii.
|David and Karen Reis|
Having seen the impact David and Karen had made in their short lives, their (amazing) younger brother and sister challenged us to strive for that sort of impact through our lives. They’ve dubbed it the “Reis Ripple.” It can’t be explained any better than through their own words, so I’ll share with you the last bit of their eulogy for David and Karen:
“The challenge is this. To have the same ripple effect on the lives around you. Let the ripples of your life be ripples of love, laughter, adventure, selflessness, and smiles.
The most important of these ripples are the ripples of love. We dare you to never hang up, to never leave without saying I love you. We dare you to mean it. We dare you to spread it. Let your ripples be ripples of love in memory of David and Karen.”
In thinking back on my last hug and my last moments with David, there in San Diego – I am so thankful that I actually TOLD David that I loved him. It’s not my usual style, just going around dropping the “L-bomb” on people, but I am so glad that I did. I know I didn’t say it enough, and can only hope that he knew it without being told. I know that there are a number of you to whom I’ve never actually said, “I LOVE YOU,” but I do. I’m sure that in thinking about your own lives, you can think of someone you might want to remind.
|"LOVE" by the Reis siblings at Christmas|
So please, for me, and for David and Karen – go out and tell your loved ones, your friends, and the special people in your lives that you love them. Go ahead, say it in so many words. Tell them through your actions and show them how much they mean to you. Treat them like they’re the most important person in your life – even if they’re not. Make sure that they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, just exactly how much they are appreciated. And maybe there’s someone that you love or have loved, who you don’t even really like right now – go ahead and tell them too, just in case you don’t get the chance later.
A hui hou hoaloha,