It’s with hesitance that I start this post because sometimes I can be a little hard on myself. As you know, this week has been one of those weeks. I’ve been missing you a lot lately. I know you are there, always with me. In my heart, I know this. But my head, my sabotaging thoughts get in the way. In those moments I know I must stop, breathe and just let go. That’s exactly what you would advise me to do. And in that quiet the same things always happens; my mind drifts to you. I wonder where you are, what it’s like where you are, what you are doing . . . I think of you out on the ocean, sitting on your board, your shoulders slumped in relaxation, your legs dangling and bobbing, in full resignation to the movement of the waves beneath you, your eyes and mind lost to the view of the sun rising above the hills in the distance. I wonder what worries and thoughts filled your head on those early morning beach runs and whether I could have helped you with them. I marvel at your courage to face them head-on and your wisdom to see it through. I think of how therapeutic that must have been. The ocean, the sky, the beach were your medicine. Surfing was such a big part of your life, it was your connection to the whole, the bigger picture, the consciousness that we are all one.
I sat on that beach the week after your passing and I told you that I would find a way to honor your memory. I do believe in the depths of my heart there is a higher purpose to be found in losing you but what I failed to see then and I’m kind of starting to grasp now, is that rather than there being just one big thing I can do, there are ways to honor your memory in so many small things; this blog, for one. And more recently, this:
I don’t have many material possessions to remember you by but the few I have are pretty special (a heart pendant, two of your guitar picks and your poncho). I am grateful for what I have in my posession. The memories we made together while you were here sustain me, and I do recognize that your unconditional love and unfailing support even now is the most important of all the things I have but I’d be lying to say that I didn’t wish I had a few more totems of those things that were such a part of your life, such a part of you. Your surfboards and your guitars, most of all.
And so, I had this idea. To take an antique wooden ironing board and create my own surfboard. Your Rip Curl, I think might’ve been your favorite but this one particular board of yours, I felt more of a connection to. It sat in the corner of your bedroom and it made an impression on me. Can’t say why. Given all I have learned in these past two years, and the belief I now hold that there are no coincidences, I am convinced there is a reason. After a bit of research, I see why.
One of my dreams I shared with you and included you, was my dream to move to Maui one day. Our love for the beach, our connection to the ocean was such a shared love between us. It was the one thing I missed most about living in California. So it was no surprise to me to discover that board, the one I chose as my project to replicate, is a Hawaiian Island Creations board, made in Hawaii (perhaps even Maui). It will sit in the corner of a room in my new house (the house you so lovingly led me to) as a reminder not only of you but of my dream, the dream you supported me in, the dream you told me not to give up on. I love you so much for that, Tyler! I won’t give up. You will continue to spur me onward, just as you did when you were here with me.
And so to go back to the beginning, my hesitance in sharing this is that I fear those who read this will think me silly for taking a ratty old rusty ironing board and attempting to make it look like a surfboard and I’m hesitant because I know the execution is not perfect. But I also know the thought behind it is what matters. I would hope that in sharing this the world (but mostly your friends and our family) will see that I’m just a girl who happens to be a hopeless dreamer and I had a brother (a soul-mate) who believed in me, supported me and was my biggest fan in so many ways. You are such a part of my life still and as I promised I will never give up finding ways to honor your memory.
In those moments of uncertainty and disconnection and right now in my lapse of confidence, I will think of you. You, dauntless, a small speck upon the surface of the mighty ocean, bathed in the light of the glorious sun. A boy and his board. Lost in the beauty and magnificence of this great big world. This is one of my favorite memories.