Monday, September 22, 2008

The Pack

Last night I built up enough courage to go through Ryan's pack he left at the base of the climb. And although it was super tearful and I sobbed uncontrollably - it was also healing. I bought him a Dueter pack a few years ago when he was wearing through his Brenthaven, which was too small for all of his gear. He loved it and wore it every where.

In the top of the pack were some drill bits for his ongoing projects that he would put up throughout the Methow Valley and New Halem. He would spend hours up on a wall drilling, scouring the rock for the best lines, cleaning big chunks of chossy rock from the wall and enhancing his play ground.

There was also a sandwich baggie full of block chalk. And a wrench on a piece of cordlet that he would use to install 3/4" bolts into the rock.

For lunch that day he packed a peanut butter and honey sandwich - he wasn't a big fan of jelly for some reason. An apple, Cool Mint Cliff bar and pieces of foil, which I suspect was from Makiah scavenging from the night.

His approach shoes had the shoe laces removed and at first, I thought what the??? And then realized he probably forgot a leash and made one to secure Makiah. Tucked into the toes of his shoes were my Cane Creek socks. He also brought some blue Poweraid, another poweraid bottle full of water with a cordlet attached to the top with a beaner attached. Only a few sips were gone from each one. And next to his pack was a makeshift water dish for Makiah.

I think the hardest thing to look at was his lunch. Carefully packed and to be enjoyed later...

The pack has been sitting in my closet for two weeks now - calling to me every few days. Ryan's small stop watch has an alarm that goes off around midnight or something - and I only hear it every now and then. Last night after going through the pack, I swear it stopped beeping. Almost as if that alarm was calling for me to go through the pack and in order to start the healing portion of my grief.


Anonymous said...

I am crying as I read this. Jen your words put me right there with you everytime I read them. I am thinking about you, and want to say that you are the strongest girl that I know, and Im glad to be able to say that you are my friend. xoxoxo

Erin Doucette

Christine said...

Thanks so much for sharing these experiences with us, Jen. And know that we are always here for you with a hug, an ear, or even a dance party. (:

P.S. The apple pie was delicious!

jaimie said...

Nothing I could possibly write could take away the ultimate pain you feel. Just know that I am hurting for you and cry as I read your heartfelt words. Ryan was a magnificent human being and I know every little step is anguish for you. We are here for you always, with lots of those back cracking hugs for you and many many smooches.

Toni said...

I have never met you Jennifer nor did I ever have the chance to meet Ryan. I am a very good friend of Ryan's cousin. She has shared your blog with me. I find myself getting to know Ryan through you. You two are truly remarkable. Even though I am a complete stranger, I feel for you. I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. No one knows what you are going through but you. Only time can heal.....stay strong, but also allow yourself to be weak at times. Please give your special pup a hug from a stranger that cares. Both of you take care.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen, I have to say that it has been good to see you out at cross practice. Nothing like tripping over barriers, learning to dismount properly, shoulder the bike, and getting bruised up to help take the mind off of things if only for a bit. Everytime I see you I want to tell you how sorry I am, yet I think you have had plenty of that- so I hope my smile hello to you is enough. I read your blog everyday and it touches me, all of us who know you and love you see you are dealing and much stronger than most would be. I think you are an amazing woman and I just wanted you to know that I think about you all the time and pray that each day will get easier. See you at cross!

Cindy Freed