Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tragic Endings

So, I blogged about a local friend's wedding here.

Here is another story about him.

We are back in Hawaii, but that's another story for another day....hopefully soon.

This evening the Hubster and I headed to the beach for some wind-down time after being cooped up in temporary lodging for WAY too long with three boys.

The lifeguard tower was adorned with local flower arrangements, and a single, large bouquet sat alone on the sand, just beyond the reach of the rising tide. As we walked along the shoreline, we cautiously stepped over hundreds of plumeria, orchids, ginger, and tuberose washed up on the sand.

Jeff's 'paddle out' had been that morning.

It's tradition among surfers to have a 'paddle out' for a lost friend. Everyone gathers on the shore for a brief ceremony, then they all grab their boards and paddle out into the ocean to say farewell to their friend. A circle is formed, they all join hands for a few final words, then drop lei and flowers into the ocean in honor of the missing surfer. It's an amazing, moving tribute to witness.

The Hubster had been there that morning for the paddle out, but just couldn't do it so soon after losing his father.

We walked in silence for a while, then talked about the impact Jeff had had on so many people. I didn't know him well, but the Hubster was honored to call him a friend. He (technically) worked for the Hubster, but the Hubster respected and admired him enough to consider him an equal, at minimum.

RIP, Jeff.