In 9th grade, one of my close friends, Reece Meikle passed away. There are truly not enough adjectives to describe Reece. I have never met any one like him. Reece's death was quite a shock. In fact, it's still a mystery to this day. If you care to know more about his story (or if you're from Woodbury and haven't read the article in awhile) then I suggest you check out the Star Tribune article: What Killed Reece Meikle?
As a 15 year old, I didn't know how to handle the grief. Not only was I so young, but Reece was the first loved one of mine that had passed away before. Being with my friends helped a lot but I still carried around a deep sadness that no hug, or "I'm sorry" could fix. My mom bought be a couple of books. One book told to me to write notes to Reece. The notes could be anything - just to say hello, or to tell him what I miss about him. I thought I'd give it a try...
Some notes were simple:
"Are you happy?"
"I miss you."
" I often wonder where you would be if you were here still. Would you be at college? Would you have a girlfriend? Would you be the same?"
" Do you still look the same? Are you still 15, shaggy-haired?"
Or they were more complex. Here's one I wrote when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"A psychic once told me that you were happy up in heaven. In fact, she told me you even play baseball with friends! When she said this, I knew she had to be correct. You and your love for baseball. Sometimes when I think about you happy, I cry. Not because I'm sad that you're happy but because I'm so happy for you. It must be so great up there, not a care in the world, nothing to hurt you. I could really use that positive attitude of yours down here. There is nothing your smile and humor cannot fix. My mom just got diagnosed with cancer... again. This is a whole different kind of pain. When you died, I felt empty. But this.... this is anxiety. What if I lose her? That's just one more person that God will take. Knowing you, you're probably best friends with Jesus... maybe even running the place yourself so please, do what ever you can do. Pull some strings, have some chats. I need my mom. I love you, forever. I love that you taught me life-changing lessons in both life and death. Thank you for that. I will never, ever, forget the person you were then or the person you still are in my heart. I miss you. "
...... Well, I'm going to be completely honest when I say that I bawled my eyes out this entire post. I've become strong enough to not cry when I talk about Reece but sometimes reliving it all can be emotional. I can still replay every single minute of that week he become sick leading up to the Friday that he passed.
If you are from Woodbury and/or experienced this tragedy (besides Tom Plesha - yes I'm still bitter) with me, please know that I love you. You will always have a special place in my heart. Because of you, I survived this. Whether you knew it or not, but you held my hand while I healed my heart. I will be forever grateful for each and every one of you. To my friends, I owe you a lifetime of thank yous.
R.I.P. REECE HOY MEIKLE
JANUARY 24th, 1989 - APRIL 30th, 2004.