Pfc Shane M. Reifert

Pfc Shane M. Reifert
Shane during a sweep of the Shuryak Valley, approximately 3 weeks before he was killed. Photo Credit: PFC Sean Stromback

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sometimes it amazes me how much Shane can still be at the forefront of my thoughts when I have so many other things on my mind. When Shane first died, I wondered if he would fade from my memory with time. So far, he hasn't. It's been less than 6 months since he was killed, so maybe eventually his memory will fade. But there are so many times that I catch myself thinking that he's still alive. I hear a song and think how I need to tell him about it. I remember something silly from our childhood and want to recollect with him. I'm feeling really anxious and want him to talk to me to remind me to calm down and that everything is okay. And then I'll remember how I can't do any of those things and I feel pained.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

One Year Ago...

Spring Break! Spring Break is usually a time of revitalizing my weary soul. Last year I traveled to Fort Campbell and Nashville. I traveled by myself – the first time ever! I was going to have a mini vacation with Shane before he deployed in May. We all took separate turns – Beth, then me, and then Kurt to visit Shane before he left for Afghanistan. Shane did not want us to watch him actually leave, so we each spent time with Shane before that day in May.

Driving to Fort Campbell I witnessed spring opening up before my very eyes. The drive soothed my soul as I watched green leaves appear on trees and flowers blooming along the roads.

The first night we stayed near Fort Campbell and Shane showed me around the area. I got to see a part of his life that I knew so little about. Then the next two nights we went to Nashville. This was my first visit to Nashville, and I fell in love with the town. Music was always so important to Shane, and we experienced so much music. We talked about everything under the sun. We laughed and shed a few tears because I vowed to be strong.

On Sunday I needed to return home because school was on Monday. I remember checking out of the hotel, and Shane and I each got into our cars. I remember I was in front and he was right behind me. I remember leaving the parking structure with Shane in my rear view mirror. I remember going down the street to the stop sign. I remember having to turn left. I remember Shane having to turn right. I remember watching Shane in my rear view mirror going further and further away. And then I could no longer contain my tears.

Today we went to the cemetery – it is a beautiful setting. Usually I watch the deer and the geese around the lake, but today the deer must have been napping. And then I remembered my life a year ago.

Today, in my rear view mirror, I watched Shane’s headstone getting further and further away. How different my life is today. One year ago – so much has changed…

I will cherish the memories that Shane gave each of us. I will take the “gifts” he gave me and continue to strive to do my best on each given day. I will continue to “put one foot in front of the other.”

Always and forever,
Shane’s mammy and Beth’s momma

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Being Strong

Today, I choose to be strong instead of weak. I choose to get out of bed, to shower, to be a functioning human being. It would be great to take the day off of life -- have a personal day. This would be weak and slightly pathetic. And I refuse to be pathetic. Yes, today will be tough. But Shane was a strong person and so am I. And I will continue to be strong in his absence.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"I'm still willing to continue living with the burden of this memory. Even though this is a painful memory, even though this memory makes my heart ache. Sometimes I almost want to ask God to let me forget this memory. But as long as I try to be strong and not run away, doing my best, there will finally be someday...there will be finally be someday I can overcome this painful memory. I believe I can. I believe I can do it. There is no memory that can be forgotten, there is not that kind of memory. Always in my heart."
-- Natsuki Takaya