Above is my devotional reflection from about two months ago. If you cannot decipher my handwriting (yes, this is how I write when I think I'm the only one who will end up reading it), the last sentence says, "Today I get to drive across the land he laid and be in the car with my brother and dog, those are all gifts and I am truly thankful for them." I am so glad I wrote it.
Just over two weeks ago, Riley left us to be somewhere far better than this earth. Having simply typed those words makes me tilt my head and wonder what the heck my reality is anymore. There are so many things that will absolutely never make any sense to me about this life, but my family and I are clinging to the Lord's promise for Riley and for all of us. I want to thank every single last person who has reached out to us and poured prayers and love over us. I know people say this all time about this sort of thing, but we have legitimately felt them all in the best way even if we haven't responded.
I, as I'm sure everyone else who knew him, can say a ridiculous amount of things about my brother; he's the only person who can make me laugh about anything at any time, especially if the timing was inappropriate (sorry Sonic carhops, flight attendants, high school security people, etc.). He's more brave than I am when it comes to jumping and flipping off things, but not when it comes to spiders and talking to authority figures. He used more hairspray in a week than I probably use in a year. But more important than anything, he was incredibly kind and considerate, even if he wanted to keep a cool guy exterior. He never wanted to see anyone or anything in pain. I know he was hurting before August 18th, and I am rejoicing in the fact that he is more alive than ever before. Death is beaten, He is alive.