My Favorite Thing: Ryan’s Surfboard
by Designing Mom Erika
Within the first few weeks of moving to California my husband John, like just about every other transplant, learned to surf. He learned from his Marine Corps buddy, Ryan Beaupre, on this surfboard. I remember going to the beach to watch them at dawn as Ryan taught John how to stay on the board. I’ve always been a water baby and loved watching my husband (who grew up in Ohio) fall in love with the ocean, too. All the machismo of the Marine Corps flew out the window the first time he “banana peeled” off the end of the board, then got slammed in the face with a wave. I loved watching him and Ryan giggle like little kids as they “played” together in the Pacific.
The morning Ryan shipped off to Iraq he stood in our kitchen and asked me, out of the blue, “when are you going to have kids? You shouldn’t wait.” That was the last time I spoke to Ryan; he was killed a few weeks later in the first mission of the war. We had S less than a year later. Ryan’s parents gave us his surfboard and we hung it in S’s room. It’s my favorite thing in his room.