So much unfinished, John Reavis

jreavisThis past weekend, I spent some time at John Reavis’s house with friends, going through his stuff at the request of his sister.  It was an emotional thing to do.  Even though I kept it all internal, my head was a whirlwind of emotions.  Going through his stuff was so many things.  It was not the walk down memory lane that I thought it would be because the really old stuff was at his parent’s house in Statesville.  But it was a snapshot of John’s last several months and long term plans for his house and hobbies.  His computer room was a mass of servers, equipment, unopened components, redundant equipment and miscellaneous software, cables and connectors.  His gaming stuff was sparse – mostly the stuff he was involved with in the past couple of years, since he moved to this house.  The bulk of what he had was the hobby stuff for chain mail making, minis and model painting and various other things.

In the house that I had only visited once before, they showed me the place where he passed – on his couch next to his dog Rudy.  I could still see him sitting on that couch with that smile of his and that very unique laugh.  I also spotted a few shards of broken glass from the door where the police had to break in.  That brought it home for me, for some reason.  It was just shocking.  I got to see part of the house I had not seen before and realized how humble it was.  It was John – understated, utilitarian and simple.  It was all he needed and nothing more.

As I go through stuff, I find unopened items that I have no idea when he bought.  He was crafting something but I have no way of telling what it was for.  On his hobby table were some unfinished Star Fleet Battles minis, but I am not sure that’s what all this was for.  Maybe it was.  This is what has my mind spinning.  What was he planning?  So much left unfinished.  So many plans cut short.  The man had a great mind and I feel so unworthy to even try to figure it out. I know I don’t have to but I something in me wants to figure it out.  And the most saddest part of it all is that I will never be able to figure it out. He’s gone.  He never will tell anyone again what cool thing he is working on.  Sometimes, despite all we had in common, I just did not get the things he was doing, or why he wanted to do them.  Other times, he was doing things I could never imagine dreaming up.  But he was always coming up with things to
occupy his thoughts and time.

Chain mail is just an example.  The chain mail shirt and hoods he made were amazing.  He had so much more chain mail stuff and it was obvious he had planned to do more.  But no more.  So much left undone.  His Dragonstar game – even though some complained on his approach to things, it was something he put energy into and it too will never me finished.  I keep going through this stuff thinking “What were you thinking, John?”  and “What were you planning, John?”

Much of this stuff is going to auction either at the next MACE or at the next ConCarolinas. I am confident that they will go to good hands.  John’s presence on this Earth enriched it in its own special way.  John was understated, reserved and very intellectual.  He was far more artistically talented that I ever thought.  I am proud to know him.

In the end, all I can say as I look over his stuff is – so much unfinished.  So much undone.  But I guess we can all say that about ourselves.  And in the end, how much does it really matter, considering where you are going.  This is only a temporary home.  There is far more waiting for us in eternity.

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