The Celebration of Life for Reese Lewis was a significant event attended by over 200 of her friends and family. The church was adorned with the GEICO CAVEMAN CIGARETTE, a GEICO RACING CATAMARAN, a forest of flowers, and Team GECIO Jerseys.
Familiar, Offshore Racing Pastor Jim Black, led a wonderful tribute to Reese with some of her closest friends and colleagues sharing their memories of her and what she meant to them. As things go with these type of ceremonies we all tend to find comfort in the first hand personal experiences and tales of interaction we had with the lost beloved and these sentiments were everywhere throughout the large crowd.
Everything went along and was regular and lovely until Reese’s daughter, Chelsie Gilchrest found her way behind the lectern. Dressed in pale pink with an adornment of sunflowers around her head she began to speak of her Mommy. I sat in anticipation of a difficult delivery and then BAM! From the beginning of her eulogy, I as everyone else in the room became fixed without movement or blink from what she said. This 24 year old spoke of her mother with personal intensity to what Reese was to everyone else. With the perfect grammar, tone, and inflection that Reese would have demanded, she told all of us who her Mommy really was and how she impacted the lives of those around her.
Reese was so much more than a boater, boat show rock star, and public face of GEICO, she was the mother who led all of her children through life. She was demanding, loving, thorough, and had forever rules for those around her, those things she expected and demanded from them. Chelsie delivery was intense, personal, and glittered with specs of light hearted candor that brought laughter to the crowd. Everyone in the room was fixed, sitting, not moving, or flinching at all, listening to this wonderfully charming young woman speak. I felt as though Reese was beaming boldly through her beloved daughter to make the testament that she does in fact live on through all of her children and while we miss her presence we will never forget who she is.
All of us in this uber niche of boating know of each other in our first personalities, we enjoy each other’s friendship and comradery at events that we travel all over the country to attend. What we don’t know is who we are to those within our families and loved ones. We don’t know how our legacies are really the impressions and impacts of what we leave with those we encounter throughout our lives. Most we encounter will never really know who we truly are because we tend to only live in our first personalities with those in our outer world. The reality of who we are lives through those we are the closest too and the testimony of Reese through her family shows us just how wonderful she really is, not was, because she does live on and she will forever RULE!