Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Love, Loss & Rebuilding: Adventures in Discovering My New Normal ~ a guest blog post by Kathy Reager

John and Kathy Reager
 A year ago John Reager, friend to many of us in the cruising community, lost his fight with cancer.  His wife Kathy, while managing a new life without him by her side, has chosen to honor one of his life goals. In her own words read on to learn how she’s doing it.

In February 2016 I will embark on an adventure that will be a little bit of travel, a little bit of building and a little bit of soul searching. I will be traveling to Pokhara, Nepal with Habitat for Humanity to help build houses. Pokhara is the second largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu.

Nearly 90 percent of Nepal’s population who live in the country’s plains and mountain regions work primarily as subsistence farmers. One of the families we will work with lives in a small, one-room house made with a mud floor and a thatched-grass roof. The roof leaks often during Nepal’s rainy season, and the house is not strong enough to withstand heavy wind.

Habitat Nepal’s goal is to help more families create safe, healthy homes. And it’s doing so through an initiative called Save & Build. Families can join together to pool their savings and resources. Then, thanks to volunteers and donors, Habitat Nepal can match what each Save & Build group raises. This hastens construction, because families can build in stages as funds are raised. Habitat works with these partner families to ensure cost-effective, eco-friendly construction. In eastern Nepal, for instance, Habitat has trained partner families in bamboo cultivation and how to use bamboo technology in house building. Partner families dedicate at least 400 sweat-equity hours building their own houses — and houses for other families in their savings group!  It is truly an honor to be able to help this family and their future.

“If you put it out there to the Universe, with the faith that it will give you what you want, it will come to pass.”  ~ John Reager

I’m sure a lot of you think why not here in the United States? Why go half way around the world?  Well for the last five years my husband, John and I have been living on our sailboat, Oceana, in the Caribbean and living in a global community. That is how we met Linda and Chris; my husband and I were living our dream and Linda and I connected through our love of yoga, spirituality and adventure. But then our dream turned in to a nightmare. August of last year while in Grenada, John thought he had pulled a sciatic nerve. The pain continued for several weeks without improvement. John and I went to the hospital and a CAT scan revealed it was bone cancer. Two days later we were on a plane to the States and to our disbelief, the actual diagnosis was renal cell carcinoma that had metastasized to the bones. We were in a medical nightmare and he was in a fight for his life. Unfortunately he lost that fight just two months later.

"I told her that my husband was a builder and developer before he became a sailor and that he had one more house in him to build for us."
Over the last year I have lost so much: my husband, my best friend, my community and my home. I sold Oceana in July and I’m back on land trying to find my new normal, just as all counseling and books have said I need to do.  But I keep going back to what John and I once planned to do and that was to build one more house. I am a true believer in John’s premise that the universe conspires to fulfill your needs. He often said, “If you put it out there to the universe with the faith that it will give you what you want, it will come to pass.” And that is how this new adventure grew.  I connected with a woman (long story and details to be shared in my own blog). I told her that my husband was a builder and developer before he became a sailor and that he had one more house in him to build for us; but that didn’t happen and that is when she said you would be a great fit with Habitat for Humanity’s global village program. As soon as she said it I knew, that this was the Universe giving me what I have been looking and asking for.

So, on February the 18th I embark on a four week trip and because of the overwhelming response to my fundraising I will be building two houses in two different villages in Nepal.

If you would like to learn more about this project and my story or how you can donate you can click on this link:


  1. God bless you as you embark on your journey, Kathy! What a truly inspiring story!

  2. This is so exciting Kathy. God Bless you as you serve in Napal.


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