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Monday, March 23, 2009

In Memory of Ryan

ryans collage

Usually Sweet Repeats reflects all things artful and happy in my life mixed with a bit of random musings, reflections, triumphant cheers, or occasional vents of frustration. But today, my blog post is dedicated to a friend, a family, and about memories filled with joy but now surrounded by so much sorrow. About 5 or 6 years ago I met this wonderful lady who came into my life during a time I really needed a mother figure around, a sounding board, and a shoulder to cry on. Sandra and I became fast friends despite our age difference--we somehow had a bond that was tightly woven. We spent a lot of time together between our dinners out or potlucks shared, yard sale jaunts, birthday parties or even late night chats when I stayed at her house overnight. The funny thing about life, is that all of it is a series of dynamic events that bring us together at exactly the time we are supposed to be where we are, and we meet exactly who we are supposed to meet for whatever reason. Sometimes those reasons are clear, and other times--we may never know.

Sandra had become part of my life, my extended family and friends life and so naturally she introduced her children to the group as well. We all met Ryan about a year and a half ago, just after he moved to Myrtle Beach from Florida. His travels led him back to be close to his Mom for his own reasons, but he quickly became part of our circle of family. He had a contagious laugh, a goofy smile, was quick with a joke and lit up the room whenever he walked in. You could count on him to bring fun and laughter with him or at the very least send you a text message or email that would either make your belly laugh or cringe from it's "oh my' factor. I remember recently him showing off his talents in the kitchen, bringing some scrumptious scallops to a get together and being so proud when everyone 'oooood' and 'awwd' at how tasty they were. He loved to cook, loved to laugh, loved to have fun, loved to flirt,loved to joke around...he loved to smile. Sadly, his life was extinguished this week by a woman he loved, his girlfriend, in a tragic killing.

The hardest thing about saying goodbye in the face of a tragedy is the unanswered questions, the not knowing why this happened, why DID this happen? What really did happen? Things we may never know until we do all meet again. Coming to terms with that which is shocking, that which doesn't make sense, is almost impossible. Things that don't fit the personality of either of the people involved--create a great canyon of sorrow that none of us feel like we will ever climb out of. My friend, who had to say good bye to her only son today, is feeling pain that no one should have to feel...especially him having been taken way too soon and for the wrong reason....it could have been prevented, but it wasn't. It happened, and now what? Oh the pain we feel for her is so deeply real and raw and burning from down inside our heart and souls. At the service today, there was a rousing theme of how many people Ryan touched, and how happy he made us all with his presence. Whether you knew him for years or for a few minutes, you will miss him greatly forever more.

In between the tears of sorrow, my friend pondered the what ifs....what if she hadn't asked Ryan to move to be near her again, might he still be alive today??? The guilty feelings for drawing people into our lives are understandable--but if that logic were true, then perhaps it's my fault for having introduced Sandra to my x, and then her moving close to him to work and live--which unfolded with Ryan eventually moving to be closer to his Mother. What if I hadn't moved to NC? Then perhaps this wouldn't have happened either because I am the one who met her first that led to others meeting, moving and coming together---the dynamics of life happen because they are supposed to happen, the good and even the bad. The happy times are easy to accept, it's the sorrowful and tragic that we feel that it's impossible to even wrap our arms around. If it's true that there is a greater plan that we just can not know but is and has occurred because it was meant to be, then so be it. I guess we have to hang on to our faith and trust, it was God's will to take our friend and find comfort that he was by his side in those last shuddering and awful moments. Today it does not make it easier to accept, but with time, I pray that the family and friends can wipe the tears away and only hear the laughter of the father, son, and friend that we all will so greatly miss.

23 comments :

starrynightimpressions said...

Jodi,
What a wonderful tribute to this young man you have shown thru your words.
His life has now touched another.
starrydeborah

Amy said...

This is truly a tragedy. I am praying for comfort for Sandra and for you.

Sarah and Jack said...

(((((Jodi)))) I am never good at what to say in these moments, but I am thinking of you and his family.

Becky said...

Jodi,
I tried to call you back over the weekend. I will call you later. I am very very sorry for what you are going thru. My prayers are with you and Sandy and all affected by this. I love you, let me know if there is anything I can do, even drive down. Im here.
Love,
Becky

Heidi said...

Jodi, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. It's always hard, but even moreso under such heartbreaking cirucumstance. I hope that you will be able to find peace and solace in the good memories you have of a dear friend. Hugs!

Alisa Nordholt-Dean said...

Jodi - I'm truly sorry for your tragic loss. You and your dear friend Sandra will be in my thoughts and prayers.

QueenBe said...

Jodi, your words show how much you and your friends all cared for him. You and your friend Sandra will help feed off each others strengths and get through this together. Say a prayer and hug your own kids....

jodi said...

I am so sorry.

Kathy said...

Oh sweet, sweet Jodi. What a wonderful thing you have done here. You have written such a loving and caring tribute to Ryan and Sandra. The unknowns and the whatifs can be the worst, they are the worst, keeping the faith and love...that is what will get you all through this. Much love to this woman, and as always, to you. Saying a prayer for her...
~xx~
Kathy

whyte said...

Jodi, death always brings out the deepest soul searching and questions. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your friend Sandy and everyone who Ryan touched. We all take life for granted...until we are abruptly reminded that we cannot. Live fully.

Patti said...

Dear Jodi, it's so easy to question, but too often no logic applies to human emotion. So many events are outside our control - it can be draining to search for reasons, ways that such a tragedy could have been averted. I pray that you'll use your strength to find comfort - for your friend, yourself and the others touched by his loss. This comes so soon after the passing of your step-mother, you must be reeling. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts.

createitcottage said...

Jodi~ My heart goes out to you and Sandra.
Sheila

Cher said...

I can see your tears, I can feel your pain...this is quite sad and tragic. There will be time to reflect, time to grieve and time to assimilate what has happened. My prayers are with you and his family. A lovely soul he must have been...a better friend he did not have. God Bless. Cher

ArtSnark said...

So sorry to hear about such a tragedy. You have written a lovely tribute, Jodi. Sending virtual hugs to you

Persimmons Gal said...

♥♥♥ to you and your friends and family in this tragic time. Hugs....

Nanette said...

Jodi,
Your tribute to Ryan is so touching. Sandra will take comfort in having you as a friend. Maybe that's why the connections were made. She was drawn to you when you needed a mother figure, so that she could have a daughter figure to hold her when she lost her son.

Peace.
Nanette

Loudlife said...

Jodi, I'm so sorry about your friend and your loss and the terrible pain your friend Sandra must be in. Thinking of you, sister.
Laurie

dragonflydreamer said...

Jodi I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend's son who was also your friend. I cocurr with everyone about the depth and beauty of this tribute you have shared with us. I am awaiting results from an MRI to find out if my oldest son has a brain tumor and I posted a link in my blog last night to a video of Vanessa Redgrave's soliliquy of A Mother's Lament. Your questions and answers really spoke to my heart as lately I have been pondering if I had done this or that differently could painful events been avoided. I will keep you, Sandra, and everyone who loved Ryan in my thought and prayers. ((hugs)) to you all.

Shara said...

Jodi, I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you had a wonderful friend and you were a wonderful friend too.

Raesha D said...

I'm so sorry - my heart is breaking for you and Ryan's family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Jeanne Rhea said...

Jodi,
You have written a wonderful tribute. Any time a young person loses their life under such tragic circumstances, we all ask why. Only time helps ease some pain and fill some of the loss. Hugs and good thoughts for you and Sandra.

miz katie said...

My heart goes out to your friend, her family, and you. You are all in my thoughts.

Jennifer Williams "Blueskysunburn" said...

Oh dear. I am so sorry this happened. You can tell from the way you describe him how much you cared for him. My heart goes out to you and Ryan's family.