Monday, March 23, 2009
In Memory of Ryan
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.