After the death of a loved one, it is always good to recall all of those fun times and funny stories you have about that person. My family knew Ryan for 20 years. That's a long time, especially when we are still relatively young. Kristin asked if anyone wanted to share stories of Ryan at his "Celebration of Life" service they will be having this week. My family decided that we had to share at least something! Ryan always felt more like a brother than anything else, and we even fought like that at times when we were younger. But it feels good in the midst of grief to share these stories and just laugh. We talked about some of these memories over the phone in the last day or two, and it was good. Ryan touched so many lives in his time here on earth, and he will continue to touch lives by the legacy he has left.
And although I have a ton of funny stories about Ryan, my family and I were talking about how he never once complained. In all of those years of dealing with Cystic Fibrosis, I cannot recall any time in there when he complained about it. That is completely amazing and atypical for anyone. What a testimony he was to all who knew him!
I have to say that I am beyond sad that I cannot be there right now. I want nothing more than to have been on a plane days ago to be back there, but alas I wasn't and cannot be. That breaks my heart. It's one of those things that crossed my mind a few times when we moved here...eventually someone we know would pass away...the likelihood of it would grow the longer we lived here. However, I must say that thinking it would be someone so young like Ryan never entered my mind. When I was here 5 years ago student teaching, a dear friend was tragically killed in a car accident. I had actually hoped to be related to her one day, but it was very hard to be here when that happened and never get closure. I didn't get to be there to say goodbye or celebrate her life either. I won't get to be there to do that with Ryan. I know that's not the end of the world, but I do ache to be there. Weird how both times it was someone so young...
So in the grief and heartache, it was so good today to reminisce about Ryan and his life. It was good to laugh.
And it was also a sad day because we had to say goodbye to Whittington. She flew back to the US today. I insisted that we be there at the airport to say goodbye.
I hate goodbyes.