November 6th was on a Friday two years ago. I remember it well.
Sue and I sat at the kitchen table that night. We were surfing every travel website looking for the best deal for our yearly trip to Mardi Gras New Orleans. Oh, how we looked forward to this time in the Big Easy. Nights experiencing a party that stretches blocks and blocks on Bourbon Street. Day spent trying every authentic New Orleans food, from Po’ Boys to Gumbo.
By ten o’clock, Sue spun her magic and we were booked.
We went up to bed sometime just after ten o’clock. Kari come in shortly after midnight and Sue shut off her recurring fifteen minute alarm. The night went silent, still, and dark. It was a good sleep. The last good sleep we ever had.
Sue’s phone rings with the special ringtone she assigned to Ryan. It’s just after four. There’s nothing at all unusually about this. Ryan would frequently call at this time, excitedly telling her about his night. Yes, Ryan’s phone number pops up on the display… but it’s not our boy.
It’s the ICU at Ruby Memorial hospital.
We leave with only the knowledge that Ryan was found “unresponsive in a parking lot”.