Ryan’s birthday is tomorrow, Saturday, September 21st. Normally, this is a time of celebration for most families. It once was for ours as well. For me though, it makes me equally sad and angry at the same time. Sad that this will be his fourth “special day” that he’ll miss. Angry that this was brutally taken from him (by Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May, of Newark, Delaware).
So many people are asking me if there’s anything special they can do or get for him. Truth is, I really don’t know how to answer that. Why? Because that has been happening since November 2009… people doing and getting special things for him, that is. Every time you care enough to visit this website… make a donation… buy something from his Wish List… leave a comment… sign the Anti-Parole petition… share a blog post… participate in an event… well, that is all I really want for him. You know, keeping him relevant. Doing so in meaningful ways, at that.
I worry that people will forget.
And this is how I answer those who ask me what they can do for Ryan’s birthday. It’s simple, really. Just remember him. That’s the most important thing you can do.
Then, if you want to do more we are always grateful for the tangible contributions. Without these (i.e., you), Ryan would never be where he is today in his recovery. Honestly, I doubt he would still be with us today. You give me the means to ensure the best in his care, comfort, and treatment. There is no way in this world that he would be in such great condition — relatively speaking, of course — without your kindness and generosity.
Tomorrow will be rough on me. Special days always are. I hurts to go through the motions. Sue will bake a cake, but it will go uneaten. Our tradition of breakfast in bed will be just like every other day… a can of formula down the g-tube. The candles will burn themselves out without a wish upon them. We will wrap Ryan’s present, but it will go unopened. We’ll sing “Happy Birthday to You”, but it will go unheard. On the surface most things will look “right” but please don’t look any deeper because the despair is looming just below.
It hurts so badly.