I’d like to bring you all up-to-date on what’s going on with Ryan and my family. I know, it’s been too long since I did. Honestly, I am struggling – and have been for months now – to find my center. That 5-year anniversary of Ryan’s brutal beating (November 7) completely devastated me.
I just can’t seem to bounce back.
I’m guessing this winter, which is the worst I can recall in Northern Virginia, isn’t helping. I suppose this is “cabin fever” that people talk about in colder climates. Since I can no longer freely go anywhere I have no choice but to ride it out inside. Oh, and I’m so tired of freezing my gonads off every time I open the door to take the dogs out.
Ryan continues to be in superb physical health. In fact, as I write this, he is working hard on his resistance exercises as he peddles away on his Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycle. He was up at 5:30AM and he won’t stop at least some form of therapy until this evening.
His hair has grown back from when it was shaved completely off for his skull surgery last October. He reminds me of the man he use to be. Well, outward appearances, that is. If you look past his eyes being sutured shut, that is.
I simply can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive so that we can spend time outdoors. How I miss working with him on the patio on summer mornings. Then, spending afternoons and evenings on the deck; doing more therapy, listening to music or a ballgame.
I guess that’s good for both of us.
My wife, Sue, spends most weekdays on business travel in New York City. We hardly see each other. Even when she’s home we must take turns with everything… sleeping, errands, household chores, and everything else I can possibly think.
Like me, she is having a rough go of it lately.
She cries a lot more lately.
Her grief over losing her father last December rips at her. I suppose it hurts her more because she couldn’t be with him in his last days. She couldn’t be with her mom and brother when they each needed the other. Like me, she has lost freedom-of-choice in so many areas of her life. She longs to be home with Ryan and Kari, but can’t even take a vacation day to spend with them because these are needed for Ryan’s appointments, surgeries, and possible hospitalizations.
If only Ryan’s violent attackers, Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May (both of Newark, Delaware), would feel regret on their days’ off. If only they never got a day off, let alone a single minute. Hell, how about the same for their sad-ass parents! Seemingly, even monsters get time off.
Sue and I just don’t.
My daughter is the truly the bright spot in my life. She bring such positive energy. I just can’t get enough of her.
She is seriously considering going for her Master’s degree, which I support whole-heartedly. I just worry that, with a full-time job, she might be pushing herself a little too hard. Then again, she has shown that she is capable of transcending the most difficult of situations. Through it all she is the only family member whose own identity is preserved (to some degree). Sure, some think of her as “Ryan’s sister” but for these people I want to remind that she’s not her brother’s keeper. She deserves her own life and I’m going to make damned-well sure she has every opportunity to enjoy that.
She’s also talking about moving out. While here at home she’s been diligent about saving her money and I guess I can’t keep her here forever. That’s not to say that I’m not encouraging her to save a little more… stay a little longer…
What can I say? I’m just so proud of her. I love her so much!
Like I said, it’s been rough. Both physically and emotionally.
I keep promising myself that I’ll get out more.
There are just too many reasons why I don’t… or can’t. Even when I can it’s always spur of the moment and, let’s face it, it’s difficult for people to join me (and have fun) when it always comes back to my family’s situation. I completely understand why so many other’s aren’t knocking down my door to hang out with me, but that doesn’t hurt my feelings any less to be ignored.
I just wind up feeling guilty anyhow, so what’s the point?
I did enjoy a couple of hours with myself last weekend. I went to an indoor-shooting range and fired my sidearm and shotgun. It definitely helped relieve some of my anxiety. I bet you can imagine what I was thinking about each time I pulled the trigger.
My life has purpose, yes. Yet it doesn’t make me like it a single lick more. Sometimes I flat-out hate it. It’s no longer mine to control and enjoy. Circumstances make sure of this.
I just do the best I can with it and long for happier days.