[Over the past year I’ve been struggling emotionally. Truthfully, I still am. Probably my worst at this very moment. The hurts flows in faster than it can be drained away. Anyhow, enough said on that. Please know how much I thank you for coming back after my absence. Above all, I hope it didn’t cost Ryan supporters. That is something I couldn’t get past. Now, let’s see if I can find my voice again… which, as you recall, involves a fair degree of juvenile humor.]
I sat cross-legged, dressed in full-camouflage, atop a mountain ridge in the eastern part of West Virginia. The morning sun was just breaking the horizon when I found cover behind fallen trees. I could see for miles as the grassy slope touched the woods at a cliff. In no time I made myself comfortable with my 12-gauge shotgun across my lap and Goldfish crackers in my mouth.
I told people that I was going turkey hunting, which was true, but that wasn’t the whole story.
Mostly, I wanted to get away. To separate from my existence for just a few hours. To be by myself and give myself a mental break. A respite from emotional battle. Even though Ryan is doing well (physically), the guilt of turning over his care always pokes at me.
You can see that hunting was secondary and I knew it. As I walked out the door I spoke aloud, “Hello Guilt, my old friend”.
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have bagged a (Thanksgiving) turkey if one had came into view. None did, so fear not Vegans.
It didn’t take long before I completely forgot I was hunting. Instead, I got mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the fall foliage and the serenity of the woods. My mind slipped from (my) reality, just as I had hoped. Well, except for keeping my wits on-guard against a coyote or bobcat sneaking up on me.
As Ryan can well attest, you never know when you might cross paths with a predator. They’re mean son’s-a-bitches! Yes, that was a not-so-veiled reference to Ryan’s attackers; Austin Issac Vantrease and Jonathan Matthew May, bitches not withstanding.
It’s intriguing what a guy thinks about when left alone. Well, maybe it’s only for what I think about? I actually contemplated (without any resolution, I might add) the universe, existence, time-travel, spirituality, and mortality! No joking, I did. Now, don’t go thinking that I was getting all Plato or Aristotle on you, because I’m sure I gave equal amount of thought to boobs.
Okay, probably more.
Definitely more, actually.
I probably should get back on topic before I have to answer for myself. So…
One thing I did frequently, as a boy and then as younger man, was to wonder what was happening with those people in the remote houses that I could see from various vantage points. I’m sure I can’t be the only one to look down from a night-time flight or along an early-morning drive and think about the life those people live… can I?
Then, to imagine myself in that place and wonder how differently my life might have been.
Well, I did just that sort of thinking on that sun-soaked day.
I felt immense sadness at first, knowing that when people look at my house they must feel the heartache pulsating out and see the agony emanating like a beacon.
If, had I made just one different decision — of so many — throughout my life, how it would almost certainly be less painful. Let’s just say that it absolutely couldn’t be worse.
Then I came to this realization: Boobs are awesome. Kidding! I used my juvenile humor there just for giggles (since it’s more of a “discovery” made by the heterosexual, adolescent male).
Seriously. I would never trade my pain for all the people who touched my life. Sure, this degree of angst hurts… a lot. Yet, even in this colossal tragedy through savage brutality, I’ve met the purest… kindest… loving… giving individuals.
Which further made me wonder (getting back to the universe), did I make some agreement prior to my existence to keep my family, friends, and you despite the hurt? Given what I know now, this I would have done. It became abundantly evident to me that I missed writing and hearing back from you.
Then I thought of boobs…
- Attack Anniversary: November 7, 2009 (6 Years), just 9 days away. Please remember Ryan that weekend by using this photo (to the right) as FB Profile Picture.
- Ryan’s Wish List is continually updated.