Before getting into my information, everyone who visits this site must know how deeply and sincerely we appreciate your support of my family and son. It continues to amaze me how communities have surrounded, protected, and provided for my family. Ryan is getting the best care possible and this would never have been possible without kind and loving people. So, thanks to all prayer warriors, meal providers, donations, lawn care, Christmas lighting, cards and letters, West Virginia University, Morgantown, Morgantown Police, Ruby Memorial Hospital, Kessler, Ashburn, Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. metro area, media, doctors, nurses, aides, errand runners, attorneys, house cleaners, equipment assemblers, ramp builders, billboard advertisers, family, fraternities and sororities, fundraiser organizers and attendees, FaceBook followers, website administrators, dog watchers, CNN, WTS, therapists, emergency transports, and the many others.
I am Ryan’s father, Ken. It has been a labor of love for us to tend for our son. No doubt, it is tiring and endless but not in earnest. Ryan is in the best possible condition, given the severity of his injury. Please know it is therapy for me to work with Ryan as much as possible. I am most at peace with what happened to him when I am touching him. He, like my daughter and wife, continue to show their strength and resilience. As I say, they are made of the right stuff.
I took over this blog in mid-December, 2010. Prior to this it was being administered by a friend and co-worker. I have found it to be helpful and therapeutic to share myself in this format. I will stay with it as long as there is interest. I hope I will be with it for the rest of my life, where the posts continue to convey Ryan’s eventual recovery.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about this whole forgiveness and punishment concept that people keep telling me I need to do. Here’s how I feel. The person that can forgive Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May for what they did to Ryan, is Ryan. That is, if he chooses to some day. At this point in time, they have taken away his ability to do that so this is something they must live with.
As far as me moving on (forgiving them), in many ways, I don’t see how that would be healing. It would be like having to sit down and say “Ryan, I am okay now with what they did to you” and why should I EVER feel that way? I don’t have the time or energy to actively hate Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May with all I do for Ryan, so I don’t think it will eat a hole through me. But if they pass through my mind, then hey, I am okay with whatever feelings I have. Frankly I resent the hell out of them, for what they did to me, precious Ryan, my family, Ryan’s friends, and for what they brought into his mom’s and sister’s life. Yep, pretty sure I can’t relieve them of accountabilty.
Dr. Petit was on the Today Show a week before we were. His whole family was killed and this is what he said on forgiveness when Oprah asked him in an interview if he forgave them: “I don’t think you can forgive the ultimate evil. You can forgive someone that steals your car. You can forgive someone that slaps you in the face. I think forgiving the essence of evil is not appropriate.”
Bottom line is, I hate this. I understand that believing in God is a struggle for me right now, but that is why I have people believing for me. I don’t know if God allowed this to happen. I don’t know if God can fix this. I don’t know if God is paying attention. I don’t know if there even is a God.
I do believe that whatever dictates our existence has brought an amazing community into my life to give my family the comfort they can for now. The most comforting words to hear and see are “Still here, always here, forever”.