Well… my dear “hubby” made the mistake of taking a nap today and while I may not have Ken’s self-proclaimed humor gene or quick wit, I do know how to get around on a computer. And where he is ingenious at creating scientifically balanced food for Ryan, he can talk to doctors like a fellow colleague, he can address a court like a lawyer, he can write like an author, he lacks in the creativity of picking a secret password.
SO….my turn to write. I would like to above all provide my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their support, love, and prayers for Ryan. I could have never imagined the outpouring of support from our family, friends, neighbors, prayer warriors, MOTNC, co-workers, WVU, Morgantown, and Ashburn communities and all the new friends we met along the way. You help me get up each day and let me believe there are a lot of wonderful people in the world.
As you can imagine…. I struggle desperately with trying to understand why this happened. How could there be such evil in the world? Every day, over and over, my mind plays Ryan trying to back away and getting run down. Then the beating, the brutal beating. Then the call…”your son was found unresponsive in a parking lot…” Why? Why? How could men have such hatred in their hearts that they would brutally attack a total stranger and leave him to die? I also struggle with their parents and families. What is wrong with you? How do you not have the civility to even reach out to see how my son is doing? He was running from your son. He didn’t know your son. He never touched your son! Yes, it’s been 15 months, 15 months! And you still have not reached out. None of you! Honestly it scares me. If you live near these people, work with them or cross their paths…stay away. They have no conscience, no ethics, no sense of right or wrong. They also take no responsibility for their actions. We have not received one penny from them. With the hundreds of thousands of dollars that have went towards Ryan’s care, they have not sent a single cent. Not even the court ordered amount. Please help me to understand. I guess one of the truest comments I saw Ken write was that he was glad we are Ryan’s parents and not the May or Vantrease parents. I agree whole heartedly! While I am in pain, I am proud of my son and family!
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much” -Mother Teresa
I miss Ryan. I miss Ryan terribly. Hearing a Kenny Chesney song makes me cry. Sports Center makes me cry. Redskin games make me cry (ok…they make all of us cry). Every little thing reminds me of Ryan. Ryan…my “boy”. While I wouldn’t call him (at least in public) a momma’s boy, in my heart he will always be mine. We are amazingly close. My heart is breaking. I miss Ryan! We used to talk, text, and i-chat, all the time. Over the summer and on breaks, he would always (yes, always) come in to see me when he would come home from hanging out with his friends. This was often past midnight and many times at 2 or 3 in the morning. But he would stop in to wake me, make me get up, and we would talk and laugh. He always had a story to tell me. It could have been something he and friends were doing, the latest recruit WVU was considering or checking in on whether Kari was keeping her grades up so she could get in to WVU. This was our time… our special time. I miss Ryan so badly. So badly…
“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine” – Mario Fernandez
My sunshine is my “sweet, sweet girl”, Kari. I just love her so much. She is a ray of sunshine. She makes me smile when she walks in the room. She has the best heart. I’ll never forget the call she made to me in tears a few weeks ago at about 1 in the morning from WVU. She was telling me how she bought a homeless man a couple hot dogs and how much he appreciated it. She was so concerned for him. A stranger she didn’t know, but who was hungry. While, as a mom, worried about her talking to a stranger, I understood the depth of her concern for him and her wanting to make sure he was okay. That’s my Kari and I love her so much!
Why do men need instant replay on TV sports?
Because after 30 seconds they forget what happened.
My hubby…what can I say. Yes, he’s the typical man. His idea of a fancy restaurant is one with large screen TV’s. He can’t wash clothes, well, he can…but he doesn’t understand the concept of sorting the clothes. Why can’t you wash a silk shirt with jeans and some towels? He doesn’t understand you don’t joke about certain topics with a reporter (enough said). But, my husband of nearly 25 years is a remarkable man and the love of my life. I truly don’t know what I would do without him. I would go on, but you all know my husband, and it WOULD go to his head!
Well…speaking of Ken, he is starting to stir so I am going to post this. We’ll see how long it takes him to notice my post and how long until he comes up with a new password!
Thank you again to everyone for keeping the hope alive for RYAN!
All my love… Sue (the “Wife”)
Jen Lovelace says
It’s Jen Lovelace, one of Ryan’s prayer warriors. You used the term “My boy” in your post. Our small group, but getting larger, met last night to lift your family up in prayer and thanksgiving. I think each of us individually during one point in the night or another, refererred to Ryan as “our boy”. That is who he is to us, our boy. Mothers are we all, who play over in our mind, the overwhelming grief that encompasses us in imagining what you have had forced upon you. All of us who now love Morgantown and WVU, who cry (harder) at a Redskins loss, get a pang of sadness when we drive by Broad Run. Of all the blessings of my 4 children I was graced with one son. He too is a “momma’s boy”. Quite proud to admit it, but then again he is only 8:). When he snuggles up to me, fingers in his mouth, eyes getting ready to close, I think of your Ryan. How no matter how big they are, we as their mom were there first true love. I will sign off now as the tears are clouding my eyes. Give your beautiful Kari a kiss and tell her she is the best sister! Thank you for sharing a bit about your love story with Ken. It is relationships like this that give you the strength to sustain such an unimaginable tragedy. Much love, Jen
You’re post was beautifully written. Ryan was one of the first people i met my first night at WVU. He’s such an amazing person, always kept me laughing. Ryan and your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers daily. The strength yinz have is tremendous.
Still here, always praying.
Lisa from WV says
Beautifully written. You don’t know me, but I pray for your family all the time, and check the blog often. Your family is so amazing and inspiring. I hope for the day you get your miracle of miracles, and Ryan wakes up.
Sue I think that only mental health professions can give you answers for the actions of those men and the lack of action of their families. There just isn’t a logical answer for any of it.
Your family is the strongest I met and Ryan is very very very loved! You and Ken must be very proud of your kids, they are such remarkable young adults.
PS. Have you considered journalism? You could write a book!
Thank you for sharing the “mom” perspective. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and your precious Ryan. Praying constantly for our fellow Dub V Fam.
Paula Yocom says
Dear Sue, at times it may not seem like it, but I must tell you, that the Lord loves you, your wonderful husband, your strong and handsome son, and your bright and beautiful Kari so much. He does. In the end, this is what we have, and all that matters — the love of the Lord, and the love of each other. This love will not die, cannot be overcome, and transcends this time and place. I am grateful to be a part of your lives, because I have had the privilege of getting to know you and your family, and I have met so many people who have added so much strength and joy to my life. I walk the days in awe of the love you, Ken, Ryan and Kari have for each other. I am thankful to God for this. I’m here, still, always, forever. Love & prayers, always — Paula
Sadie Bauer says
Sue, I love this and I love you!! You need to post more often, miss you guys!
sally ellis says
Sue, I am so glad you wrote, maybe you should take a turn more often. I can’t imagine your anguish but I will tell you that I think of you everyday. I hope you all feel some strength and positive vibes coming from this community. As an aside, I think you’re funny.
Your love, devotion and well-deserved pride for your husband and two children are so apparent and touch us deeply, Sue. As amazing as each member of your family is, please know that you are a truly remarkable woman! God knew what He was doing when He brought you all together. What a blessing you are to each other and so many others. You honor God with your lives every day in so many ways. We believe that He will show favor to your family by completing the healing work that we have all been witnessing in Ryan and return your beloved precious son to you. Keep the faith, keep loving on each other as you do every day, and we’ll continue to pray you along this journey. We pray for His true justice to prevail for your family as well.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
You are answering the call to this higher purpose which your family did not choose but is a consequence of evil in the world. God promises to work it out for your ultimate good as you continue to love each other with His great love.
Extra love, hugs and prayers go out to you all on this Valentine’s Day. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart and family with us, Sue <3
Carla Liberty says
Amen Rita – beautifully said!
A Cup of Tea says
Sue, good to hear the words from your heart. I too, am one of the followers of Ryan’s story who you do not personally know. It tears at my heart…as a mother, and as a person. I so admire the love, strength and courage you and your family have. And I admire the truth and rawness of the words you and Ken share.
Know that there is another heart and soul that prays for Ryan, for you , for Ken and for Kari. I fear there are no answers, and it must be almost beyond unbearable. Blessings to you all.
(Kathryn Beggs Howlett)
Sue, My heart breaks for you and your pain as a mother!
May and Vantrease families…SHAME ON YOU!
Sorry about all of the typos! I wanted to make sure I got these thoughts off to you, but in my haste, left you a couple words to figure out. But you know my heart. 🙂
If this happened to Jeremy, who is absolutely a Mama’s boy, my prince and my one and only boy, I would feel like someone kicked me in the gut, and no matter how hard I might try, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. Not really. I could function and I could fake it, but every time I would have to leave him, I leave a piece of me with him. I told Ken in the very beginning he was a better person than I am, because I wouldn’t have been able to not take matters into my own hands and deal with the consequences later. I can’t tell you how many times I have cried when I picture Jeremy laying there in place of Ryan. I wouldn’t know what to do with the pain. I constantly try to keep myself in a place of gratitude for the health of my entire family, because God knows you and Ken sidi nothing wrong to be put through this. And all I can give you are my prayers. I know, I can run something over to you all, and try to lighten the load a little, but really, the most powerful, life-changing thing I can reach is a conversation with our Heavenly Father. I have down on my face many times, many nights, crying out to the Lord to please release Ryan, enough is enough. And have I believed in his healing? you bet. Although I am sorry you all still have to endure this tome, I believe Rya’s miracle is coming. It’s already there. Cam’s infamous words ring true… It’s like a miracle in slow motion. Seeing Ryan reinforces my belief that not only is he ‘there’ but being ‘all there’ is just around the corner.
I have been raised to believe that as we pray out God’s word, it goes into action, literally. How many times have we found ourselves praying for something, just to say, not long afterward, ‘Boy, I hope God answers my prayer.’ we just undid our prayer!
Your post has reignited in me a determination to be praying, praying, praying, and when I’m done, I’m going to pray some more. All the time. Out loud. Wherever I am. With ABSOLUTE faith. No more looking back. No more just hoping. Just believing. Perfect faith is as if it has already happened. I saw Ryan era ting to his mama that day. He’s wanting to talk to you right now, Sue. Let’s pray him through that wall between you and him. He’s got a lot to say.
When my Jeremy Michael walks through our front door, my heart still skips a beat. I treasure his hugs, and I fight back the tears when he leaves. I just love him so much.
Let’s pray your prince back, Sue. There’s no time like the present.
All my love,
Eric Pain says
Every day since the Today Show broadcast I have read your posts and could not bring myself to respond. I cannot begin to imagine what your family has gone through. Not a day has gone by that I have not felt angry for what has happened to your son. I am infuriated by the actions of the animals that were responsible for this. I was moved to read that you and your husband were glad that you were Ryan’s parents and not the parents of the cowards that did this. That statement is so powerful. While maybe only God can judge, we are all looking down upon those responsible for this.
God Bless you and your family.
As I read this line “We used to talk, text, and i-chat, all the time. ” I just needed to tell you that those talks mean so much to you… they meant even more to Ryan. I miss my many times a day phone calls with Mom. She always thought that it was her needing to chat with me, but those brief calls, the “guess what I just saw”, or “guess what happened” are the things I miss… and treasure the very most. Those things are still in Ryan’s mind. Those things are what are making him fight. Just keep talking to him, I know that he hears you. <3 hug your Valentine's for us all and ValenSkype Kari for us tomorrow to. Love and prayers and so much more.
Gail Doyle says
Dear Sue,It was good to read a post from you too…I am one of the many people who saw your story on Today show and I just could,t get you all out of my mind …I went to face book and well the rest is history,I look for your posts every day and have been praying fervently for Ryan to heal.Between all the love you and your family have and give to him and the thousands of people praying ,he will get better and God will someway give the punishment due to those other families or their guilt will haunt them forever…May God heal Ryan and tell him Happy Velentines day and to you all too SHSP always Gail (NY)
sue, thank you so much for the updates in your life. ken does a very good job letting us all know how everything is. but reading what you wrote today brought a tear to my eye. i wish you great energy your way and good luck for your family. god bless you all.
Carla Liberty says
Sue…something was drawing me to this page tonight – I have no idea why because I had just seen you a few hours ago and we spoke/caught up briefly, and I had mentioned to you that I had read Ken’s blog earlier…. But I’m so glad I checked because it gives me an even greater insight to the depth of love you have for your precious family. (Not that there is/was any question of that, I’m just stating the obvious!) YOU ARE AMAZING! And yes, you are every bit the writer as Ken is!
Sue your anguish is completely understandable and to this day I cannot fathom how the parents of those boys have not reached out to you and your family. I can’t wrap my mind around it. If I were them I would be apologizing profusely, and making restitution payments on behalf of my son. I would be begging for forgiveness. If I didn’t have the money (I have no idea what their financial situation is) I would fundraise or do something to offer assistance. I could not sit idle. I would try to make right a terrible wrong in the best way that I could. I pray that they find God and that He will lead them to help you.
Your words, so powerful, hit me hard tonight. I cried for the second time today …both times for what you and your family are going through. Seeing Mother Teresa’s quote there, a favorite of mine, really really drove home the point. “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” Sue, the faith you still have, given the tornado that has blindsided you, is what God wants from us all. He wants us to trust Him. And that is easier said than done, I know. But it is my fervent prayer and belief that things fall into place when we let go, and let God. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” With every fiber of my being, I believe in Ryan’s full restoration – body/soul/spirit.
I’m glad that your sweet Kari was home this weekend to spend some time with you, Ken and Ryan. God Bless Her she is a wonderful daughter and sister.
Praying for a peaceful, calm and restful night for you my dear friend. God Bless You.
As i said Before I could Never Imagine what Your Family is going through. I agree its ashamed that people are so cruel out in the world and for the parents to not even ask about Ryan thats just No Respect they are as bad as their sons in My Book! My Heart Breaks For Your Family and Ryan and theres things in life that people just dont understand “Why”. I just wish that we could all understand things more than we do. We are all here to Support You All and Ryan with Our Prayers. I will Continue to Support You all With My Prayers and I am Praying that God Give Ryan a Miracle and Im Holding Onto That. Prayers with You All! May God Bless!
Colleen Brunelle says
As a mom, I feel your pain everyday. I was just sitting here staring at Ryan’s picture and praying that I will open this Blog and find that all of our prayers have been answered. It’s amazing how some parents find ways to defend the actions of their children…..long story short, I was undergoing treatments for Cancer and while we were gone for the morning, we found out that we had been robbed. Turned out to be the teenage daughter and her friend of our neighbors. What did they do – they don’t talk to us!! Thank God for that, but they never once apologized for their white trash daughter – to make things worse, the friend she was with was the daughter of one of my clients. I’m a Realtor and when the police went to the house, my sign was on their front lawn. I had their house up for sale – what did they do – they said nothing!! The worst part for me is that they were in my home – they were in my bedroom, they took my jewelry which I couldn’t wear during these treatments – one of the items was a ring my two sons had bought me. It was Calladagh ring to cheer me up and give me strength to go on. The most important part of this story is that these venomous creatures that are spawned off of ignorant people can’t steal what’s in our hearts. They can’t take what you have with Ryan away, they can’t take the love of your family and friends away, and they can’t take our faith away. You will survive this with the love and prayers of family, friends and people you have never met. Once again, I don’t know you personally, but you have become a part of my life. I will continue to pray and hope for better and better news. Now my story is in no way meant to be compared to yours, just to say that there are plenty of parents out there that turn a blind eye or make excuses for the wrong their children do – just rest peacefully knowing that there are parents who have come a long way to make this world a better place to live by sending out caring, outstanding citizens. Kudos to Kari for helping someone in need. It’s a testament to you and Ken.
It’s so nice to read a post from you….You write just as beautifully as your husband does, and we thank you for sharing your story..your family, and your ryan with us.
Carrie in Morgantown says
I couldn’t have said it better. Still here, still praying.