On November 6, 2009, Sue and I put the finishing touches on a trip we took every year. Little did we know that just hours away we would never be able to take this trip… or any trip, for that matter. Our life was just cancelled. Sorry, no refunds , exchanges, or transfers.
We would go every year to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It was a time to just have fun, eat a ton of local food, and let our cares go. For me, I was certainly not opposed to the public display of boobs. Hey, the more the merrier! Mardi Gras was like a ten-block frat party and I was completely in my element. Bring it on!
We would always stay an extra day, after the revelers left and the streets returned to normal to do some sightseeing. Sue loved going on the ghost tours and blowing twenty dollars at the slots. For me, I liked visiting the centuries-old cemeteries and walking through the French Quarter admiring the architecture (particularly the porches). It was always the perfect end to a perfect trip.
Like our summer vacations, Christmas traditions, family trips, and dinner outings, this ended in an instant. More precisely, our previous lives ended in an instant.
I long for those times.. in the worst way. I miss Mardi Gras. It represented a time when all was right in my world. Now it’s just a yearly reminder, cruel and uncaring, of all that was taken. It’s really no different from Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the week we went on summer vacation. In my wildest dreams I never imagined tradition would cause pain, let alone this much.
Back home today catching up on posts. Hopefully the same can be said about the group of thugs that attacked Ryan and Brian and their family traditions. I hope their family traditions have changed also. Now we all know the Vantrease family tradition includes trips to WV to visit their son, Austin. Remember him…. the one who wouldn’t hurt a fly? I wonder if they are keeping a scrapbook of their travels to WV and will post pics on facebook? Do you suppose they visit any “Wild and wonderful WV” sites along the way, the ones we see advertised on tv, calling on us to visit their state. I wonder what the May family tradition includes now? We haven’t heard anything from them since their “good” boy Jonathan, like in the game of Monopoly, “Got out of Jail Free”. Free that is without anyone knowing about it, free from press and free from any objections. I wonder what the other criminals family traditions will include….maybe scrambling for lawyers to defend their sons, maybe justifying their sons actions, making excuses for them….who knows?
Anyway, Ken know that our traditions now include checking your posts on Ryan and supporting you with the Wish List. Praying always!
Ms. Blasé says
There are not enough words to say… and I can’t even begin to know what it’s like… And even though such a thing may be considered too rash to mention, it is in times like these when I wish, if just for a moment, that I were God and had the ability to make everything right, to relieve the inexplicable suffering… It is painful to witness. However, even as a pained witness, I cannot know the excruciating reality of it all. And as much as I try to share your burden, it is still frustratingly beyond me, my grasp, and my comprehension. Sometimes it, this life, is so overwhelming that drowning seems inevitable, but we, miraculously, keep going. You have kept going… and I marvel and thank God because of it. No matter how dark or how hopeless this existence gets, may our continued acts of love and kindness, reassuring words, and prayers provide a source of light in the midst of this struggle.
The Colangelis says
I am sorry Ken that this tragedy has dirupted the lives of your family. As much as you can, hold on to and cherish the memories of those good times. We pray Ryan recover and that you may have the opportunity for some family trips again. We continue our prayers and God Bless you.
Sending you all extra hugs and prayers today, and hoping that someday you can treasure those wonderful family memories again as you create new ones. Much love always, Divineys.
Hello Ken, your family sure knows how to enjoy life — I loved your description of Mardi Gras! I think it’s easy for people to forget the full measure of what your family has lost. I just want you to know that, for all you’ve lost, all hope is not lost. Our hearts are with you every day, and we believe in miracles.
Still here, still praying, and Miranda sends a hug and kiss to you and Ryan <3 Hoping you have a smooth day, Ken, and remember you are loved.
Gail Doyle says
Ken, My heart aches for you,Sue,Ryan,and Kari. As quick as things changed so profoundly in your lives, hopefully they will change as quick for the good. It’s easy to say ,but never,never give up ,that change could be right around the corner…Thinking and always hoping for the best for you all <3 Gail