I’m a realist. I get it. I understand that it is beyond daunting when it comes to Ryan’s needs. I live it every minute but also understand that being part of his life — even as someone who just wants to help out — can take considerable effort. Sure, I try to make it as easy as possible, but there’s only so much I can do. Hell, it’s flat-out exhausting. Not just physically either. The emotional toll, in some ways, is worse.
I hope you understand how much we appreciate it when people get involved. I would love to hear what Ryan would say! So many make tangible contributions through online financial donations and his wish list. It’s huge! Without these I wonder if I just might be caring for him under an interstate bridge (since, as you know, longterm care facilities really aren’t an option for us). I don’t have to wonder — because I know for a fact — that Ryan would NEVER be where he is without these. I say it all the time, but it worth repeating that you give him the care, comfort, and resources that give him chance… even when he is up against all odds.
Then there are those people who hold fundraisers on his behalf. These raise money for his Trust Fund or to get him something specific (like a lift for the hot tub or therapy equipment, for example), while also reminding people of him… what’s at stake… what’s good in this world. These bring attention. These keep him relevant to those who might otherwise forget.
Just as important are the people who pray for him. Forget that I lost faith because this loving act tells me that you are thinking about him. Like people who tell me they dream of him, they too have my son on their mind!
Those who care always find a way to help. This is clear. I see it through this website and its unimaginable following. It is demonstrated every time someone shares a post… or takes the time to leave a comment or send an email, clicks “like” on Ryan’s Facebook… or signs the Austin Vantrease Anti-Parole Petition… or follows Ryan on his other social media like Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube (that can be joined from this website’s Home page).
Money is huge, and there’s no way around that fact. I wish it were different. I’m telling you that I will forever assert that Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May have done nothing meaningful toward the damage they caused. The damage is too costly to make good in a dozen lifetimes. Still, it’s more than that (meaning money). It’s the other ways that show you care. These might not be measured in currency, but they have real value. Without this type of support it would be so damned difficult to carry on. It inspires me… motivates me… let’s me know you are paying attention. Like my commitment to Ryan, it gives my life meaning when little else makes a lick of sense.
I don’t want to let you down any more than I would be okay with that of myself toward Ryan.
I don’t want this life. To be clear, I’m not suicidal at all… but I’m also not opposed to running my natural course on this earth either. I’ll take my chances with whatever comes next. I really don’t give a hoot if it’s oblivion. Hell? Been there,
done doing that! Well, unless Vantrease and May (who, if there is a hell, punched that un-refundable and non-transferable ticket in November 2009) are hanging around my fiery pit of agony.
The faithful tell me I’ll be rewarded, justice will be served with finality, and there will be supreme clarity. I hope. That would be nice. I’d like an eternal pat on the back as much as the next guy, but, really, I’d be fine if just no longer tormented and Ryan gets the bliss. He certainly is deserving.
For now, I’m in this reality (that is remarkably surreal). I must tend to it… cope with it… make the best of it. Oh, how I chuckle when I read those quotes that “your life could be worse” because, when it comes to Ryan, I must respectfully disagree. I HATE it. I never asked for it, let alone even imaged it. My family did nothing to deserve it. Ryan did nothing. Why, for all that is good in this world, is it us? Please, pick anybody else to condemn to this living hell… but why couldn’t we be left alone?
So many “whys” and, I swear, I try not to think about them. My logical mind realizes this serves no purpose (other than to anger and confuse me more), but anyone with a sense of justice would be no different from I. Would you?
Really, would you?