by Karen Tiplady
What Ryan has missed:
- His 21st Birthday – a rite of passage.
- Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, RG III, Kurt Cousins and other athletic happenings . . . Ryan loved the Atlanta Braves but also loved the Nats, football, and was a big fan of the girls ;-D
- His College Graduation – I prayed for him during our daughter’s graduation procession, knowing that he was missing his own. Ryan and Kaitlyn were the same age, grade and the best of friends. How could we be so truly blessed to be in Lane Stadium at Virginia Tech watching our daughter graduate with speakers First Lady Michele Obama and Senator Mark Warner while Ryan was in a makeshift hospital room at our dear friends, the Diviney’s house, down the street from where we live . . . there but by the grace of God go us, thankful for that, yet tragically impacted by what happened to Ryan.
- Seeing his friends graduate and scatter off in all directions – They move on at this age and take jobs or go to grad school in various cities. Ryan, however, is stuck in time. What I find curious are the multitudes of people that have been called to help see the Diviney’s through, and I personally know that the Diviney’s are thankful, as Ken has expressed, in his so many articles.
- Five World Famous Tiplady Memorial Day Camping Trips – next year will be our 38th annual, and it is epic! I can’t seem to find a good picture of Ryan camping with us and wish that I could. If anyone that reads this has a good pic, I would love it if you could share it with me. This is no ordinary camping trip. It is Tiplady style! Anyone who has been can testify to that. Ryan loved joining us each year, and we continue to feel his absence each year. I can’t help but watch his friends and wish he could be there beside them enjoying life.
- Tiplady Basement Remodel – it actually bothered me when we were doing this because I knew that Ryan wouldn’t recognize the place, much like his own home that has been remodeled.
- Finding out what Ryan would be doing – would he be in law school, or doing something else? Would he be falling in love with “the one” or would he still be playing the field looking for the love of his life. What would he dream up with his high school friends Adam, Tommy, Chris, Kyle, Kaitlyn, Jess, and Becca. My Mom always wanted to live long enough to find out what both of our daughters would do. She saw both of them off in the morning from elementary school through high school graduation. She fished her wish knowing that Brittany was doing great as a special education math teacher, and she got to see Kaitlyn get started with school psychology. In fact, my Mom passed away sat the age of 86 just 7 months after Kaitlyn departed for grad school. I am glad that she got to know what they were maturing into and find it ironic that Ryan at the age of 24 never got the opportunity to do the same . . . such a tragedy, impacting so many . . . The Divineys, our daughter, and many friends . . . even us, he was one of our neighborhood boys . . . the whole situation so incomprehensible and senseless.
- Kari’s High School and College Graduations, and now, Kari starting her first real job – She has lost so much, given up so much – yes, she is one of the original 3 people that said “We got this” along with Ken and Sue. I admire her for her strength, dedication, and resolve. It makes me sad that she has lost so much. And, she has done this freely, without selfishness, with understanding, with selflessness, supporting her parents, and supporting Ryan. Ken had to miss her high school graduation for God’s sake, because Ryan was too unstable at that time and transportation was still a huge issue – thank you Koons for donating that van – an effort mastered by Kari, herself.
Kari, this is my message for you: I want you to know that Ryan would be proud of you because I know that he always was proud of you. Know this in your heart. When your name came up I could see the pride in his eyes. Ryan’s and Kaitlyn’s classmates were often at our place, while you and your friends were often at another neighbor’s house, just two doors away. Sometimes there were intersections between the groups, in appropriate high school hierarchical style. Also, know that we wish you the very best in your career pursuits. You have handled yourself with grace and optimism in the most trying situation I have ever personally known. You give your parents much comfort and joy watching you blossom into adulthood, and that is the best of medicines for them. Know that you have done the right thing and risen above the unimaginable. You are a very loyal young lady, and you have what it takes. Your family, friends and your future employers will undoubtedly benefit from from your awesome attitude, brains, outlook, kindness, and loyalty. Know that you are simply the best!
Love you Divineys!