It’s been some time since we last spoke, hasn’t it? That’s entirely on me. Lately, I’ve tried to write but I just couldn’t find my writing voice and didn’t know how to reintroduce myself. Today, I figured, I’ll just write. Be it good or bad, by damned, I’ll grant myself no more excuses.
Turns out, this isn’t all you should know about why I haven’t written in so long. It goes deeper and I’ll explain that shortly, but first the important topic… namely, Ryan.
The positive news is that Ryan continues to thrive… physically. Together, we work hard to keep his body strong and healthy. He hasn’t missed a single day of his therapies. He has been quite healthy too. Aside from a week-long episode of diarrhea (which I never figured out the cause) in the early summer, he has been free of illness. There were no hospitalizations. Heck, the only concern was a potential respiratory infection that was possibly starting to brew that was nipped in the bud before it could catch hold.
Mentally, however, hasn’t been as we hoped. Frankly, there’s been no observable improvement in his cognitive awareness for, well, perhaps years. Still, I don’t allow this to deter me. We work as hard exercising his mind and we do his body.
What’s more, I see to it that he is always comfortable and engaged. We spend a great deal of time — three or four days a week — at our cabin in the mountains of West Virginia.
Whenever possible he’s outside in the sun, breathing and smelling the purest air I know. We never miss an opportunity to drive down to the river or sit by the pond to relax and listen to nature.
Now for myself. My physical well-being got away from me and it needed my attention. The challenge was that it could only happen when I could step away from Ryan. I’m not going to get deep into it, but let me just tell you that when a doctor gives odds of survival over a specific length-of-time it grabs one’s attention pretty damned fast.
Such was the case with me.
It’s all going well for me now. My latest set of blood work was perfect and I truly believe I dodged a bullet that was of my own aiming. There’s just no denying that it came down to living an awful lifestyle since Ryan’s attack (now over eight years ago). Mine was an existence of extreme and unrelenting stress, little and poor sleep, poor diet, and a lack of physical fitness. There was little I could do about resolving the stress and sleep, but diet and exercise were available for improvement.
I’ll spare the details and just let you know that I lost all the weight (45 – 50 lbs.) that I slowly packed on. I have my muscles taut and tone again. Well, that is, to the extent a guy over fifty years old can. I might not have 6-pack abs and need to accept that a 2-pack is the best that I can hope, but it’s sure as hell better than a keg. Anyhow, except for the new (and deeper) wrinkles, I’m in shape again. It might sound like I’m bragging — and, truth be told, perhaps I am — but I’m proud of myself.
It’s important to me that you know how sincerely grateful I am that you continue to keep Ryan relevant, even though I was absent for so long. Amazingly, so many continued to provide for Ryan when it was necessary for me to step away without so much as a decent warning. I simply cannot express in words how helpful it is when critical supplies are ordered from Ryan’s Wish List on Amazon or when he receives a financial gift. Without your help, Ryan would never have the comfort and care he enjoys.
Thank you for helping him! I’m looking forward to reading to Ryan the comments you write at the bottom of this page… just like I use to do. Finally, if you are active on social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), I’m asking you to please share today’s post as a way to spread the word that RyansRally.org is active again and welcomes back the tens-of-thousands of dedicated earlier readers.
We’re proud of you too, Ken. Thank you and welcome back <3
Galya Campano says
As usual, before this awful sacrifice and effort (yours, Ken, and your wife’s), I have the sense to remain speechless.
I sigh. Wait. Pray. Sigh. Pray. And sigh….
God bless. (I do not say it lightly; if I were to begin to say it lightly–I. would stop myself–and Would. Not. Say. It. At. All.)
Vicky and David Scott says
Glad you are back writing. Always wonder how you are ALL doing.
Paula Yocom says
Hi Ken, Miranda and I were just reminiscing about Ryan and your family not two hours ago. We were thinking back on everything your family has been through, and how your dedication for Ryan has never wavered. I am so glad you are feeling better Ken!! Honestly I don’t know anyone who could go without sleep and be in constant motion the way you were and still are I’m sure. I know the toll it must have taken on you. I also know there is nothing you wouldn’t do for Ryan. The fact that you have been by Ryan’s side every day for the last eight years is a true testament to the power of love. Please give Ryan a big hug from me as well as my love and continued prayers for healing. Ryan is still one of the most amazing human beings I know, and it is the constant love of you, Kari and Sue that gives him new strength every day. With my love, I remain, still here and still praying.
Will Niermeyer says
Great to hear from you and through you Ryan. I was checking back now and then but kept up a prayer or two for all of you. Stay healthy for yourself and Ryan and the rest of the crew; your family.
Tom McClelland says
Glad you are back writing Ken. And congratulations on your fitness achievements, always a good thing to hear. I wish for a fulfilling holiday season for you, Sue and your family.
Gail Doyle says
Hi Ken , Just got this post today and was so happy to hear from you and that Ryan is doing so well . Very proud of what you’ve done for yourself too . Hope you keep doing all these good things. Ryan is always on my mind and pray for him and you all every day .Say hi to Sue ,Kari and my friend Ryan! SHSP NGA ❤️
Cheryl Whittaker says
I’ve been thinking of you, Ryan and the family. It’s good to hear from you. Please know you are always in my prayers!
Ken, you deserve to step away when ever you need to. We will always be here thinking of you all. So proud of your fitness achievements, keep yourself healthy! My husband and I love WV, as rock climbers we’re at the New River Gorge often and it’s a special place for us. I’m so happy you’re able to spend so much time there. I will certainly post again on Facebook. Happy Thansgiving to you, Ryan, and the family. Be well. You’re always in my thoughts.
Wonderful you’re back. Hoping the family has a great and memorable Thanksgiving!
Jayme Peli says
Welcome back! I know the saying goes “No news is good news” however I’ve been worried sick about you and Ryan. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!
I cried as soon as I saw this post. At first, I cried because I was scared that a new post after so long could mean only one thing. But ad I read this, I cried out of joy. I’m so thankful that Ryan, and especially yourself, are doing so well now. I look forward to seeing more updates about you all.
Eileen Tuck says
As I do every year on my birthday which is November 7th I wake up and think of Ryan. Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself. Still praying everyday for positive things to come.
Penny Briggs says
So glad you are back. I have missed the updates! Glad you took care of you. Ryan needs you well. Glad Ryan is free of sickness.
Carol Block says
So glad you are doing well! I still pray for a miracle for Ryan and for you as well.
I believe without a shadow of doubt Ryan absolutely knows he is with you all and knows he is so Loved…Ken, taking care of yourself is one of the best things you could do for Ryan…you have the right to be proud, you’re such an amazing person…
I read the tweets for his attackers siblings…this family is Lost, so very Lost…I’m referring to several tweets, but the one that made my mouth drop was one of them saying, “you don’t know what my family has been through in the last 3 years” OMG, I don’t even have words for such a comment considering their brother has changed Ryan’s and your family’s life forever.
Praying for complete recovery and peace for Ryan and your family…Much Love
WVU grad says
Wow – I was randomly thinking of you and Ryan last week, and headed over to the blog to catch up, and was sadden when there were no recent updates, I was worried. I am so grateful for this post today, to hear of the missed bullets, and how healthy Ryan has been. The strength, dedication and love of this family never ceases to amaze me, sending prayers and love.
Lisa M Edwards says
Blessings to you and your family during the Thanksgiving time. Always in our thoughts and prayers. Glad to see this post and that you are taking care of yourself so that Ryan has his Dad healthy and with him for many years to come.
Jaimi Dean Franus says
So grateful to have our lifeline to Ryan back and in better health So proud of the work you’ve done for yourself, Ryan, Sue and Kari! I’m looking forward to reading more updates. Love each of you Go get em , Ryan. I’ve never seen anything like the unending support you have had over these years. You are just one fine young man.
Wow! This sure made our day! So happy and grateful to hear from you. Hello to everyone, and Happy Thanksgivng. I will write more when the holiday madness is over. I am sure (VIA the wonder of television) you have seen that traffic out there! We dread getting on the road.
Hope to resume our writing exchanges hereafter. Love to all, Jo
Stacy Davis says
So happy to hear from you. I’m glad you’re both living a life that was never imagined but is still beautiful. You are such a shining example of the love between a man and his son.
April Madura says
Welcome back!! So good to hear that all is well despite the obstacles. Your dedication to your precious son, Ryan, is second to absolutely none. You both are truly amazing! Always in my prayers. Take care!!!
Julie Bragg says
I can’t believe it has been over 8 years. I know it must feel like a lifetime to your family. I’m glad to see you writing again. I’m certain expressing your feelings is good for your soul. You have such a way of telling Ryan’s followers heartfelt details. I’m glad to hear that Ryan has been doing well and soaking up the WV fresh air as much as possible. I’m also glad to hear that you have taken some time to regroup and get back on track for your own health. Caregivers most often neglect their own needs to care for others. Still praying for a miracle for Ryan and blessings for him and your entire family. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Ken, glad to hear you’re finally applying some of the great care that has been sustaining Ryan to yourself.
Ryan, I hope you enjoy this holiday season with your family.
Welcome back! We’ve missed you. Congrats on getting healthier!