His name was Ryan,
Your memory will forever burn bright.
Saturday came like any other Saturday before, not sure what we were going to do this weekend, no real plans had been made, we were getting ready to leave our house and just go find something to do because we were bored, the house phone rings and I answer it to my youngest sister on the phone who had recently moved to Georgia with her latest boyfriend, a big looser I might add. She is crying and I cannot make out to much of what she is saying, ALL I HEAR IS GET THE FAMILY TOGETHER RYAN IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!! I say what? again I hear, RYAN IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Of course my mind is spinning out of control, he just turned 18 on the 11Th of March, today was the 21st of March, he had only been out there not even a month to visit his distant all of his life mother, we told him we did not want him to go but would not stand in his way, we wanted more than anything for him to know the love of his mother and father who had spent most of my nephews life in prison and who was once again currently serving more time, my sister always running, chasing, ignoring, denying, Ryan left to be raised by family, left alone by her and his father, seldom had a room of his own, a dresser of his own, a closet of his own, parents of his own. He knew he was loved by so many, never a burden on any of us, loved by his two younger brothers and baby sister, loved by most who knew him, a smile that as you can see captured your heart and it was no longer your own, with all of this, still that longing to belong to his mother and father, he the first born, the most neglected, never having from them what his siblings had from their fathers, a home and someone who protected them from hell or high water, always someone in his very own corner, even if that corner was only in his mind, it would have belonged to him, he did not whine or even seem to mind that he lived with other family members and had to sleep on the couch or share a bed or room with a cousin, he never complained about anything, he was taught early by the two people who brought him into the world that it would have fallen on deaf ears. While the rest of us tried to make up for what ever we could, was it ever enough? We will live with that, the never really knowing did he really know just how much we all loved him? did we even come close to filling that void created by his parents? the answers to those questions and more will haunt us as long as we breathe, the emptiness will never go away and I don't want it to, they say time heals all wounds, I say oh no it does not, some wounds get worse with time, TIME itself becomes a reminder of what you and so many others are missing, day in and day out, we are reminded of that loss, we look at each other and know someone is missing, knowing he will not be found around the corner or in a room, just gone, we left behind dealing with the fact that a young, harmless and innocent life was taken, only on the verge of living his life, full of hope and adventure and so much promise, we love you Ryan and will forever miss you, we will stay strong or try to, finding peace in knowing we will see you again, in the meantime wait for your family with that smile on your face, the day will come when no memories of any pain or loss will exist, just together and happy once again our family will be whole, to those who let you down over and over again, those who abused the example they were to set for your young life, those who took for granted the very gift you were and are, they will have to live the rest of what I hope is a long long life knowing in their hearts and minds they failed you in every way a parent can fail their children, they did not keep you safe from harm, they themselves brought harm into your life and called it a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, whatever they felt would justify them putting their own needs and wants before yours, I hope you went as peaceful as I think you did, asleep and dreaming of the next adventure you were to be off on as a young eighteen year old and I promise you this I will watch over your brothers and sister and love them as you did and remind them often of the person you were so they never forget, as for your mother and father, I will remind them as often as I can that in your end their addiction for irresponsibility and everything that comes with that lifestyle cost them the highest price. YOUR LIFE.
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