The memorial service was last night, very well attended, and it was very well done. I had only met Ryan once or twice, and during the slide show of his life I realized how beautiful his blue eyes were, and the smile he had was electric! There were some short shots of a video of him dancing at a party and it made everyone laugh. He was a character all right.
His sister read a poem she'd written for him, and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. Ryan would have been so proud of her.
When the soloist sang the song 'To Every Season', I think that was one of the hardest times for Carol. Ryan deserved more season. It's too soon.
I have a couple of memories to share:
- When Tigard went to the state championship for football, playing at Autzen Field (where the Ducks play) Ryan was one of the top players. Towards the end of the game it was pretty apparent we were going to win, and with two minutes left we all noticed something: Ron was on the field. No one but the players were to be on the field until after the game, but there was Ron! As the game ended and we all flooded onto the field, excitement in the air, we caught up to Ron and he told us he just couldn't wait any longer. He marched down there and he TOLD the security guards he was going on the field. I guess they figured it wasn't worth the trouble. Thanks to those fellows to let him do so: a good memory for him to have at this hard time.
- One time Mark had me deliver something to Ron for football. As I arrived Ron and Carol were getting ready to go out. Ryan was having a party and they had agreed to let him have the party while they were gone. Ron and Carol had set out some guidelines and Ryan had used yellow stickies to mark EVERYTHING in the house that folks attending the party were NOT to touch. He walked us around to show us, assuring his dad that he had everything in hand, and I thought it was such a riot!
When we arrived at the service Carol was in the lobby, waiting for her family to arrive. We hugged each other so tightly, both of us burst into tears, and I told her she could call me anytime to talk about Ryan. Go to lunch on a regular basis and talk. I think that is so important: at first everyone is there, wanting to talk about the loss and how much they loved them, and then they want to move on with their lives. I've known parents who want to talk about their child, and keep them a part of their everyday lives, but others feel it's 'time to move on'. I want to be there for Carol. Ryan adored his parents and sister and he would want that.
Ryan was 23 years old. So very young to lose. So much promise in that young, amazing life. He will be missed and very much loved, for all time.