It seems looking back that Ryan had been sick for a long time- Truth is his cancer took his life within exactly ten months from his date of diagnosis. Ryan was a special little boy from the day he was brought into our lives. A happy baby, always smiling. He turned into a carefree toddler. Often shrugging off things that most kids would throw fits about. He seemed a free spirit. Below is a copy of something I wrote and read at Ryan's memorial service where we had his ashes spread at sea at the last beach he ever played at or swam in, a place we would go often. A place I never dreamed we would one day hold a memorial service at for our youngest little boy.
I will start with a short story of one day in California at the City of Hope Hospital where we had gone in a desperate attemtp of finding a clinical trial to save Ryan. It was almost fathers day and Ryan was in his little hospital bed, not doing very well. I asked him if he could make a fathers day card for daddy and he said "sure" with his little Boston accent, even though we've never been to Boston. I gave him some construction paper, lots of stickers and markers( he was too mature for crayola crayons) Before I knew it I looked over at him and he was happily sticking the stickers on his hospital bed and everywhere but on the card he had made.. All the stickers were used except one that he had left and he slapped it on the card It was a sticker of nemo one of Ryan's favorite movies, and it read "Just keep swimming"
He was always doing something like that; something so small but perfect in every way. He was so silly! He would ask you to play monopoly (pirates of the Caribbean version of course) and first thing he liked to do was buy the houses and hotels, or in this case all the docks and harbors even before he bought all the property and Id say your cheating kid! You cant do that! He'd shake his little fingers out in front of himself and say its "Rye-Narian style" He made his own rules and played by no ones; a true fee spirit. He was smart beyond his years and always amazed people at how mature he could be at times. But he was also wild, my little wild child. He did the craziest things and definitely kept us on our toes: a brave, strong, determined ,yet gentle being. Smart beyond his years and looking in his big beautiful blue eyes, you just knew he was an old soul
Ryan deeply loved the islands from the first moment we arrived here in Hawaii four years ago, Hawaii will always be his home. He loved the ocean, the sea life, the sea turtles he loved the most. He loved nature and would often comment on things like a sunset, he'd say "that sure is a beautiful sunset", or something no child his age was typically say. He was feisty and yet sweet, honest but tactful, he was not afraid to speak his mind and tell you when he simply thought "you weren't making any sense" he'd say this to me often. He used big words and say things like 'actually" or "exaggerating''
His favorite color when he was three was periwinkle and then one day it turned into orange, he was a little spark for sure. Always making people laugh' and you could feel his energy from across the room. He was so full of life. He took Karate lessons when he was five and ever since then he thought he was a ninja! He was a lover of pirates, legos, zombie farm, star wars, motorcycles, the beach, riding his scoter as fast as he could making mommy nervous but he found it amusing. He had a great appreciation for Hawaiian music, as this was his request every night before we went to bed, he had to hear Hawaiian music while he slept, but he could easily go from IZ to Eminem "Not Afraid became his theme song. He was my little chameleon.
Ryan would say when he grew up he wanted to be a destroyer; I said you mean a builder, he said no I want to destroy things! So ya, a destroyer. I told him about demolition people and how they blow things up, he said 'that's awesome" The world has suffered such a great lose because I know Ryan would have gone on to do great things in life. But I believe Ryan is with us now, within us and around us. His soul will forever be upon the rolling sea, up in the bright shinning stars, in the wind and the mountains~ HE IS FREE
Ryan lost his ten month battle with lymphoma on July 29th, 2011. Ryan was only six years old and our hearts are broken. Oh how we miss our baby boy so much. He fought hard, like a lion...a true little warrior he was until the end. Our world is shattered, but we must carry on. Ryan has two older brothers whom he loved very much, Jacob and Cameron. Our brave little warrior who the world has lost way to soon. But Ryan still has the power even in his death to change the world, to change lives, and do amazing things. This is what we must do now for him because he can no longer.
I think of you Ryan, every day all day and dream of you at night, you are my last thought before I fall asleep at night, my first thought when I awake. Oh it pains me still to write the words passed away died or no longer living. So I say he is forever alive within us and he lives inside of our hearts and in the hearts of so many others now. We are doing everything we can baby, to keep your memory alive, and to honor you every chance we get, and every day for the rest of our lives. We will see you again sweet baby boy, somewhere over that rainbow, and until then just know you are in our hearts and souls forever .