We stole your friend, Ryan.
I never thought that your value could also be summed up by the people who love you.
Oh my love bug, if you only knew. You have made the best of friends. They admired you, spoke highly of you, dropped everything to search for you and my son, they have grieved for you.
Friends that have weathered the years, the distance and the separations.
There are so many. I couldn’t count them if I wanted to.
I want to.
I see you and I know you loved him.
You are all mine now.
But we may have stolen one away. I wouldn’t use the word hostage but i would ask that you ignore his mouthing “Save Me”.
I am not sure Dany had any idea what he was getting into when he first met Ryan.
Soccer aficionados and PlayStation gurus, you boys were fast friends. From the age of 8, Dany you have been a fixture at our house.
Weekends at the lake (I am still paying for you and Manny’s food bill), to after school dents in my newly painted wall from you climbing out the window, and every weekend sleepovers. You did it all.
Not even moving to Saskatoon could separate you.
The night that Ryan was reported to us as missing, Dany, you called us in a panic. I could hear the disbelief and fear in your voice. You knew your best friend and because of that, you knew the dire circumstances.
I think you needed us as much as we needed you in those first few days. You felt normal. Like we could pretend that Ryan was just away.
It was hard to have you leave. And yet you continue to come back. We insult you, tease you and love you.
You feel normal even now.
No, Dany, you aren’t Ryan. You are this wonderful man that has so much to offer the world, compassion, empathy and a huge capacity to give of yourself. You will always be yourself. But I hope you don’t mind if we steal you from Ryan. I think we might need you more then he does.
This is just the story we know of one of his friends.
But I am honoured to know that for this one I write of, there are 10’s that I haven’t.
But don’t fear, I will.
Ryan’s story will be told through the love of his friends. All of them.
As a parent, you want your children to have friends to love, support and raise you up.
My god, Ryan, you were surrounded by the best.