My bother, Ryan, to me, is just…pure love.

My two brothers and I stood up together to give the eulogy at my father’s funeral.  Ryan had doubts that he would be able to do this – to get up and speak about our dad without falling apart.  However, it was really important to him to honor my dad in this way, and he did so beautifully.  Ryan spoke about my dad’s strong character.  He spoke about dad’s integrity and lack of ego, about his loyalty and kindness.  He said, “To be the man that my father was would be a difficult task. But, if we always remember his principles, and strive to live our lives as he did, I truly believe our lives will be as full of happiness and love as the life my father lived.”

ryan dad dog walk

I love this photo of Ryan and my dad (and of course, Maddie and King). Look at them…stopping to wait for me. They are standing the exact same way, which brings me to why I chose this photo…

What I find beautiful about Ryan and his aspirations to be like my dad, is this…

He already is. 

Integrity

Lack of Ego

Loyalty

Kindness

I could go on and on with examples of how Ryan embodies all of these things.  There is one vignette, though, that to me demonstrates them all. I’ll never forget it.

We were standing in the receiving line at dad’s wake. My dad’s elderly aunt, who was beginning to experience dementia, was going through the line. She stopped in front of me, and she remembered my face, but not my name.  She smiled and hugged me. Ryan was next in line.  Not recognizing him (though she’s known him well his whole life) she introduced herself. Ryan said, “Yes, I know who you are.  I’m Bill’s son, Ryan…and I love you.” She smiled and he gave her a warm hug.

He is a beautiful human, and I am so grateful for him.

ryan david smilePhoto credit  Betty Lou Harvey.

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4 Comments on “Day 20/365 RYAN

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