Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ryan: A Tribute

October 16, 2012
My heart aches today. One of my dear friends lost her brother today. His name was Ryan. He was my friend’s younger brother. Although he was only thirty-one years young, I suspected that he was an old proverbial soul who had a lot of wisdom.

September 28, 2012
Steve and I met Ryan at our friend’s rehearsal dinner. Ryan was an ordained minister, and Ryan was unique. When Steve and I attended the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant called Cheddar’s, we stood in front of the future bride and groom’s booth for just a moment. We were then guided to the booth behind them. I scooted in the booth next to a quiet, slight, tall man with reddish-brown hair and a long reddish-brown beard to match, and light-colored eyes that sparkled with both introspection and mischief.
Ryan intently read the messages on his phone, and soon after I realized that Ryan was not being aloof, but was checking his messages because he was working—Ryan worked as a radio personality on 103.9 WRBR. His radio personality moniker was “Reverend Ryno”, and as he spoke with a deep voice like aural velvet, I understood why he was on the radio. The seemingly quiet man had a powerful voice—not only because of the tone, but of the message his voice conveyed.
Ryan started talking, and those of us in the booth started giggling. When Ryan started doing impersonations, we started chortling. Ryan said that he hears voices in his head and that he can convey them accurately with his words.
By the time Ryan had entertained us with his words, my laughter intensified into rather un-ladylike snorting and howling. Tears welled up in my eyes, smeared my mascara, and fell down my cheeks. I almost fell under the table. My stomach actually hurt.
As Steve and I drove home, I stated that “Ryan really has a gift. I haven’t laughed so hard in so long.”
Steve responded kindly, “I know. It’s been a long time.” Thank you, Ryan, for your comedic timing and gifts to make me, and so many others, experience joy again, a laughing-from-the-gut joy. And for that, Ryan, I will be forever grateful.

September 29, 2012
P & D’s Wedding Day

Although Ryan threatened to don leopard print pajamas for the occasion of officiating the wedding, he appeared in appropriate reverend of God and of classic rock—black pants and a black top. Ryan informed us that as he was going out the door, he bent over and his pants split. He had to make a dash to the store to purchase another pair of pants.
During the ceremony, Ryan provided an atmosphere of calm and humor for the bride (his sister) and groom. There was even playful bantering about the rings. After a short and lovely wedding, the guests retreated to the reception, which was literally held in a barn just a few feet away. Ryan seemed to enjoy himself at the reception.
After the wedding party closed down the barn, about a dozen or so of us ventured to Fiddler’s Hearth, and Ryan joined the party. He was joking with his sister, and we heard laughter and giggles from that table while the Irish music played. Ryan was doing his magic again, bringing laughter and joy to those around him.
Soon after that wonderful, whirlwind weekend, I tuned into WRBR and Reverend Ryno accompanied me to work.

October 16, 2012
I found out that Ryan died this morning and my heart ached. It was a different kind of ache than the ache in my stomach at the rehearsal dinner. Before we left the night of the rehearsal dinner, Ryan said, “I don’t want to be known just as Reverend Ryno.”
Dear Ryan, I was privileged enough to have met you and know the real you. And for the short time that I knew you Ryan, you inspired and touched hearts around you, in person and on the radio waves, and most importantly, you brought joy to a stressed-out world.
I’m honored to have heard you, for your words will always touch my heart, and your voice will always resonate, along with my laughter, in my spirit.
Thank you, Ryan. Godspeed, Ryan.

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