As I sit here and watch the minutes tick by, I can remember exactly where I was and what was happening 10 years ago. The loss of Ryan is more piercing on anniversaries, and somehow this 10th one feels momentous. I am sad tonight. But even as I see the digital numbers on the clock change through tear-filled eyes, my phone continues to ping with text messages from Richard, Wesley and Mandy. They’re all checking in on the group text to say “I love you,”  “I’m thinking of you,”  “I wish we were together,”  “I remember…”.  Richard is on a layover in New York City…where he was on this night 10 years ago. What are the chances? Wesley is in Austin, TX, enjoying a few days at home with his wife and dog. Mandy is in Boone being comforted by her new puppy and a kind and caring roommate. So, although I’m sad tonight, I can’t ignore the fact that my remaining family is living and loving. We all miss Ryan, and we reach out across the miles to connect…to share the pain, to share the memories, to find comfort in our shared experience. Short of having Ryan here with us, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

~Kathy Shoaf

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