the tale of troll ryan

Today has been one of the saddest days and I am heartsick.

Our dear friend Ryan was diagnosed with cancer last week and was set to begin to treatment but an infection developed and too many things went wrong and he passed away today.

There are so many things I can say and stories I can tell about him and one of my besties, Allison, his wife and best friend of almost 30 years, and how much he loved her:

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I have many many great memories of Halloween parties and Christmas gatherings and meet and eats at Habaneros and birthdays. . .

And I could tell just as many stories about his wonderful daughters, Jane and Meg, and how much he loved them:

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And one day I’ll be able to write more about all of those good times.

But right now I am just heartbroken.

And I know that Ryan wouldn’t want me to be a sad-sack.

So, instead, I’m going to tell y’all the Tale of Troll Ryan:

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Troll Ryan

Last winter, on a day when I was particularly sickly, I was sitting downstairs with my husband when I got a text from Ryan that said, “You might need to check your mailbox. There’s something naked in there and it’s cold out.”

With that unusual text, I went to investigate and this wonderful gift was waiting for me.

See, a few months before, Ryan had found it while he was out thrifting – he was an excellent picker – and posted it on his Instagram and I commented that I had one just like it when I was in the 8th grade.

Thoughtful friend that he was, he remembered and did a mailbox drive-by to cheer me during my super sick week.

That was just the sort of thing he did.

And it just tickled me to death.

I promptly brought it in and named it after the gift giver and put it on my nightstand, where it has lived ever since.

So, as I sit here next to Troll Ryan, I am just completely at a loss.

I will never understand these things and I want to go and get Allison and Jane and Meg and wrap my arms around them and fix this somehow and never let them go. I want to do something, anything, to make this better.  I wish I could.

For now, all I can offer is my love and my prayers and I have those in abundance.

I’m here with open arms and an open door 24/7.

And since Ryan didn’t want a memorial service, Sara and I have decided to make an altar for him to take to the Dia de los Muertos festival in a few weeks. We think he would approve of that.

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I’m not really able to say anymore right now.

It’s not goodbye, friend. It’s just see you later.

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