remembering ryan – and finding wings.

When our dear friend Ryan passed away, he didn’t want a memorial service. That type of thing really wasn’t him. He was too full of life for all of that business.

Ryan loved all things Halloween. This is one of my favorite pictures of him and my beautiful bestie.
And he faithfully played Santa every year at our church for the Community Christmas party where families who might not have had the best holiday are given gifts to take home for Christmas morning. (This is another favorite pic of Ryan and Al.)
And he was a fabulous DJ – and was always gifting us the BEST mix CDs.

So we started celebrating him at our local Dia de los Muertos festival instead with an altar for him. All of the colors and lights and altars all around and sounds and smells and all being together. . . It just feels right.

And last night was the festival.

Of course, I can HEAR Ryan laughing as I make my lil’ altars to take with me each year – for I am NOT a crafty person. =D

Though the artistry is terribly lacking, all the love is there.

Then we put all of our things together – and, thankfully, my bestie is MUCH more crafty than I – and make an altar.

Ryan’s Altar 2018

And then we are all together to celebrate Ryan.

My beautiful bestie, Al, her precious daughter, Meg, me, and my sweet Sara Bug.
My amazing better half, Courtney, me, and our Sara Bug.

It’s just right.

And, as we went wandering, I got the most wonderful surprise. I ran into my fabulous friend I haven’t seen in way WAY too long:

Oh how I love my Jenny!

Normally I would have a million pictures to post of all the lights and altars and displays of Dia – but this was my first year to attend in Maximus, the Smartchair. Actually, it was my first supercrowded festival-type event to try to navigate in him – so I was focused more on learning how to do that – and not running over any children or taking out any altars or plouging through any food vendors. I really appreciate the patience of my people, particularly my better half, who, at one point, sacrificed a foot. =O

By next year, I’m sure I will have the hang of it.

I am so so grateful to have my chair for sure – but it is a big adjustment to need him.

However, my RA is a mess. And my left foot is STILL worsening:

I’m not looking forward to finding out what all has broken now.

And my right hip has just completely gone on the fritz.

But it is still so freaking strange to be in a wheelchair at events – even when I know I belong in one.

Still, at Dia de los Muertos, Frida Khalo is everywhere – and she was severely disabled for most of her adult life. When I sat down to write this, I was looking for a picture of her for the post and instead I came across this:

the perfect Frida quote for me now.

I’m pretty sure it was meant to find me today.

And, as things often work out this way, last night, my husband bought me a necklace from a local artist with these charms:

Of course my festival necklace has wings. . . ❤

So, as always, onward.

We love and miss you always, Ryan.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and Blessings.



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