Last week a person went missing whom I have known since I was a child. I haven't spoken to him or seen him in years, but all the same, I was concerned. Today I found out that his body was discovered trapped in a car in a river, along with another man I didn't know. This happened in Ohio, where I am from, and I won't be able to go to a funeral or memorial service for him. So instead, I am writing this blog. I write as a memorial, and I write because I fear if I don't, this news will pass me by too easily.
So here's to Ryan Hickey. That was his name.
He was one of my earliest friends. I knew him from church. I used to go over to his house to play with him and his brother Chris all the time. I even spent the night (relax, I was only three or four years old). I remember his mom reading to us at bedtime and falling asleep. They had a tree fort in their backyard that we would always climb, and we would go for walks in the woods behind their house. At church, Ryan and I would draw pictures of houses and trees and give them to each other over the pew. Sometimes we would write "I love you" in the tree. When I was old enough to go to kindergarten, we went to the same school and my mom would carpool all of us. Ryan and I would talk about getting married and living in a tree. My mom has told me that when I would ask him where we would get something like a microwave or a couch, he would say, "Oh, my mom has that, we'll get it from her." I always have to laugh at that. These may seem like strange memories to share, but they are all I have. As we grew older, we didn't remain close friends, and I eventually moved away. I really don't have many more meaningful memories of him than that. I don't know what kind of man he became. I only knew the little boy.
My heart goes out to his mom and dad, knowing that their anguish must be great. To lose a son...I cannot imagine. I am so sorry, for all his family, and friends. I think it would be easy for someone like me, who isn't there and hasn't seen him in so long, to just go on with life. But a person has gone out of this world, and it seemed important to take a moment and remember him. It seemed important to feel the loss.