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The Original Dope Soul

Ryan always appreciated “beauty” and he noticed every small change.

And he loved women... and appreciated “cute” .

Every morning when I helped Ryan get on the school bus he commented about the bus drivers’ beautiful lipstick and then would turn to me and tell me to “paint my face later... after yoga”.

Ryan was the first one to notice if Lucy changed her hair, signing “different again” or let her know when he was bored with her style and then “different again” became a request rather than comment.

He loved women’s nails.

He always commented when my nails were freshly painted and that would trigger a whole conversation about the color of Gillian’s nails or Nana’s nails.

Or, Ryan would tell you if you needed to repaint your nails... and then suggest which color he thought best for you!

And when no one else noticed if I colored my hair or tweezed my eyebrows, Ryan noticed right away as he stroked my freshly done hair or gazed lovingly into my eyes.

He would often tell Jeff and Grandpa they needed to “shave tomorrow” when the evening stubble set in... and funny enough that was a regular observation he made at school with Tom and Thyson...

Ryan also loved it when his brothers got their haircut... and he quickly became the “king of hair design”... commanding the hairstylist to make “lines” or a star... by gesturing or showing her a picture. After his haircut, he would look at himself, chest puffed up with pride and sign “cool”.

He was cool. The original “dope soul” for sure 😉

The day before Ryan went into the hospital he told me that Otis needed a haircut.

I responded that next week he AND Otis would both get haircuts...

which made him giggle when he told me “two lines”... assuming for himself not Otis.

In honor of Ryan, two weeks ago at his funeral, his brothers, stepdad and cousins honored him with the coolest hair designs that he just would have loved...

And the girls all did their nails with awesome designs he would have been over the moon to see.

Thinking of Ryan... smiling at these pictures and memories as the sun is finally shining bright today... and warming my heart a little.

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