Ryan LOVED going to the movies.
He loved everything about it... the loud sounds, the huge characters on screen... the music... the popcorn (he loves to feed us), the reclining seats.. the excitement of previews... being with his Nana and family...
And he LOVED posing for pictures in front of the movie posters.
Ryan’s love of movies was equaled by his love for computers- and having his picture taken...and being silly... or at least the all went hand in hand.
He would search upcoming movies, release dates m of DVDs to buy, which toys McDonalds had for which movies (and then would tell Nana she needed to buy them for him.)
When he was younger we would buy every soft cover movie book so Ryan could learn about the movie ahead of time or reminisce after he saw it... but over time he figured out Amazon and didn’t need our help.
Ryan searched the internet the way his mind worked-with light speed and precise memory.
He loved staying to the very end of and seeing the cast... the names of the people who played different characters... and literally would be the last man standing, dancing and reading the cast list looking for familiar names- always finding a few “Ryan’s”, many “Michaels” ... “same as grandpa and Monsters Inc” as Ryan woud always sign, but almost never a “Barbara” or “Ruth”.
He would then come home and search the internet for the cast of the movie he had just seen and cut and paste into extensive documents pictures of characters and titles and images of movie posters from different movies. It was such a favorite activity that the day before Ryan went to the hospital, he and I sat for hours going through old papers and making a collage...
Ryan also recently discovered that he could print these pictures on special paper that Jeff would iron and turn into T-shirt’s. Those quickly replaced his papers because he could wear his movie posters and charachters instead of just looking at pictures of them..
Today was a “first”.
After Zach got on the camp bus,
Jake and I have spent a “Day of J”...
including Starbucks, errands and going to the movies together... to see The Incredibles 2.
Jake and I didn’t need to say much to understand the emotions underlying this outing.
But we held hands and made it through.
We took pictures in front of the poster.
Jake toasted to Ryan at the start of the previews by “cheering” with a piece of popcorn and we did our “traditional” critique of upcoming movie previews to decide if we would see a new movie by voting with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” or one of us would add “go with Nana”If a movie looked bad, my poor mother got the job of taking Ryan. She endured countless movies because nothing made her happier than seeing Ryan happy. And going to the movies was one of Ryan’s 'happy' “things”.We stayed to the very last name scrolled down the screen during the credits.
The previews were the hardest part for me.
The Grinch November 9 Bumblebee December 21 How to train a Dragon- The Hidden World March 1 Wreck it Ralph 2... Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer vacation July 13
I knew these were coming out.
Some were movies already on the calendar-as a planned activity this summer.
Some are movies Ryan discovered and excitedly saved images on the computer and papers and t-shirts...
The previews represented opportunities lost... memories stolen.
It is just impossible to imagine that time will continue on and Ryan won’t get to bear witness to it.
And I know we will carry these traditions on for him... and in some ways Ryan will be part of it...
But not in the way I want... not in the way we need.
So with a bittersweet heart, Jake and I made it...
and has fun together...
a first of many I’m sure...
But closing my eyes, I could see Ryan by my side,
watching the closed captioning,
being so happy you could feel it
and taking it all in...