I will drink life to the lees. ~Alfred Tennyson
Today is a beautiful sunny day. I mean gorgeous. It’s a comfortable temperature in the 70s, light blue sky, bright sun and there’s a hint of autumn disguised as a few colorful leaves, almost perfect. Even with all the glorious gifts of God, one thing is missing, or rather different.
Ryan would have been 40-years old today. This momentous occasion would have been accompanied with teasing and elderly comments. How do I know? I would have spearheaded the efforts. Every time I think of getting older I can’t help but laugh and remember Kyle’s comment. You see, when he was a little tyke, Kyle used to tell my sister that she was over the hill. He’d say, “Ya Aunt Nitti (Nikki), you’re ozer (over) the hill.” I would die! He’d also make the hand motion of a car speeding down a hill in a very exaggerated way. Naturally, Dad, or yours truly, would prompt that kid for our own entertainment. Actually, I think it was Dad who taught Kyle to say that, but I didn’t complain and I joined in at every opportunity. Kyle was so cute and nearly serious when he said that phrase. More than poking the bear (my sister), I loved listening to him say the word ozer (over). That was the best. Every now and again, he’d turn the tables on me, knowing I was devastated to be associated as an old person. I suppose that was Kyle’s way of getting my attention and teasing me. I’d be happy to have that now.
No doubt everyone, including Kyle, would have gathered at Mom and Dad’s house to share a meal and recognize Ryan’s special day. We wouldn’t have done much, just relaxed and enjoyed a lazy Sunday. I might have even made a cake or cupcakes with a crap ton of icing.
Ryan would have enjoyed any sweet I made, and he would have helped me munch down the icing as the cake cooled. That’s right, the icing wouldn’t have made it to the cake before being devoured. Besides Ryan and me, Dad is still a huge fan of certain kinds of icing too. The icing would have gone down spoonful after spoonful.
I really don’t remember Ryan’s favorite cake, if he even had one. I always loved angel food cake, Nicole still hates chocolate cake but likes yellow cake, mom loves pumpkin pie and Dad is a fan of pound cake. While we all love sweets, and any cake would have been happily consumed, Ryan was truly dedicated to all things made with sugar.
Ryan’s sweet tooth was notorious, especially with the dentist. As a child, he had numerous feelings in his baby teeth. Perhaps he needed to brush better or more frequently. Although, I believed he learned the importance of oral hygiene as an adult. Ryan was always dipping a finger in the sugar bowl, the Kool-Aide mixture, the chocolate milk mix or the cinnamon and sugar duo. You name it; Ryan lived for his sweets in any form at any time of the day.
Kyle called Dad yesterday to say he missed him and loves him. I haven’t talked to Kyle in over a month, but not due to a lack of me trying. I get it, he’s 16-years old and doesn’t want to be bothered, but it is a shame for him to turn his back on his family. All I ask is to return my text messages. Even a thumbs up would do a long way. One day, he’ll be my buddy again; after all, we are a team.
While Kyle never knew his Dad, we remember him. Maybe one day Kyle would want to hear what a truly sincere and good-hearted person Ryan was. I hope so. They share the same traits.
Happy Birthday Ryan!
I hope heaven is full of sweets for you to enjoy. Tell Pap and Gram I said hello.
Note about the quote:
Alfred Tennyson was a popular Victorian poet. He published his first book titled Poems by Two Brothers, it was a collaboration with his brother Charles.