In Memory of Ryan

February 23, 2008


12/7/87 - 2/23/93

You can read Ryan's story here

By Kenneth Wallace

At a time like this we ask ourselves why? We try to find a reason, we search for some logical answer, we grasp at straws to try to put some reason to this so we can lessen our pain. But there are no reasons in this world that would ever explain Ryan being taken away from us. The wisest men on earth can talk for hours or days to explain this, but to no avail. The answer to Ryan’s leaving us is not of this world. Perhaps some day when we join Ryan this will make sense to us; till then we can only comfort ourselves with our memories of Ryan.

Who was Ryan Zarlenga? This little 5 year old bundle of love. This angel we were privileged to know, if only for such a short time. I think Ryan was put on this Earth to be our teacher. What can a little guy like him teach us big grown-ups?

To begin with, right from the day of his birth he taught a young couple, Joel and Tina, what real love is. The kind of special love that parents can only learn with their first born child. The total unselfish love that a new born baby causes to happen by just being there.

But Ryan didn’t stop there. He taught his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, and everyone who came near this beautiful baby his special brand of unselfish love.

As Ryan grew up, his ability to love people, and get love back from people, grew much faster than his physical size would ever grow.

Ryan was the picture of pure love and kindness. With his first words of Momma and Daddy, he learned to say “I Love You.” He had a gentle nature, and was always a quiet, well-behaved little man.

As soon as he could hold a crayon, he would make maps to we could always find our way to him. He carved those maps into our hearts, so we will always be able to find him.

We will forever treasure the pictures he made for us, that he always signed, “Love Ryan,” because those pictures are drawn in our hearts and our minds and will never fade.

Ryan was a teacher to be sure. He taught a grandfather what real love was all about; because of his sweetness he taught everyone who came near him his own unique brand of love. He even taught his preschool teacher the special love he alone possessed. She would even ask Tina and Joel if Ryan could come to preschool on his non-preschool days because he was such a calming influence on the rest of his schoolmates.

One of his joking names he gave himself was “School Boy Floyd.” He may not have realized it, but he was far more than a school boy. He was the brightest professor to ever walk the Earth. In Ryan’s 5 short years he has given all of us a lifetime of memories to cherish.

In this time of grief, we have to remember Ryan the teacher of love, and be thankful that we were allowed to come near this beautiful spirit. It would be a terrible disservice to Ryan’s memory is we allow anger and bitterness to cloud our memories of him. We will never understand why he was taken away from us, unless there is some special place that needs a teacher of love.

A tender loving bear hug to the most beautiful person
I will ever know!

From a Grandpa with a broken heart.


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  • May 29, 2015 @ 6:40 PM EDT
    By Lulu Sanchez
    Sometimes only broken hearts could understand the real pain of love lost in this world but never in our hearts. Grandpa what a beautiful and tender eulogy, makes one feel as if we knew Ryan as well. Its no wonder he was a wonderful little man its clear to see where he received all his great grace.

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