Monday, February 15, 2010

Larry N. Graybill 1951-2005

Written: 2/15/10

When I lost my dad, I was torn into two pieces. Two pieces that would never be reconnected here on Earth. The one piece is tougher to adapt to than the other. It's difficult because it's the piece where my father no longer exists. In every accomplishment that I will achieve in my life, he won't be there. He wasn't there to see my first daughter being born and I wish with all my heart that he could have held her just once so the moment would be captured forever in a picture. The other piece are the memories and life lessons he was there for. The lessons that have made me a better man and have raised the bar so I'm always striving to become the great man, father and friend that he was to me and my brothers.

To encompass the greatness of my dad in a short amount of space is impossible. That is why one of my next novels will be titled, "From Father to Son", where I'll talk about the intricate details of my dad that made him the way he was...that made him someone that I love and admire even though he is in a much greater place and no longer here in physical form.

My dad taught through example what a father should be and should do. My intentions aren't to step on any one's toes here. Every circumstance is different. I'm not saying other fathers are not good ones if they don't do or hadn't done the things my dad had done during his short life. But, I learned a lot and have great memories. One of them is playing catch. As the ball snapped into our mitts with each throw, he was teaching me to be a man. Teaching without having to say anything. Tired from work and plenty of things to do around the house, he never turned down an opportunity to throw with me. It was a true American moment of bonding.

I can't remember a game my dad didn't attend. And you knew he was there because he would shout out, "Come on, Graybill" and his words of encouragement would some how weave their way around all the natural commotions during the game. I loved baseball. I wasn't a great hitter or even a good one, but my dad, unlike some fathers (ones that are mostly portrayed in movies), didn't make me feel like a failure. I felt just the opposite.

One day I'll be reunited with my father. One day I'll be able to embrace the man I can only hope to become in my life as I raise two daughters (with another one on the way), as I work with children and implement my life lessons into their lives and as I continue to grow as a person with a strong faith.

I'm not sure what all goes on in heaven other than the obvious joyous celebrations, but I'm sure they'll be time to drive around in his Catalina, throw some more baseball and have the conversations we were cheated out of. Until then I will continue to miss the man that was taken from his family, a man who didn't deserve to die, but we move on knowing he'll always be there.

Now a message to brain tumors all over the world: There will come a day when your time will end...when you feel the life being strangled out of you and I will celebrate because of it. You took my dad away you piece of crap...your day will come...I promise.


Rachel Smith said...

Ryan, I love the ending sentence. That's how I feel about the cancer that took my mom, too. Our parents didn't deserve it and we didn't either. Most importantly, our children didn't deserve to miss out on fabulous grandparents We can't focus on what could have been; it is what it is and we can only be the best that they taught us to be. Thanks for sharing. While I didn't know your dad well, he always impressed me as a good man and you are too.

Deanna said...


You dad is looking down you and your family and he is smiling!! He will be there in all of joys and pains with the love that he left inside of you.

Deanna Johnson said...

Hi Ryan,

I just read your blog and it is just awesome!!! You really are blessed to write. You write from you heart and soul and allow your readers to feel it from the core of how God made us. I cried, I smiled, and I gasped for air as it took me to place of peace and happiness.

Thanks for allow me to remember my wonderful childhood!! I am the youngest and the 8th child of my parents. I too am blessed to have two wonderful parents who are my role model in life. I agree with the greatest gift from God is a child….being a mommy is the best and I thank God for picking me to be the mommy of Brittany Virginia Johnson. Reading about Madison and her birth made me think about giving birth to my Brittany….On Saturday, August 23, 1995 at 12:12PM Gregory and I became the proudest and most blessed parents in the world. I am blessed that I shared that joy with my mommy as she was in he room to see her baby girl become a mommy!!!!

Thanks for allowing me to share in yours joys and pains of life experiences!