Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jim Ryan.

Today, a good friend of mine said goodbye to his Father. After battling cancer, Jim Ryan passed away this morning with his entire family around him. I realize that when people pass, often times their loved ones and friends gather to tell stories and reflect on that person, their life and all of the amazing things he or she did while living here on this earth. I will say though, I've never felt more strongly about the stories and attributes Jim's loving friends and family celebrating on this day. Jim was one of the warmest people I've ever encountered. Standing tall and slightly intimidating knowing he was an exceptionally powerful and successful business man, he ALWAYS made you feel welcome and at ease. His smile. His warmth. His charm and his wit. And the way he asked you questions truly interested in the answers made you feel like he was really trying to get to know you. Jim had eight children, one of which I'm lucky enough to call a friend. And even with all of those kids, their friends, six grandkids, a thriving business and countless friends he was always at home with his family when I was lucky enough to spend time with Tim at their lake house. Happily offering up one of his "famous bootlegs" drinks that his wife Colleen rolled her eyes at because the fact that he had to run the blender for obscene amounts of time drove her nuts. They were married for 37 years and in their presence I felt their connection, their dedication and their respect for each other. I've read the stories in the guestbook from countless people who worked for Jim describing their appreciation and gratitude for even having the chance to work for someone like him. He will be missed by so many people. My heart goes out to Tim and I wish I was there to give him a hug so badly during this time. His dad's memory and the impact he's had on so many people will live on, and I hope he and his family are tipping back some bootlegs and telling some great stories right now.

The Ryan family and their loving parents have touched my life forever. I'm sad Jim has left us, but I'm grateful for the time I was able to share with him and the impact he's made on his family, his workplace and this earth.


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