Michael John Ryan (MJR) and Michael Benjamin Ryan (MBR)
MJR: My mom was about four feet eleven. She had big brown eyes, beautiful smile, and soft lips. I remember those when she kissed me. I adored my mom. But she was addicted to heroin.
My mother and my stepdad, they were more concerned about that next high than necessarily whether or not we were going to school.
I saw a lot of things that kids should not ever witness. I saw, you know, your grandmother being thrown up against walls. Slammed on the floor, slammed outside on the concrete. And the way I used to try to escape is, I’d go outside, played a lot by myself with the little football that I had — just throw it up, and play just to stay away. And I could go to a library and read every single book that they had in there. To find a way to escape from reality.
And so with you I do just the opposite of what my parents did. You know, when you were born, aside from the doctors I was the first person to hold you, and kiss you, and talk to you.
I would give you the shirt off my back, my underwear, my socks, I would go stark naked just so that you could be clothed. And I make sure that you eat before I eat, no matter what.
MBR: Is that why sometimes you get upset when I skip breakfast?
MJR: Oh yeah, because there were many times when I was little that we just didn’t eat.
And I think that’s why I’m probably tougher than some other parents.
MBR: You’re sometimes overbearing but I know where you’re coming from, Dad. I have your name so I have to set a good example. Only times I want to see you is at home, at my games. I don’t want to see you in court.
I’ve told you many times, I want more for you than I do for myself. You have been a wonderful son. And I love being your dad.
MBR: I love being your son.