15 Months

“All aboard for the 7-train. This is the final boarding call. Please stow away all hope in the overhead compartment. This is a one-way, non-stop express train to Despair”.

Exactly one month ago, I wrote about how the 7th of each month smacks me around. It’s no different 30 days later.

I can’t help it. My mind, like a continuous video loop, replays us walking into the Ruby Memorial ICU and seeing Ryan on the edge of life. “He’s in grave condition”, the doctor says. “He has very little chance of surviving this”.

What Sue & I walked in on just hours after the beating.

I now wonder, did Ryan truly survive it? Or, did we lose him — his very essence — on that morning? Where is my son? Is he scared? Does he hear me and take comfort in my voice? Does he feel my touch and embrace?  Does he see my smile? Does he feel the kisses on his forehead?

Time, and only time, might tell. Then again, it might not.

The 7th is a day that love and hate pull me, and both are equally as painful. I’m mentally being drawn and quartered. Vantrease and May (and their families) are always just below my consciousness, surfacing from time-to-time. Oh, how I resent them. I don’t allow myself to dwell on them for long.

As I said yesterday, there is comfort in the knowledge that Ryan isn’t Vantrease or May. Likewise, Sue and I are not their parents… thank goodness. Our children are made of the right stuff. They are a legacy that any father would be proud. How awful it is to be a drag on society, and pass that scourge along to the next generation.

Yes, love and hate. Opposing, but somehow collaborative forces. I suspect I am one of the few who experienced both extremes simultaneously. Both have a unique energy that pushes and pulls like gravity. They oppose each other. They attract each other. Get too close and you’ll see and feel an emotional black hole. So, to me, there exists no “thin line” between love and hate. In my mind’s universe, there is an event horizon that consumes all that dare cross it. Here, love and hate intermingle in cataclysmic chaos.

Perhaps I am completely simplistic in how I view this. But, I’m a simple man. Don’t believe me? Ask my wife.


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22 Responses to 15 Months

  1. Cheryl Onderchain says:

    It breaks my heart every time I see that picture…

    I am certain I would feel a lot of resentment (and probably hate) towards Vantrease and May as well. Probably their families as well. I tend to hold a grudge, so I get that.

    Try to remember love is stronger than hate today, Ken. There is a lot of love on The Team, and hopefully that in some small way helps you make it through your days.

    I hope Ryan has a calm, uneventful day and that you find some peace today. You are always in our thoughts.

    Love you guys.

  2. Evelyn Boxley says:

    Your children are made of the right stuff and that is because their parents ARE the RIGHT STUFF. You all are in my hearts.
    Love ,

  3. Anna says:

    Ken, I also hate Jonathan May and Austin Vantrease. I hate what they did to Ryan and I hate what they took from my son. I hate their parents for not having the class to even send a note to say how sorry they were for the event. Not even offering financial support. How can they live with themselves, go out, have a life, while you struggle to financially keep going because of their sons? Eveytime I see a picture of Ryan his eyes unfocused, it is painful, your pain is unimaginable. So true are your words, our sons are not a drag on society, they are not living with the dreks of society now, they are not a convict and a felon for the rest of their lives. Our sons are made of the right stuff, they know how to behave in a civil society and they make us proud. Not sure May and Vantrease parents can say their sons make them proud. God bless you and carry you through this day! Hugs to the Divineys!

  4. Jenn says:


    I check your blog daily..don’t know you only your story..just a stay at home mom in Leesburg who some might say is obessed with your story. This is my 1st reply…
    I often look at the pictures of Ryan and somewhere in my heart or gut or both..I see him in there…he feels your touch, your kiss, smells your breath (good and bad) mine own little humor… and he knows you are there..and I am here praying for you!!! Keep up the amazing work you are doing…

  5. Rita says:

    Nothing about you or your family’s situation is simple, Ken. Your raw emotions, especially when they rise to the surface each month like this, are very complex. But your love for Ryan is triumphing over your hate for the evil act that caused all this pain. Ryan did survive. He’s more than surviving. He hears the loving words and feels the loving hands that you and Sue lay on him every day. God is healing your son and transforming his body and mind into something beautiful. Ryan is not lost to you. We pray for signs every day to encourage you and Sue to hold onto that hope and faith. We pray for God’s continued strength and provision for your family to complete this journey with Ryan, one day at a time. You are more than conquerors!

  6. Paula Yocom says:

    Knowing that I cannot know for fact anything — I feel that Ryan definitely hears you, at times can see you, for sure knows you are there, and is grateful to God that you, Sue and Kari are there for him. And Duke too.

    I am sad about this date too. I am depending on God to help you and Sue get through it. Ryan is a beautiful son. Anyone who has spent time with him, B7 and A7 loves being with him. God built you strong, Ken, to take care of Ryan. Life as it was, was wonderful. Life as it is now is so vastly different; a roller coaster of emotions that can, depending on the day, debilitate or strengthen a person’s soul. Lord, please be with Ken and Sue today, and touch Ryan with Your healing grace. We cannot do this alone, God, we need you.

    We are here Ken — a bunch of folks always waiting to hear what you have to say. Would that we could find just the right words to comfort you. Lord, how I wish I could. But for better or for worse, we’re here, and we’re not going anywhere. Though in our sorrow, we cry in pain, through it all, the love remains…

  7. Jo Hobbs says:

    In an old Indian legend in which the grandson asks the grandfather, “Which is stronger love or hate?” The wise old grandfather replies, “The one you feed!” Yes, we are obsessed with everything RYAN, and that includes his family. I know love is stronger than hate. Just look at all the “love letters” you are reading here and on Come Together for Ryan Diviney. That is not to say, Ken, that you are to deny your feelings of hate, for they are there, and you need an outlet for those feelings. This blog is good place to vent, and there are other safe paths to the release of hate also. I pray you will find those paths. We share our love and strength with you. Still here. Love

  8. Sam Durham says:

    I guess in my heart I have to look at the 7th as the day that Ryan did NOT leave you. I do believe he is there with you and I do believe that he hears you and feels your love and presence. Love you Ken, Kari and Sue, always here, always praying.

  9. Sam Durham says:

    A challenge please. Match my $7 donation. Let’s make the number 7 less painful for the Diviney’s: Donations for Ryan can be made via paypal at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ULR4B5GYQQNAW

    or mail to:

    …Ryan’s Rally
    c/o Ashburn Village Sports Pavilion
    20585 Ashburn Village Boulevard
    Ashburn, VA 20147

    • linda says:

      You must believe Ryan is with you as he may be. No one knows so you must believe or you will not continue to have the strength. Any loving parent would feel the same as you do. My children now 29 and 25 have been the best thing I have ever done. Every once of me has been poured into them. If someone would hurt them, I would feel exactly as you. I remember being angry at a child if they hurt my child and did not invite them to their party etc. If I were in your shoes, I would give up everything with the hopes of “nursing” my child back to life. You keep doing what you are doing. You really have no other choice and you know that.

      • Jo Hobbs says:

        And we will keep on doing what we are doing, because we love Ryan and his family more than ever. Still here.

  10. Gail Doyle says:

    Dear Ken,Deep in my heart I do feel Ryan hears you and takes his own comfort in knowing you are near all the time …Your feelings will never take you away from what you do for Ryan We are all here praying hard for you not only this day but everyday….God give you strength and guidance ~

  11. Carla Hubacher says:

    I have been wanting to write to you for weeks now but could not find the words till I read your last entry. Don’t despair, Ryan can feel your love and your hope. How do I know? My son was in the same very grave, near death situation, in the same hospital, on the same floor (5) beaten to the edge of life with a baseball bat. The organ harvesters were waiting when we arrived. That was 6 years ago and last week that same boy walked through your front door with the guys from Sports Mancave. He also couldn’t find the words to tell you but he wanted to tell Ryan that he knows what it feels like to be “locked inside a box”. It has been a long road but there he was, so please keep believing. The care and those wonderful doctors and nurses at Ruby was excellent BUT they were wrong and they will be wrong again. As for the hate part….we never found out who did that to Matt and I believe we were blessed in that.. I can’t imagin what pain that causes you.

    • Sam says:

      ❤ Wow. How sweet of you to share.

    • Jo Hobbs says:

      Another heartbreaking story with a good ending. Thank you, Carla. What a story!

    • Hi Carol, U don’t know me, but I just wanted to comment on how sorry I am to read that your son was beaten with a baseball bat. Carol, the Devil is well in control of alot of children and grown ups in these last days. Don’t be surprised at these evil children of the Devil and I’m so happy your son survived and was able to go to Ryan’s bed side and whisper incouraging words to him. Sometimes I use to question God, why did this, why did you allow, why did they, he, she get away with evil, but Carolllllllllllllll, they are going to reap what they sow down the road. You may not see it, or hear about it, but rest assure, May and Vantrease , and the man/men respsonsible for beating your son will pay. In the Bible it reads, Vengence is mine, sayeth the Lord, I will repay. God’s word never comes back void. Their fate is waiting down the road. I’m so sorry you had to walk in on a simular sighting in the hospital your son was in. Praise God he had blessed your son back to health.

  12. Mary Malik says:

    I believe with all my heart and soul Ryan feels your love and has more peace inside because of it than you realize or know. I would always envision Jesus whispering to our son. It is just too hard for words…am praying for you guys.

  13. Peggie says:

    The 7th is a difficult day. Prayers continue most especially for Ryan on this day. Love, Peggie

  14. sally ellis says:

    First I want to say that I truly believe that Ryan can hear and feel you. Please don’t ever stop believing in that. Secondly, I have to say I agree with Anna, I hate those boys for what they did to Ryan and his friends. I too can’t think about them for very long or I feel a rage that I have to find a place for. The 7th is over now, at least for another month, so let’s all look forward and let only our positive thoughts flood the Diveney family.

  15. Nancy Tawney says:

    Of course Ryan is aware of you, Sue, and Kari !Being aware is why Ryan is responding to all that you do.Someday he will be able to tell you this himself Keep up the good fight, love and hugs to all of you. I will continue to pray as I have done all these months.

  16. The Colangelis says:

    We are not giving up on Ryan because we have hope in God through prayer. I have faith in God that Ryan is healing and will get better. We continue our prayers for you and Ryan.

  17. I hate to say this but I’m going too, May and Vantrease, deserve life in prison. They knew dam well what they were doing when they raised their foot and caused damage to Ryan. The parents of these two MONSTERS, should have at LEAST, sent a letter of apology, and come to offer what ever support they can give or some kind of donations if they are too scared to face you Ken and Sue. I know the Bible teaches us to forgive, but I’m freakin sorry, it is NOT easy to FORGIVE THESE BOYS FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE. They cry they are sorry now, because they can see the damage they have done to Ryan, but they were not thinking sorry when they hurt Ryan. Well, all I got to say is this, like I mentioned before, Vengence is God’s, (though God is a loving God) vengence is his, he said so himself and somewhere, somehow, down the road if not sooner, they will reap what they sow. Even if they ask God to forgive them, they will still suffer the consiqences. God forgives you to keep you from going to hell, BUT, THEY WILL STILL GET A WHIPPING FROM THEIR CONSEQENCES. JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE. The lord will handle that rest assure that.

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