People Love the New Photos

One thing I now know, the reader’s here love to look at photographs. I’m happy you enjoyed them. It brought back some wonderful memories, while making me mourn the past beyond the point of heartbreak.

These were the best times, stolen away by an act of violence. A senseless act of violence! A moment in life that can never be reversed, no matter how many times I try to wish it otherwise. So much promise, pure potential, was swept away. Poof. Gone. Nice to know ya’.

A son taken at a time when our relationship was maturing into more like friends. I marveled at the man he became. So proud. Gentle, kind, loving, caring, respectful, and giving. A good son. A good friend.

Sure, I always wanted to believe he was a chip off the old block. The fruit that didn’t fall far from the tree. But, I was kidding myself. Ryan was his own man. He defined himself. He invented his essence; so completely different than anyone and everyone. It was so polished that people would remember him from a brief encounter. His presence demanded attention, in a contradictory understated way. You could feel the power radiating from him. A confidence that was infectious. Humility that was admired. Everyone had a “Ryan story”. I continue to learn of these, and it validates what I already knew.

I suppose some of his being is captured in the photographs. I hope so.

I will add more.


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11 Responses to People Love the New Photos

  1. Dianne Vagnozzi Holecek says:

    Thank you for posting these pictures and giving me a glimmer of an insight of Ryan. Your blog postings help us to “know” Ryan a bit, but I feel very cheated that I didn’t get to know Ryan personally. When Ryan wakes up he will be different person. Please continue to share the ‘before’ stories with us. I’m sure you have plenty of snippets to share. You and Sue have such a beautiful family and many of us have adopted all of you. I’ll bet you never knew you’d have sooooo many ‘in-laws’!

  2. Anna says:

    So sad, and yes so senseless! Ken you forgot FUNNY! Ryan was very funny and the spark of his group. Jonny has me in stitches sometimes telling me a Ryan story about Duke begging for food and what he said to Duke. Always thinking of and praying for Ryan.

  3. Gail Doyle says:

    Ken. Enjoy ALL the pictures.keep them coming. Even though I have never met any of you like I said before ,From all I’ve read and seen I feel so close to you all ,especially Ryan…May God bless all and Ryan has a special place in our hearts..~. Gail

  4. Colleen says:

    If tears could heal Ryan, I think I could have done it all my own. Thank you so much for sharing your son and your life with us. This blog always leads me to wonder why such a senseless, inhumane act could bring such pain to so many people. Not only the family and friends of Ryan, but complete strangers such as myself who have made your pain our pain. I so look forward to the day when there is going to be such great news from you. I’m still hopeful that the news from IBRF will give us all hope and encouragement. I hope our presence in your life is as welcome as you are in mine. I continue to check on Ryan a couple of times a day. Please keep doing what you are doing. Always praying, Ryan is very relevent!!

  5. Karen Tiplady says:


    Our whole family misses Ryan. So much promise, such a delight, so funny, so memorable, and the list goes on and on. I can still see Ryan standing in our home, our basement, our foyer, gazing into pantry, standing in front of the crockpot spearing himself some meatballs, he just loved our meatballs – we just loved him.

    A story we found out after this tragedy was that he apparently hid in one of the basement closets (even though we would have just let him in) – teenage middle school stuff, Kaitlyn and Jessica sneaking him (and likely others) in and hiding him in the closet when we parents went downstairs to be sure that all was on the up and up. I bet he was smiling and giggling in that closet undiscovered while Bryan and I did our check.

    I have a very clear memory of the last time that I saw Ryan. It was August 2009 and all of their friends were heading back to college one by one. Since Kaitlyn and Kurt go to Virginia Tech they go back later than most, so each year we watch them all go back. It was Ryan’s last visit and he was quietly headed for the front door – I called out to him “Hey, Ryan, is this it? Are you headed back to school after this?” He replied back, “Yes, Mrs. T.” I said “Come back here then, let me give you a hug.” With that, he turned around in the foyer and I gave him a big hug and a peck on the cheek. I told him to have a great semester, do well, make his parents proud, and to stop by and see us during his next visit home. Oh, how thankful I am that I called him back for that hug; the act of calling him back to get that hug imprinted it in my memory. I miss him, I pray for him, and I pray for you, Sue and Kari.

    We have been doing some renovations (paint, new floors, etc.) to our house this past year. It looks great, and I am happy that it looks so nice. We have just begun on the basement, but it bothers me to redo it because I feel Ryan there – the way Ryan was pre-attack. He had so many good times there, and now we are changing it to where he wouldn’t recognize it – and that bothers me because it underscores the loss of the pre-attack Ryan. So senseless, so tragic. My highest hope is that he would walk though that door of our home and into the basement and that nothing would have changed. On some level, maybe changing the basement forces me to accept how Ryan has changed, and that is something that I don’t want to do.

    Even though this is the first posting that you have seen from me, I am responsible for several of the 200,000 hits on this site since you began it. I am thankful for it. We Tipladys struggle with what to do for the Divineys. It is a balancing act to both be here for you and to honor your privacy. Our family was sick through the holidays which prevented us from being able to visit. So, please know that we are still here, still praying, and that we always will. We will contact you very soon. Bryan wants to give you that computer help, and we both want to see you, Sue and Ryan. You are right, Ryan is made of the right stuff and so are his parents and sister. You mentioned to us that Ryan had chosen his friends wisely, and you are right. No one ended up the same after what happened, not Ryan, not you, not Sue, not Kari, not his high school or college friends, not his extended family, not Ashburn, and not the Tipladys. We will remain ever vigilant in prayer and continue to hope for a miracle. Please give Ryan a hug from Mrs. T.

    With love for you all, Karen

  6. Jo Hobbs says:

    Herein lie our precious memories: “Kodak Moments” captured forever in photographs. Little do we realize when we snap these moments in time that they may one day become treasures beyond our wildest dreams! The good (and sometimes bad) old snap-shots refresh our memory like nothing else can. Always here with hope, love and prayer.

  7. Rita says:

    As heartbreaking as it is to look at pre- and post-attack photos, we believe that Ryan’s story is far from over and look forward to more happy memories for your family in the future. Praying that you can hold onto that hope with greater expectancy and less sorrow as each new day unfolds for Ryan. You are more than conquerors ❤

  8. Paula says:

    The only Ryan I know is the young man I met a few months ago. I love him to pieces and I am so grateful to know him. He affects people in a deep and positive way. Strangers don’t stay strangers long — once they learn about Ryan and his family, they can’t stop thinking about them. Who could not admire someone who has survived numerous near death experiences and has held on in spite of such suffering? It’s humbling, and it has forced me to reconsider everything I once thought was so important. In the end, only love is important, and that’s what we’re seeing here, every day. It’s also why we can’t help coming back every day. It’s rather breathtaking to see this kind of love. Very powerful. Keep it coming, and in the meantime, remember, we’re still here, and we’re still praying — and we’re not going anywhere.

  9. Keith says:

    Im sure it hurts you all from seeing pics and just knowing what was taking from you. One day Ryan will be back with you Joking, and laughing and having a good time with his friends. Its ashame what Violence will do. Just hold onto God! I didnt know Ryan but from what i have read in the past months hes a Great Person.

  10. sally ellis says:

    Unfortunately I only had the opportunity to meet Ryan once but boy do I remember it. We had just arrived at Hannah’s new digs for her sophmore year when Ryan and Jon came bursting through the door. Clearly Bob and I were in the way to get to Hannah but nevertheless they both stopped, shook our hands and introduced themselves. Jon, we had met before at another unfortunate incident these kids had to go through, but this was our first introduction to Ryan who we had heard a lot about. I remember now, well over a year later, which is remarkable in and of itself , how happy and relieved we were that Hannah had chosen such great friends. We left Morgantown feeling better about Hannah living in town, knowing that these guys were around the corner. While only meeting Ryan once, he has become a part of our family, in that talk and think about him everyday. We had the ultimate privledge of living with his dog Duke for a few months. So the long and short of it is that you are right Ken, Ryan is one cool guy and I feel incredibly lucky to have made his acquaintance and I hope to do it again very soon.

  11. Ken,

    Thank you for sharing your precious photos, memories, and emotions. How I wish we could turn back the clock and protect Ryan from such an evil act of violence.

    Your family has captured the hearts and minds of so many people. We think about you daily, pray for you daily and look for you updates daily. Yet we have never met and may never meet but we are connected in a way that is hard to explain.

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