Picture this… A day like any other day when you wake, hit the snooze button and rub your sleepy eyes while you ponder all the lovely potential your day holds. Finally, you roll out of bed, brush your teeth, shower, get dressed, eat your breakfast and head on into work for your usual work day. Living your dream. Living your life. Within an hour or so of arriving at the office, you discover you’re the most hated man in the world, your mom has been murdered, and your baby brother has done the inconceivable… killed first graders.
Imagine, you strive your whole life to be a success… you go to college; you land a great career; you’re growing into a productive member of society; only one day to be led in handcuffs and questioned for hours because your brother **he who shall not be named** has committed a heinous crime. Speculation swirled as to your involvement, if any, while you were being questioned.
Hatred flared on social media and your Facebook profile picture was shared across Facebook nearly 15,000 times. Facebook friends dropped like flies and unfriended you within minutes. If words could kill, you would be dead a billion times over just based on the scores of comments on your profile picture each time it was shared. Immediately, no judge… no jury… you were convicted publically without question or hesitation.
I cry for you, Ryan Lanza. Even if you, Ryan, had dreams of being famous it is highly doubtful you wanted to be infamous. You had to type on your Facebook page, IT WASN’T ME I WAS AT WORK IT WASN’T ME - in all shouty caps. I personally cannot imagine… I cannot comprehend it… my baby brother carrying my ID, so that I was erroneously pegged as the alleged killer. Huh? Why?
I mourn for you, Ryan Lanza. I cannot fathom the stigma that must follow you now; the cloud that must foreshadow your every move. And now you’re guilty by association… incriminated by bloodline. You will forever be tainted by your brother’s actions. You will endlessly be questioned, doubted, and condemned based on your family legacy. We don’t pick our parents. We certainly do not pick our siblings. We get the cards we are dealt and we deal with it.
I’m sure when your parents saw your brother’s ultrasound and were planning baby showers, birthday parties, and graduation parties that they never envisioned this outcome for your brother or for you for that matter. It is a sad situation all the way around. I mourn for the souls lost… young and old. I’ve shed my fair share of tears for all the lives affected by this horrendous tragedy. You, Ryan are included in this list of victims. I also ache for your mother who struggled with your brother’s mental illness as she is often an overlooked victim too.
I weep for you, Ryan Lanza. Your family history has dramatically changed. The last name Lanza? Well, it is now synonymous with the worst terrorist act committed by a patriot on U.S. soil to date. Sure, there have been other massacres, other shootings (sadly), but to gun down innocent, helpless, little six and seven year olds? Well, that carries a certain level of shame that is greater than any other crime perpetrated by a U.S. citizen against his/her fellow Americans – in my opinion, anyway.
Tears fall for Ryan Lanza because he lost his mom. He lost his brother. He lost part of his community. He lost respect. He lost safety. He lost privacy. He lost it all in an instant… traumatically… at the hands of another… the hands of someone he loved. Ryan and his Dad now have to live with this new family heritage day-in and day-out. Can you change your last name? I think I might certainly want to based on these circumstances if it were me.
I cry, I mourn, I weep, and I pray for you RYAN Lanza for all the reasons above, but most of all because of the heavy burden you now have to carry upon your young shoulders for the rest of your life. I pray that you forgive; I pray that you seek therapy; I pray that you mourn; I pray that love surrounds you and protects you. May God Bless you and yours, always.
I believe Mr. Robbie Parker, father of slain 6-year old Emilie Parker, said it best in reference to the Lanza family, “I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you. I’m not mad,” …he said. “If there’s anything I can do to help anyone anywhere, I’m willing to do that.”
© Renae Rossman and Candy Coated Reality™