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™
YOU are one of the bravest Bloggers I know. I tackled this subject too but not from this perspective. Great job Sister.
THANKS, Lorretta!! I figured this may not be a popular post… but it is certainly from my heart. These thoughts have been swirling through my head and heart ever since the tragedy and I just HAD to put them to paper… felt compelled to do so.
I felt the same way when I wrote mine. This is why we write: because there is a need for hard things to be spoken into soft light.
Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing and not being afraid to write it.
Yes, I was a little scared to post this blog, but these thoughts were in my heart and I HAD to get it all on paper. Thank you for your support!!!! Your positive comment means the world to me 🙂
wonderful! I think it’s very heart breaking.
Thank you for your words of encouragement!! Yes, I couldn’t agree more… so heartbreaking, INDEED!!
A bit creepy..but tells the not so focused narrative.
Thanks for reading, Praveen!!
Harder piece of reality you try to coat…
Hard as the contemporary reality of what’s going on all over the world (e.g. Norway as well), as people with -culture and political climate influenced- opposing views will allow their hearts, their emotions to reach out, in an attempt to address the irreversible…
You see, us, Europeans, with our totally different views on gun use and control compared to the US, will probably want to dig deeper into ALL the reasons literally surrounding this tragedy…
Being up to a certain level involved in dealing with physical and mental disorders, the quieting of my own heart has become a necessary attitude sometimes desperately needed in order to understand as much as possible from the roots of things. I perfectly agree with you, you can’t choose most of your family cards, but one can attempt at least to keep the family “casino table” clean. From the press bits scattered around by more or less objective media outlets, the Lanza family’s table, wasn’t really congruent as known mental disorders seem to have been kept in the same “locker” with guns and shooting practice, in plain sight of all family members.
I am painfully sure my comment won’t make everyone happy, my reason for writing it nevertheless, being an earnest hope that Mr. Ryan shall look for help in dealing with this horrendous -as you well said- situation, my own experience in this telling me though that he should assess not only what he has tragically found himself in, but ALL the facts that lead to it. No true healing can be achieved without the understanding of both facts and responsibilities.
Please allow me as a father of five, to express my heartbroken condolences for all those, including Mr. Ryan, who’s losses cannot be matched by anything in this world.
Thank you for speaking out your heart.
Will be following you.
Thank you for sharing your honesty!! I certainly appreciate your support and your point of view!!! Wishing you blessings!
Pingback: Tears for RYAN Lanza « Four Fantastic Kids and One Wonderful Husband
Reblogged this on Evil Joy Speaks…. and commented:
THANK YOU for your reblog 🙂 xo!!
So glad to see your story……….I can’t imagine being in his shoes, his life will never be the same. Prayers for Ryan Lanza.
Thank you!! Yes, it is hard to put ourselves in his shoes!! Prayers going up!!
‘Associative Guilt’ is insidious and wrong, yet the mind and heart know no bounds in tragedies of such magnitude… Thank you for sharing your emotions.
So true, so true!! Thanks for your continued support 🙂 xo!!
This is amazing!!
Thank you!! It took a bit of courage to post this one, so positive comments are definitely appreciated!!
I’m sure it did. You know, I’ve never really looked at tragedies like that from this perspective. I’m always erasing the “bad guy’s” name from my mind and praying for those involved… But I’ve never pondered what life is like for those related to the “bad guy”. Thanks for the new viewpoint!!
Beautifully written. Thanks!
Thank you 🙂
Pingback: Wonderful Team Member Readership Award! « Tranquil Dreams
Despite what others may feel, the brother is not responsible for his younger brother’s actions. You have shown the compassion which we all need to show. In fact, we need to try, hard though it may be, to forgive Adam as well. No one should ever do what he did. No one can bring themselves to understand him. No one needs to…
But it is not ours to curse his name. His fate has been sealed in the darkest corners of everlasting torture by a Creator and Judge of everyone. This empathy you express for Ryan is right. However, as difficult as it may be, as distasteful as it may seem, we must forgive the murderer of these sweet little children as well.
Then, and only then, can the deep healing which needs to take place begin. Can we reach to that place within our souls to accomplish this? That’s up to each individual one of us…
Thank you, Steven! It always brings me joy to read your comments and to see you’ve returned to Candy Coated Reality!! xo
Thanks, Renae! I am going to try to “visit” your site a bit more in the coming year. Positivity is something all of us could benefit from…Keep up your good work, lady!
Renae – Our media centered this on the shocking premise of how many young lives were lost. Certainly that is a horrid example of how far we have strayed as a society, witnessing such carnage that now seeps into every thread of our lives. I like the tact you use approaching this from the perspective of Mr. Lanza and the personal toll he has to absorb.
We have a pack mentality and the connections of Facebook, Twitter, etc. make it so easy to immeidately pass judgement. This poor man not only lost family members, he went through a period of time where he could have been shot on sight purely for suspicion. We are too quick to direct our anger without knowing the real facts. Nice job here and congrats on the Wonderful Team Member Leadership Award.
WOW, Joe you brought up a point I hadn’t even considered… “he could have been shot on sight purely for suspicion.” Yes, you’re so right!! Ryan is blessed to have lived, for sure!! There are certainly lessons in any/all tragedies!! Thank you!!
After the tragical incident, the first thing I thought was the brother. How could he face the situation afterwards? The society probably will believe he also got bad genes. We all have to remmember the nature is not the only thing to blame, but the nurture can not be ignored. I hope his brother can move on even it is hard to.
Yep, you’re so right… we are all a delicate balance between nature and nuture!! Great point 😉 Thanks!!
Wow, I never thought about it like that. All the times I heard about this great tragedy, I never stopped to think about how Ryan Lanza was horribly affected. Reading this sent chills down my spine.
Would you mind if I reblogged it?
Thank you, Dean! I’d be honored if you reblogged this post!!
Consider it done 🙂
i literally cold shiver, reading this one blog…..
poor guy, may world be merciful to him..(though i highly doubt it)….
I pray that the world is merciful to him too, Nithya!! Sending you love and light 😉
Reblogged this on The Epic Land Of Dean and commented:
When we consider the tragic Connecticut shootings that happened recently, we always send our thoughts to the families of the poor children who lost their lives that day, and rightly spit bile at Adam Lanza, the crazed gunman who caused it all. However, did you ever stop to consider his brother, Ryan Lanza, the man who lost his mother, his baby brother and unjustly bears the burden of Adam Lanza’s crime? He suffers daily horrors at the hands of those who should be directing their anger at the gunman, not the innocent and all-to-often overlooked victim of the crime. It’s a new dimension to the story which details just how devastating the effects of this terrible crime really were.
Renae Rossman of Candy Coated Reality says it better than I ever could right here.
I always LOVE to see a reblog of one of my posts!! Thanks again 🙂
This is what I LOVE about your posts. PERSPECTIVE, perspective, perspective. You have shone a whole new light on this situation. To be quite honest, after I heard about the saddening news, I was too sad to read anything further about the killer so I chose to stay to the limited version of the story given on the first few days. Honestly though, I did not think about his father, I did not think about his brother or any other siblings left to mourn the tragedy caused by their brother. At the same time, I did not want to judge – lest I be judged, you know God, us and the judging role we sometimes take. Aside from looking at him as a killer, I wondered if he was a little boy yearning for attention, yearning to be loved etc. Then, when I found I started thinking too much, I stopped, I said a prayer for him, his mom and MOST importantly all those beautiful kids and the adults who were taken away from their loved ones, especially so short of Christmas. I thought about all the presents purchased, only to remain unopened on Christmas day. However, I did not for one moment think what this boy’s brother could have been going through and the break-down he has been forced into. Paying for his brother’s sins especially after having no clue what was taking place, while he was probably now having a morning break, or probably now sitting at his desk thinking about his job priorities for the day. You have drawn great perspective on this story and in the midst of it all, you spelt it out best, your story teaches the importance of FORGIVENESS indeed. Jesus paid for our “crimes” oblivious to what we did, what we’re doing or what we are in the process of doing, even after he died for us. God forgave us and continues to wipe our slates clean every moment we ask Him to, even after repeatedly committing our “crimes” he overlooks it.
It really is easy to point fingers in a situation as such, but even I after looking at a “blasphemed murderer” as I may have seen him in my eyes, overlooked that poor innocent boy who was overlooked way to many times and never had the opportunity of being heard by his loved ones.
Can I just ask this one thing? Can we please start paying a little more attention to each other? Can we please find ways of saying – I love you – even to strangers, because sometimes, though we may never know what we each are going through daily – those oh so simple, three little words can save lives and flutter hearts to do good and while we may never live in a perfect world, we can strive to love each other “perfectly” for perfection – like beauty – is in the eyes of the beholder.
Candycoatedreality – THANK YOU for helping me see things differently, oh and from one fellow person to another – I love you and I mean that with the greatest of God’s blessings in your life.
Blessed New Year!
Thank you!! I love you too, Melissa 🙂 xo!! Wishing you many blessings! May 2013 be your BEST YEAR YET!!!
Awww, thank you, yes, 2013 has a lot of great things in store for us all! Thank you!
Reblogged this on His Greatest Mercy and commented:
Great perspective from blog by Candy Coated Reality – candycoatedreality.com
Thanks again for sharing this post with your followers!! YAH RAH 😉
I nominated you for an award.
WOW, thank you!! You’re too kind to nominate me for an award!!
Thank you for a wonderful perspective.
Thanks for reading 😉
Thank you, beautiful lady, for taking up this stricken man’s cause. Your compassion is helping to bring an ironic beauty out of this situation. I hope your expressions will reach Ryan Lanza himself. Surely he desperately needs to be in this loop. God bless you.
Awe, thank you!! I would LOVE it if Ryan ran across this sentiment 🙂 God bless you too!!
Reblogged this on the sanctified muse and commented:
Dear Reader: Please give me a bit of extra attention. This is the only reblog I have ever posted. I believe you will agree it was worth it. God bless Ryan Lanza.
Thanks so much for the reblog, Douglas!!
You are a real and positive… glad I found your blog. I love people like us… real, kind and positive. I hate when people assume the worst… and my mind always goes to the other people involved and wonders what it feels like in their shoes… thank you.
Thank you!! I love people like us too, LOL!! Wishing you many blessings!!
Very well said. I have always felt for the families of murderers. Their lives have been upturned and affected as much as those who lose loved-ones, but in also a much blacker way. Their family history will always include the evil acts of a family member and it will take generations before the stigma has gone away. I hope Ryan and his estranged father are able to rise themselves out of the misery left behind by a brother and son, and I really hope they get the support to do so.
Yes, the family of the murderer is often a forgotten victim!! I too hope “Ryan and his estranged father are able to rise themselves out of the misery left behind by a brother and son, and I really hope they get the support to do so.” thanks!!!
So I have read this about 4 times…and each time..I start crying at the end. Not JUST because of what Mr. Robbie Parker said, but because of your PERSPECTIVE (like noted earlier). Everyone above has clearly expressed their thanks for this blog and I am doing so as well. It helps me to stay positive among all this anger and hate. It helps me find a side to a story that matters just as much. I hope this reaches Mr. RYAN Lanza. I hope he thanks you, and finds some sort of comfort that this post has opened a part of his heart that he may forever feel is lost because of this tragedy. This post could very well save him, and I am so glad that option is out there and coming from you. ❤
Four times, really? WOW, thanks Bonnie Boo!!! Thank you for your endless support!! Love you loads 😉
I weep for both Ryan and his father. Great post!
Thanks, Cate!! My cousin is a resident of New Zealand too!! It is such a beautiful country!!! Seems like a small world. Ha! Thanks for reading Candy Coated Reality and providing such supportive feedback!! xo
Absolutely beautifully said, I completely agree. Your words brought me to tears.
Awe, tears? I too had tears while writing it… God bless you and yours!!
Thanks so much for this…I shared it on my FB page…and thanks for stopping by my blog, too!
THANK YOU SO MUCH for the share on your FB page, Amy!! I’m so grateful for your kindness 🙂 God bless!!
After the corrected news reports that it was his brother Adam, I had felt sorry for Ryan (a sad case of mistaken identity). You had written this post a few weeks ago. Since December 14th, there have been other shootings around the country, and massacres in Syria, and other not-so-good news, so this poor guy had gone off my radar. I just saw your post today. It was a good reminder that Ryan needs prayers, as his mother was the first victim of this terrible tragedy. Thanks for the Like on my new blog!
Thanks, Ron!! I love that a blog allows us to write what is on our mind and in our heart on a particular day and then we can look back and read over our posts and provide ourselves a gentle reminder of the sentiment we shared. It indeed was a terrible tragedy and unfortunately is now part of a long list of senseless violence we’ve seen in the world!! God bless!!
Thanks, K. Q. I swear this story just poured out of me as if automatically… such sadness. Sigh.
Wow, good on you for this!
Awe, thanks Dwayne!!
Great post. You have my admiration!