Ryan Wilson

My Grandson – Ryan Wilson

My grandson, Ryan, was born in July 1995 in Corvallis, OR. He was a month premature and so tiny. I was fortunate to be present in the birthing room with Karsten and Christine when Ryan was born. It was a very special moment. With a premature baby who needed extra care and feedings and phototherapy, Karsten and Christine invited me to stay with them the first week to help out. It was wonderful to have this time to bond with my tiny grandson.

Before long Ryan was crawling and smiling and babbling just as babies do. His parents were typical new parents, over-protective and devoted to their firstborn son. Christine painted alphabet pictures all over his room. Karsten had a remote controlled train track mounted to the wall. By age one Ryan was already sitting on Karsten’s lap operating a computer with a mouse. He also had swimming lessons as an infant in the community pool.

When Ryan was two, Karsten’s work sent him and his family to Barcelona, Spain for the year. Of course, I was devastated to have them gone so long, especially since Christine was already pregnant with their 2nd child. But the year went by and in October Mark and I traveled to Barcelona to greet Ryan’s new baby brother who was born a week before we got there. In order to give Karsten and Christine time with their new son, Mark and I took Ryan out for many day trips in the area.

A year later the family returned to Corvallis, OR just in time to attend Mark and my wedding in Sedona, AZ. Shortly after that Karsten and Christine allowed us to take Ryan (then 4 years old) to Disneyworld in Florida for a week. It was the first of many, many wonderful trips we would take with both Ryan and his brother, Tyler, throughout their childhoods. We were all quite nervous for this first trip. Ryan threw up all the way to the airport, but once the trip got underway, we all had a great time.

In 2002, Karsten was sent to Singapore for work along with his family. Ryan started school there. I traveled to visit once during their stay and loved seeing how well the boys were doing. Soon however, their stay was over and they returned to Corvallis. Ryan began some gymnastics classes and really took to the sport. He was a regular monkey, climbing and jumping off every surface he could. He was fearless it appeared. Because of the lack of boy’s gymnastics in Corvallis, the family moved to Eugene, OR where there was a good gym. From that time on, Karsten made the hour commute to and from Corvallis on a daily basis.

Life was very busy for Ryan during his school years with gymnastics practice every day after school. It was so much fun watching his progress at the gym meets where he almost always earned medals. During those years I made videos of almost all his meets. In his last years of high school, he qualified to compete at the Men’s Junior Olympics. Each summer Mark and I took Ryan and his brother on trips with us. Those were such special time we shared with both boys. Besides Disneyworld, we took them to Boston, Chicago, Hawaii, Canada, Washington DC, Maryland, England, and Wales. Such wonderful memories we made, each one documented with a video.

Following high school graduation at Marist High School in Eugene where Ryan received top honors, he was nominated to attend the US Military Academy at West Point in New York. Fearlessly he accepted the challenge and joined the West Point Men’s Gymnastics Team, helping them win many of their meets. His specialty was vault and rings in which he excelled. Upon graduation in May 2018, Ryan will be assigned to Signal Corps and stationed at Fort Lewis, WA. We all pray for his safe time serving in the military over the next five years and we wonder what he will do next!