Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rest in Peace, Terry Ryan

Terry Ryan, author of the book The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less passed away last week. You can read the article here.

Terry wrote my all-time favorite book which was about her mother. That book, and the subsequent movie, have inspired me tremendously. When I'm feeling down, negative, or just blah, I snuggle up in my bed and pop in my DVD. This is one of two DVDs that I have actually purchased in my lifetime for myself. I have played it countless times. The book is more detailed than the movie. I have read it many times. This is one of the few times when I have enjoyed a movie as much as the book it was based upon.

Terry grew up in difficult times. Her parents had ten kids. Her father was an alcoholic, their family was poverty-stricken due to his drinking. Her mother, Evelyn Ryan, had a spirit like no other. She inspired me, she challenged me to be a better person, to be more positive, and as my friend Wisteria said, she made me want to be a better mother.

She also made me thankful -- thankful that I am a product of my times. I did not have to deal with the issues she faced in the 50s and 60s, the challenges of women then.

Some of my favorite "Evelynisms":

That's a problem for another day.

I would never leave the kids with you.

Death by jell-o is highly unlikely.

I just have to sit down and have myself a happy cry!
Everything is possible!

Forgive him so you can embrace the radiance of this day.
I'm tired of this day, I need a new one.

Do you know that U.S. Army research has shown a relationship between intelligence and willingness to eat unfamiliar foods? (I use this line in my home, but Thomas just doesn't get it. He is always curious to know what U.S. Army research has to do with anything.)

Spices don't have legs. There are no bugs in the soup.

Thank you, Terry Ryan, for sharing your mother with the world. Thank you for writing this wonderful book. May you rest in peace.


Meg_L said...

Interesting. I've never read it, I'll have to look into it.

As for the US Army, they fund some obscene percentage of ALL the research that goes on in this country. So almost any research has their fingers in it somewhere.

Ms.L said...

She sounds lovely:)

Kaber said...

That does sound inspiring!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

She sounds wonderful!

I'm heading over to Amazon to see if I can find the book. Or the dvd.

Thanks, Frankie!
I needed this today. :)

Kate in NJ said...

I'm so sad to here about her passing,
I agree the movie was just about as good as the book...do you cry at the end? I do.
Both book and movie are on my favorite list too!

Frankie said...

I've seen the movie countless times and I always cry. Always.

Carole in DE said...

You inspired me, and I read the book. Yes, I cried at the end.

What an inspirational story. I suspected though as I read through the book the reason for her marriage to Kelly. Now I must find the movie; maybe my library has it.