In Memory of my Best Friends

(Michael Boyles lost his best friend, Ryan Sparks, on Alaska Airlines Flight 261)¦

February 4, 2000

Ryan Sparks was my best friend of ten and a half years and a victim in Flight 261.

I came to Enumclaw, WA in October of 1989 and Ryan was the first person I had met I was excited cause it was the first house we had gotten after my father had passed away, and I was in our front yard looking at our new house when I happened to look over and see this skinny well dressed kid walking down the street towards the school that was located at the end of that street. I ran up to him and greeted myself “HEY I’m mike I just moved in I’m your new neighbor” Well Ryan was a bit scared of that cause he I don’t think was use to that. Ever since that day we had a friendship, We’d get into fights and I NEVER once hit him in the face it was always in the back *laughs to himself* and I would apologize the next day and we were friends again. Ryan was a very forgiving and caring person, well in 1993 Boeing laid off my mom and we moved down to Alabama I cried that day I found out cause I knew I was going to leave my friends, I was going leave Ryan.

Well I had been living down in Alabama for about 3 months when I was allowed to call him so I called him up and said “Hey dude you’ll never guess who this is” He was shocked he sad “Mike Boyles????” I said “Yep dude how ya doin” Well that’s when our bond grew strong I turned 18 2 years later and moved back to Washington and our bond grew even greater, we were friends for life and we knew it. We both went through some hard times in our life since I turned 18 and he was 16 but we were always there for one another he was there for me through one of the toughest ordeals o my life. My girlfriend got pregnant and moved away and gave my baby up for adoption in the summer of ’99 and he was there for me after she had left only being 3 months pregnant. I cried on his shoulder and he would cheer me up! I knew I could always count on Ryan to cheer me up.

That’s why I am writing this Ryan meant more to me than most people realize he was a member of my family the godfather of my child and his girlfriend was the godmother of my child. Meghhan was also a good person and those two made a great partners they had their hard times but always worked through them and that’s what really counts cause they showed they REALLY loved one another maybe one of the greatest loves you would have ever seen and I am grateful I got to see it.

Monday night of the crash I cried like I have never cried before I lost a family member, a best friend, a godfather and uncle to my child I lost a life long friend and I can never get him back but I can always hold him in my heart. So please post this and I know there are so many more out there who feel the same way I do about Ryan and Magan and all the other victims of the flight and thank you for letting me share this. This is also dedicated to Ryan’s family he left behind his mom and dad and brother and sister and for my family.

Ryan we love you and you will always be in our hearts forever cause there will never be another person like you! You were cut short in life but your legacy will go on and on and I will make sure of that! Ryan, brother…I love you and will always miss you!

Your best friend forever,
Michael Boyles

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