Touching tribute to ‘fun-loving’ boy by ‘mum’
MICHAEL Ryan's last weekend before going missing was spent doing what he loved, a sunrise climb in Maleny, followed by a giant bonfire, in the company of the woman he called "mum".
Days later, on August 7, his whereabouts became unknown, sparking a huge search and rescue that two weeks later ended in tragedy.
On August 21, the 14-year-old's body was discovered deep in the Dularcha National Park in Mooloolah Valley.
The "beautiful and at times mischievous" teenager will be farewelled by loved ones tomorrow at Buderim.
The heartbroken women who raised him, Tracey Disney, and Michael's grandmother Lloma Dunne are "lost without him".
"He's what I lived for. Michael wasn't my blood but he was my boy," Ms Disney said.
Ms Disney said Michael had a burning passion for the outdoors, where the pair would go on holiday camping trips to Kenilworth and Imbil, and mowing the yard.
She was the one who taught him how to build a fire, how to fish, and ride his pushbike and bogeyboard.
As tears begin to flow, she tells a story half laughing of Michael's cheeky side.
"He used to have a way of stirring you up," she said with a smile.
"One day I was using some weights… they were only one kilogram and he'd lift them up over his head with two fingers laughing.
"He loved climbing, and one day I found him on the roof…so I had to hammer the windows shut.
"Sometimes we'd go fishing and not even catch anything. But he still had the biggest grin. We had a good life."
Ms Disney admitted Michael was feeling "lost" but that he had grand plans for making money and owning land of his own one day.
They were starting to plan their next holiday.
"He was just an adventurous, fun-loving kid. He was my boy."
Michael's family, including older brother Adam, 17, have requested well-wishers wear colours of the sunrise and sunset, reflecting his love of nature and outdoors.
A service in memory of Michael's life will be held tomorrow at Gregson and Weight, Buderim from 10.30am.