Humanity Revealed in Our Continued Search, by Heather Shtuka

Photo of Heather Shtuka by Past 11 Productions

The world can be a harsh and treacherous place. A steady stream of injustice fills our eyes and hardens our hearts, stories comprising of the misbegotten, the disenfranchised and the hopeless. Is it any wonder that we find it so difficult to feel our humanity? I suppose if that is all you are shown and all that you experience, it will be all that you know.

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”- Desmond Tutu.

Each day I am reminded that I swim against the current, weary of the hurt I feel and the terror of the unknown that threatens to drown me despite the shallowness of the stream. But I am not broken. For I have been shown what it is that we are capable of.

I have seen the best of humanity in the faces of complete strangers. I am embraced by the beauty of kindness from living angels who bear courage and character through their selfless actions, people who have gathered to continue the search for my son. Strangers who traveled far and wide to provide support to a grieving family and take it upon themselves to continue acts of gratitude to their neighbors and their communities.

Humanity is nothing more than an openness to build a better world. Small acts build beautiful connections that lead to a change in the human spirit. A tiny voice of love and peace that echoes in the stillness of our hearts. I am grateful to everyone that adds to my humanity. I am not without hope.

On October 19, 2019, about 30 people came to Sun Peaks to search for two days for my missing son, Ryan.

This group came together through the Ryan page. They had never met but felt a pull and desire to help a family in need and bring a beloved son home. They call themselves the Unicorn Squad which I think is quite fitting as they are magical creatures, rare in their beings.

They have shared posts, searched and monitored the site. Last weekend was the very first time I met them. It was the very first time they had all met each other. Over the past few months, they had been planning this surprise. They worked schedules and helped each other with flights.

They came from Regina, Edmonton , Red Deer, Hinton, Sun Peaks, Kamloops and Maple Ridge, this extraordinary group who showed me what humanity can be. They continue to give us hope and strength. We now consider them friends and family.

Photo of Sun Peaks search for Ryan Shtuka by Past 11 Productions

‘An amazing turnout for the October 19th search for Ryan. The community of people who support the Shtuka family and their determined efforts is extraordinary. We were glad to participate in Saturday’s search.’ – Past 11 Productions https://www.facebook.com/past11productions/

Peaks and Valleys: The Search for Ryan Shtuka https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zee_yQLOHA0&feature=share

Photos of Ryan Shtuka

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