MINE // #REDBALLOONSFORRYAN

ONE WEEK AGO, TODAY.

Friday. One of my family’s {most} favorite days of the week. The evening that sets the tone for the weekend ahead. I remember it being fun, a calm evening of just enjoying each other, and being together. We had picked up take-out, and had a great dinner that was filled with meaningful conversation, as all five of us sat around the table. We each talked about our day, our most favorite part of it, and our least favorite part. We felt connected.

Afterwards, we went outside to play. It was a bit chilly, so we bundled up in our sweatshirts, and big winter hats.

Tyler jumped in the trampoline and played with his football, Mason drove his police car and chased “bad guys”, and Ava happily carried one of her Disney princesses, and walked around the yard, smiling.

While sitting close to each other on the deck, I enjoyed a glass of wine, and Jake had a beer. We would occasionally catch each other’s glance, and smile. Without saying anything, I knew what he was thinking, and feeling. We both felt blessed. We both, at that very moment, knew just how lucky we were. We had made three beautiful children together, and were living a beautifully blessed life. We felt like the luckiest couple, and it made me feel so good, like we were living in a dream.

HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY..

…at the same time that I was feeling so happy, and blessed, another family was in the middle of having their worst nightmare come true. It is so incredibly unfair. A little boy, Ryan, with the best fiery red and curly hair, went home to Jesus, moments after chasing his frisbee into the street. He was simply in the wrong place at the horribly wrong time.

I didn’t know his mama Jacqui, or daddy Dan, or even his sweet little self. But I sometimes felt like I did. I followed @BabyBoyBakery on Instagram, read her blog, and saw this adorable little redhead {who was the exact same age as my Mason}, fill my news feed almost everyday. His mama captured such amazing photographs, and the love between them is outstanding. This story has brought me to tears more than once. Their only child was taken from them, in a second. If you’d like to, you can read more of this story, here.

I cannot imagine the pain that these two parents are enduring right now. I have to say, that my absolute biggest fear is loosing a child, it is an unhealthy and irrational fear that is quite consuming at times. This just hit too close to home. This could have been one of my kids. One of my rambunctious, full-of-energy little ones, who loved the life around them, and just wants to smile and laugh. I simply cannot allow myself to think about this anymore. It is just too heartbreaking.

Messages of love and support have flooded social media this past week, since the horrific news broke. It is amazing to see what is being offered. Shirts are being designed, jewelry is being crafted, and money is being donated. Such love to help these parents, as they grieve the loss of their {only} child. There has also been a Go Fund Me account set up to donate money to help with funeral expenses, and the loss of their income, as they take time off. My heart is broken for this family. No one should ever have to bury their child. Please help out, if you can.

Or, use the hashtag #redballoonsforryan, or stop by his sweet mama’s Instagram feed to grab a picture of Ryan, and to pay your respect.

As Mother’s Day approaches, love your kids harder, and hold them longer. I know I will.

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