Red Balloons for Ryan

I wish I knew how to begin writing this.
I’ve actually stopped and started over and over again.
How do you find the right words?
The hard truth is that there will never be the right words,
this is not something that can be packaged up into a bow.
There’s nothing beautiful, nothing serene.
Yet ever bit of it is screaming of a need to find hope.
A need to find peace.

A cry out to know that God will write more of this story.
That this will not define their story, but will define how they stand together united.
A need to find God in the midst of tragedy.
To know that His plan doesn’t always make sense to us.

Many of you know my best friend Jacqui, who blogs at Baby Boy Bakery.
We met almost 3 years ago and an instant friendship was born.
She is one of the strongest, loving, most incredible people I know.
And last year I was honored to stand next to her when she married her husband, Dan.

Last Friday night, while playing out front of a family members home,
Ryan was hit by a truck and went home to be with Jesus.
It all happened so fast and he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A simple excitement to grab the frisbee that had escaped into the road
was met with a tragic loss.

Ryan Collage 1

As I sit here writing this, I’m shaking and I haven’t stopped crying for the last 24 hours. I’m not even going to begin to share how unfair this all is or how much I hate watching my best friend go through this. No parent should ever have to bear the weight of loosing their child, especially not one that is 3 1/2. Even now, I sit here wanting to scream. I’ve begged God countless times to bring him back, to give him back to Jacqui and Dan.

420036_10150625560258524_205043574_nryan collage 2

Today as I sat with Jacqui she gave me the honor of sharing her story.
Not the whole story, but just a slice.
A cracked window into a story that she needed to be told because she needs, they need, our support.
They need us to rally
They needs us to pray
to share
to love
to remember…
….. Ryan.

Let his loss not be in vain.
I need your help friends.
I know you may not know Jacqui, but she needs us now more than ever.
Will you unite with me?
Will you share her story?
Will you offer her comfort?

If you could take a moment, if you could take many moments…
and not just pray for them,
but join me in posting pictures of Ryan on your Facebook, your twitter, your Instagram feeds.
Post them that the memory of him can live on.
Post them to share in the love they had for their little boy.

ryan collage 3

I know we can do this.
I know we can pull together.
Will you grab a picture from Jacqui’s Instagram feed, and post it to yours?
Will you share words of encouragement and tag #RedBalloonsforRyan?
Also be sure to tag Jacqui, @babyboybakery and Dan, @danno12

I promised her that Ryan would not be forgotten,
we can make sure that doesn’t happen.
We can use our voices for good.
To tell a story,
of a little boy who loved life and his family,
who laughed often,
who loved to snuggle his mommy and daddy.
And to tell the story of two parents who are loving each other
strongly and beautifully through this tragedy, through this unexplainable loss.

With all that’s within me, and I know I’m probably not making sense anymore,
please share.

And please excuse me this week as I mourn the loss of a little boy who meant so much to me and my family. No mother should endure the loss of her child and no mother should have to share with her children that they’ve lost a best friend. While my kids have already shared that they know Ryan is dancing with Jesus in Heaven, they are deeply saddened and marked forever by this loss. I will do my best to come back to this space soon, but for now I just need some time, some moments of rest to gather my thoughts and my emotions. Posting here makes me feel as though life is moving forward and I’m not ready. I want it to stand still, I want it to rewind. I wish I could bring him back. I wish I could understand.

Jacqui and Dan, I love you with all my heart and my soul! I’m so sorry that you’ve had to endure this and I promise you that Ryan will not be forgotten. He will NOT! We will remember him, we will tell his stories and we will love you both through all of this! Lord God, be with them….

Rest in Peace, Ryan Cruz Saldana 5.2.2014