Words shared by Barry (Ryan’s Uncle). Friday at 3:22 p.m. marks one week since Ryan was received by our God in Heaven. Since then, the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, co-workers, the Blue Jackets, the staff at Children’s Hospital and even compete strangers-alike, has been the foundation that we re-build on. But, most of all, the love and support is a testament to Ryan…Of Ryan’s life, Ryan’s faith and Ryan’s hope for us all. I thought I would take a minute to reflect and share a special evening I shared with Ryan early last week.
I was blessed to spend about two and a half hours with Ryan the evening of April 28. This particular evening was very different than other two-hour blocks I spent with him. Why? Well, this time it was just different.
- This time, I was alone with him. As you know, Ryan always has a lot of friends around...not this time.
- This time, when I called to see if he wanted anything, he said, “Yes” to a Dairy Queen Cherry Mister Misty Freeze. And me to an M&M Blizzard. Conversation and bonding over ice cream…what could be better?
- This time, his oxygen levels were way up, even though he had to remove his oxygen mask to eat the cool treat.
- This time, when I got there, he was sitting up in a chair…not lying in bed.
- This time, he was in a total state of consciousness. That day Ryan slept most of the day and was in a tremendous amount of pain. Much of the day he was mostly out of it.
- This time, he wanted to talk...and we did!
You see, this time WAS different. Little did I know the impact these two hours would have on my life. Little did I know that in less than 65 hours he would be gone. This time we spent together was special…We laughed…We cried…We shared. I hope my words were meaningful and comforting to him. I know his words were comforting and inspirational to me. I will never forget this special time with Ryan. Why was I so lucky to receive this special gift?
Ryan’s legacy will continue to live…we will make sure of that! It will live in each of us that knew him well and by many who just know his story. Hold those memories close. Parents and Grandparents, hug your children a little longer and little tighter. Children, let them hug you!
God Bless, Barry (Ryan’s Uncle)