Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reflections of a Special Evening

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)


Holly Friend said...

We will always have Ryan in our hearts and he lives through all of us now so to us we always feel him around. He was an amazing person and we our so blessed to have known him. We have all of you in our hearts right now as you go though this hard time. But remember those words he is living though us now so we need to make him proud!!
Love you all, Holly & Joey Friend

Anonymous said...

Barry, I am so happy to hear that you had such a special day with Ryan that was all your own. I lost my Uncle 1 year ago yesterday and we had that quality time a day before his passing and it is a special memory that I will always cherish close to my heart as I am sure you will. I would also like to thank you for sharing your gift as a wonderful photographer with us and posting Ryans photos on your site for all of us to share in your families difficult but truely inspiring time. My wish for your family is peace in knowing that your selflisness in sharing with the world Ryans fight has brought so much hope and inspiration to so very many people and know that we will continue to pray for your entire family at this time of sorrow. Thank you again "Uncle" Barry and the entire Salmons Family... you will always have a special place in our hearts!
Ryan is now with his wings.

Kelly said...

Thank you for the reminder of the love we should cherish more often than we normally do- reading this blog through this last year has really helped me strenghthen the relationships I have with my husband and children- life is short and should be treasured even in the rough times. My heart will continue to ache for your family- our prayers are still with you and for you- thank you for sharing such precious gifts with so many- Ryan is an inspiration and hero to more people than we will ever know.

GoBucks said... you were SO lucky to have Ryan as a nephew...he was very lucky to have an uncle like you!! I hope the entire Salmons family is doing as well as can be during this tough time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers daily!

Anonymous said...

Barry, as I read the blog this morning through tears, I realize once again how truly blessed I am to have met the entire Salmons family. Isn't it wonderful how God places people in your life even through difficult situations. I will continue to keep you and the family in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being such a loving uncle to Ryan. Ryan will always have a special place in my heart and I am thankful to have met him.
God Bless You!
Linda Wells

Anonymous said...


Wanting to thank you soo much for your continue support and effort to get Ryan name and message out there with your help this website would have not been possible, without your help pictures of our young friend would have not be generated onto this website. Thank you so much for all you did and continue to do for Ryan I know you were Ryans favorite and how much he loved you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you & your family for sharing Ryan through this blog. I never had the blessing of meeting any of you, but you are probably becoming aware of how much you have touched the lives of strangers. I appreciate so much, you opening your personal life to share with the world. I'm sure sometimes it was emotionally hard, and time-consuming to write and share pictures. Thanks for sharing and for touching my life. I will miss coming here every day, but I have taken much of it with me. thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a father but I'm an uncle, and you are living my worst nightmare. I'm so sorry for that - please accept my deepest condolences. You and Ryan's whole family are in my thoughts at this sad time.

Anonymous said...

Barry, Brad's and your journey with Ryan, and with all the other members of your family, has been an inspiration to so many people. As a mother, I can only hope and pray that I never personally experience this kind of tragedy, but that if it should happen, I can move through the crisis with the same kind of grace and dignity. May hope and peace continue to be with you.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned something to me about this conversation recently and I can only imagine how truly meaningful and satisfying it was. I'm glad our Heavenly Father gave you and Ryan that moment. He must've known it would be beneficial to both of ya. Funny how He operates like that. : )

Anonymous said...

Barry that was precious, thanks for sharing.. Aunt Carol

Jason, Jill and Madeline Salmons said...

Barry, Thank you for sharing this with the world! The message you are sending is one that we, as parents, need to remind ourselves on a daily basis. Listen a little longer, hold a little tighter, and play a little harder.

Chris Ulvin said...

Greetings to an uncle from an aunt
Aren't we blessed that God grants us special moments with loved ones. Two personal memories that come to my mind are how my parents contact all five of their children - one by phone the other four by personal visits - within a 24 hour window of their accidental death. Another hopeful example of God's grace is of a friend who had spent uncountable times in the doctor's office, in the hospital, at the bedside of her daughter who had CF. The daughter was in the hospital with a non-threating setback and shared with her mom how she envisioned her funeral. Her mom could discuss this topic easily because she planned on taking her daughter home soon, just like she had countless times before. This time, God took the daughter home. And the mother was comforted by a funeral that was exactly as her daughter wished.
I can praise God in all things because He loves us. May you feel God's love in all of Ryan's stories - past, present and future.
Sincerely, Nick Raitt's aunt