Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Week and a Day............

It is hard to believe that it has been over a week since Ryan has left us. During the first few days there was so much to do and organize, I really didn't have time to think. Even the days following the services were busy trying to tie up loose ends. It also has been hard to get back on the blog to update and thank so many people.

The support that so many of you have given our family is overwhelming. Though it doesn't stop the hurt, it does confirm that people really care and want to help in any way they can. Unfortunately, the one thing I need, nobody can give. Thank you to all that attended Ryan's services and the Columbus Blue Jackets for the family dinner afterwards. While it all still seems to be a blur, I feel that Ryan would be proud of the tribute to him. I know that he would be overwhelmed with the amount of people that came to pay tribute.

Today, I was finally able to visit his grave site. It is a beautiful resting place that has an angel statue that overlooks him. I can't help but think it is his guardian angel watching over him.

I will be not be posting anything over the next several days as I will be taking a hiatus. Maybe Uncle Barry will share a little during this time. But working with Wendy Bradshaw and The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, we will be creating a foundation in the near future that will continue Ryan's legacy with families from J5. I always talked to Ryan about the doctors doing the doctor stuff and I would help him with the spirit stuff. Ryan's legacy to his buddies and friends will be the spirit stuff. Once we have all the documentation in place, I will provide more information.

Thank you again to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. While Ryan is home and pain free, we are left to rebuild a new existence without our hero.
-Brad

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)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ryan's Obituary and Funeral Arrangements

Ryan Michael Salmons 19, of Grove City passed away Friday May 1, 2009 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital surrounded by his loving family and dear friends. Ryan was a member of Hilliard Southwest Hockey Club and signed a one day contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was recognized as an honorary member of the team. Ryan was preceded in death by his grandmother Marilyn McLaren. Survivors include his parents Bradley W. (Susan M.) Salmons, mother Robin Bowman, sister Alaina Salmons paternal grandparents Carlos and Margaret Salmons and maternal grandfather Richard McLaren. Family and friends may visit Monday from 12:00 until 8:00 PM at Cypress Wesleyan Church 377 Alton Darby Creek Road where funeral celebrating his life will be held 1:00 PM Tuesday. Wayne Beard will officiate with interment following at Sunset Cemetery. The family request that in lieu of flowers contributions may be made to The Blue Jackets Foundation in Ryan’s name at www.bluejacketsfoundation.org. Please visit www.teamsalmons.com to learn more of Ryan’s life and accomplishments. An online guest book to share your messages with his family is at www.spencemillerfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are with THE SPENCE-MILLER FUNERAL HOME Grove City.

****Ryan had an idea that it would be neat to use Blue Jackets car flags instead of funeral markers on each car going out to the cemetery. We have some Blue Jackets flags to use in the procession, but our supply is limited. If you have one or can find one before the service, please bring it and display it on your car.

Thank you to all that have posted comments. The support we have felt is overwhelming. We really appreciate the prayers and encouragement every person has given over the past year.
-Brad