Encouragement · Faith · Grief · wounded Mother

Good news and Bad news

I mentioned last time that I am beginning to find the beauty in my scars and to honor that beauty. It’s easy to say, but it’s taken me 17 years (one day at a time) to get to where I can even talk to you about it today.

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I showed you what the fire did to my legs. That scarring has been hard enough to deal with.

But there’s another scar deeper than the scars on my legs, it’s the scar behind any scar on my body.

It’s the scar that won’t heal, that chases me wherever I go.

It’s the scar way deeper than any scar you can see with the naked eye.

It is the scar that Ryan’s death left on my heart.

I see the scars on my legs every day but they always lead me back to Ryan’s face.

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Ryan

I WILL NEVER OVERCOME THAT! How can a mother overcome the death of her child? She can’t.

Let’s say God came to me during the first days of my loss and said, “Dawn, I have good news and bad news for you, which do you want first?”

And I say, “Lord, give me the bad news first.”

And God says, “ It’s gonna take you 17 years to really begin to see the Light.”

And I say, “ I can’t make it 17 years, not 7 years, not 7 hours.”

And God says, “ But that’s exactly where the good news comes in. You’re gonna make it.  You’ re not going to kill yourself. We’re gonna go thru it together. And you’ll come out on the other side a stronger person,  with a Mission the size of which you can’t comprehend right now.”

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To you, friend, I’m going to say the same thing to you that God said to me, “ We are going to get thru this together.”

I mean it!

dawn

Stay tuned..

http://www.ryanshines.com

Faith · Family · Hope

Infertility! (part 3)

(Four years later) What is staring me in the face is that the ‘live birth rate’ for a 42-year-old is 6.6%. Looks like I’m gonna have to call in some Chips.

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My Doc’s goal was to get 3 good eggs from me, to implant them, and if I happen to get pregnant with any of these 3 implanted eggs, my chances of a live-birth are still very slim.

I need a miracle here.

Do you remember Sully who landed the plane safely in the Hudson River? I need that kind of miracle. ”Calling Dr. Sully!”

I shocked myself and the doctor by breaking the record with 32 viable eggs. After the 5-day ‘culturing of the egg,’ we had (drum roll) 15 Class-A eggs! The Doc was conservative and only transferred 4 and ”ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom” . . .

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Tyler and Trenton

And then, Trenton was born!

Another miracle two years later, when my 4th son, Colton, was born! My Colton survived three other embryos and was born healthy at 9 lbs too. Colton had a 4% chance of being born because I was 45. Obviously, miracles are not about statistics except for us. Bring on the stats!

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T and C

And so there you have it–our Petri babies, Trenton and Colton, two more miraculous gifts. They owe their lives to Ryan.

And, of course, to their Maker.

dawn

Encouragement · Faith · Hope · wounded Mother

Is there Light in every darkness?

When I saw Ron without Ryan in his arms, all I could see was a NO written across my heart in indelible ink.

I assume you’re familiar with ‘the big NO,’ right? I’m wondering if you found Light in your own darkness? Or is that too naive?

With time, I began to see a little Light, like a nightlight in the corner. It wasn’t as bright as I wished, but it was Light, and I decided to take what I could get.

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When I began to focus on the Light, instead of the darkness, I saw that the Light began to intensify.

That’s when I learned 2 things:

  1. There is no power in the darkness that can extinguish this little Light of ours.

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      2. And if you look closely, you will find that your Light has a face. In my case, it was      my 2-year-old son, Tyler, who became the human face of God for me.

dawn

If there’s someone you know who needs this, please share.

#ryanshines#lightindarkness

Faith · Hope · wounded healer · wounded Mother

From “Why me, Lord?” to Why me, Lord?

At first, I felt robbed when Ryan died. Like, “Why me, Lord?” Where’s my miracle since You are the Supreme Being on the Supreme Court?

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I grew up believing that God can fix what’s broken, or at least, give a heads-up. But we were hung out to dry. No warning. So, naturally, I began to look for who to blame. I finally said it face-to-face,

“It’s all Your fault, God.”

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This rocked my Friendship with God, and if I’m not mistaken, we broke up for a while because placing blame was the only way I knew to get clear of this. To shed my skin like a snake and move on.

But as time passed, I discovered the real Answer to the question, “Why me, Lord?”

What did I do to deserve this Grace? Nothing.

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That’s when I realized this is about God, not me. Grace is a gift from the hand of God whose face looks very much like my 2-year-old, Tyler, my little miracle worker.

 

Why me, Lord?

Dawn

If there is someone in your orbit who needs this, please share.

#ryanshines#grace

 

 

 

Faith · Family · wounded Mother

Everything happens for a Reason

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me there’s a ‘Reason’ for Ryan dying, I’d be rich. As if it was all part of the Plan.

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At first, it brought me comfort, because that meant that nothing was my fault.

It’s all ‘on God.’

But the older I get and the deeper I understand God, I realize that there is not a ‘Reason’ behind everything happening. Some things are just plain wrong and that’s all there is to it. Like the Holocaust. There is no good ‘Reason’ behind it. It’s insane is what it is! It is pure wickedness and you can’t clean it up by coming up with a ‘Reason.’

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It’s the same with Ryan.

I’m not denying that good things haven’t come from his dying. His 2 brothers, Trenton and Colton, wouldn’t be here if Ryan had lived.

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Trenton & Colton

But that ’s not enough to convince me that Ryan needed to be ‘gotten out of the way’ for our future to continue.

Be careful when you say that ‘God engineers everything that happens.’ Because, if we know anything about God, it’s that “God is Love.”

dawn

Please feel free to share this.

#ryanshines#godislove

Faith · Hope · wounded Mother

A Severe Mercy

Our tragedy shows us a clear picture of the Mercy of God when he entered the fire and took Ryan home just before the possibility of Ryan burning up in horrible pain.

God saved Ryan not ‘from’ the fire but ‘in’ the fire.

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Ryan was in shock so God came to him and took him Home before the fire could eat him alive. I have to believe that to survive this.  Besides, this is what God does, right? Mercy is God’s middle name.

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Nobody gets out of this life without needing Mercy on a daily basis.

When we hurt the people we love,  if there is no Mercy in the equation, then the relationship is often lost. We give Mercy, and we receive Mercy.

The clearest picture of Mercy I’ve ever seen is when Ryan was trapped in the backseat, in such shock that he couldn’t unlock his seat belt.

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So, in Mercy, God himself came to Ryan to do what Ryan couldn’t do for himself. God freed him, took him into his arms, and carried him Home before the fire got it’s wicked wish to destroy him.

I believe that at the end of time when I meet God face-to-face, he will smell like smoke. Because, to me, that’s how Mercy smells.

dawn

Please feel free to share this with anyone you feel needs it.

#ryanshines#mercy

Faith · Family

Ryan is 24!

Ryan would be 24 this year. That’s a lot of candles! Notice Ryan playing with his dinosaurs in the tub? If he were here today, I know his forwarding address would be Jurassic Park.

Have you noticed that the most difficult day of the year is the birthday of someone we loved and lost? Ryan’s birthday is always the worst day of the year for me. And the question that always surfaces on Ryan’s birthday is:

How do we celebrate his life in the middle of such darkness?

What do you do on their special day? We have an icecream cake with candles, pass out presents to his brothers from him, and play videos of Ryan’s Shining.    

Happy Birthday, Ry-Ry!

Mom

#ryanshines#birthdayboy

Dear Dawn · Encouragement · Faith

Pity Party

Dear Dawn,

Your Blog Tuesday, helped me realize I wasn’t the only one who had suffered poor health my whole life.  I’ve never lost a child, had cancer or heart issues, but my asthma, skin issues, headaches and  stomach problems often leave me discouraged and in a pity party.    How did you maintain such a good attitude with all you suffered, especially the loss of your son?  (And please don’t tell me you were born that way.  That doesn’t help me one bit!  LOL)   download

Dear PP,  Thanks for your note.  Anyone who says they are UP all the time just because that  is the way they were born, is lying. lyingEvery day of life requires some sort of adjustment.  Each day is a challenge — I get it.  I too, have health issues, the greatest challenge is the never ending discomfort of skin grafts from the burns on my arms, legs and backside. irrateMy skin draws up constantly, the discomfort requires thick coats of cream for softening.  Not a pretty picture, but I’m getting through each setback — from asthma to food allergies to skin problems.

I will never get fully adjusted to the loss of my seven-year-old.

But I am encouraged by the words of Henry Ward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s brother,  who was a nineteenth-century minister.  Having lost four of his young children so he was no stranger to the Pity Party, I am sure.

One day,  sitting on a hillside in his hometown, he noticed a terrific storm coming across the valley.  He wrote:

“The heavens were filled with blackness, and the earth was shaken by the voice of thunder. It seemed as though that fair landscape was utterly changed, and its beauty gone never to return.

But the storm swept on, and passed out of the valley; and if I had sat in the same place on the following day, and said, “Where is that terrible storm, with all its terrible blackness?” the grass would have said, “Part of it is in me,” and the daisy would have said, “Part of it is in me,” and the fruits and flowers and everything that grows out of the ground would have said, “Part of the storm is incandescent in me.”

Ryan

Each part of the rain in my life is part of me, and always will be.

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Hang in there, kiddo.  The sun still shines brightly above the storm!

Dawn

 

Encouragement · Faith · Grief

Manchester

As yours, our hearts go out to those who suffered loss and injury as a result of the terror attack at the Manchester England Concert last night.  The horror for those parents and children who lost track of each other in the moments following the explosion is unimaginable.   But moments are translated to years of agony for those who received the terrible news – their loved one was severely injured or lost.

As you,  the Hirn family is praying for these families and those who have witnessed this event.  But we are also praying for our world which is suffering such senseless brutality at the hands of a few misdirected cowards.

Staying in your own backyard may seem easiest right about now.  But remember, the world is filled with far more people who love life and love others regardless of their faith or persuasion.  It is important to remember that we who love our families, our lives and the lives of others are in the majority.

 

great hirn shot gb copyWe are grateful for our safety when we visited England not long after another terror episode.   Be vigilant wherever you go.  But don’t let bullies dictate your movements.

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We love you each.  Dawn

Encouragement · Faith · Perfecting Dysfunction

Puttin’ up yer dukes

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One of my friends shared something very personal with me this week:  She, like many of us,  felt God had let her down.  Unlike so many of us, she had the guts to express her disappointment and share her journey back to faith.

I get it.  When we lost Ryan, Ron and I were ready for a fight with God.   We both had a terrible time understanding how a loving God could allow such a tragedy.  It’s been 16 years, and we are no closer to understanding now than we did then.  But the stories shared by encouraging friends are building blocks to restoration. And God continues to bless this family.

My friend has come back into the fellowship of her church and the understanding that she doesn’t understand everything about God;  but, she understands a few things about God.  And one thing she knows for certain is that He has never forgotten about her.

Few of us have the courage to actually admit we get angry with God.  But honesty and  transparency is a gift to and from your friends – the TRUE friends who will never use confession against you.  My friends have helped me understand that just because I question why He allows bad stuff to happen to good people, doesn’t necessarily mean lightning is gonna come out of the sky and fry me. God respects an honest spiritual struggle.

journey.jpegThank God.  And friends!

Have a great weekend!

Dawn