Family · Hope · Motherhood

Sing Happy Birthday today for Ryan!

I’m a mom who lost her oldest son in a car fire when he was 7-years-old. 

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Ryan ’94

One of the things I think back on is that I never wanted children in the first place.

I guess I could tell you that if we’d never had Ryan, we would never have lost Ryan.

I’ve thought plenty about that over the years.

Does it sound crazy to you?

Every time I think that way I always judge myself as a ‘failure-Mom.’

But I’m changing.

That dark thought has basically disappeared deep into my psychic basement. 

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Ryan at 4

 

Today is Ryan’s birthday.

He’d be 25.

He’d be out of college, and working somewhere in his own business, being his own boss.

Our little boy was very social from the start; he just naturally loved people. 

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Ryan, baby Tyler & Ron

And he cared about them, almost to a fault.

Here’s what I think: If Ryan could’ve had his dream job, it would have only one focus: out of the wealth he created he would be “Generous’’ professionally.

He would work so he could give away money to help others.

Of course, I’ve got a Ryan story for you.

It’s our lucky day! A gift to you from Ryan on his birthday today, October 3rd. 

(Story) Eighteen years ago…in fact, it was on our last night ever with Ryan, he was killed the next afternoon.

We went to a dinner party at a friend’s house that Friday night.

We came in and looked to see who all was there.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ryan walking toward our priest. They talked for a second and Ryan handed something to the priest.

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I later found out it was a five-dollar bill. 

Ryan said to Father Jerry: “Give this to the poor children.” 

I remembered our previous conversation in the car on the way over that night.

Ryan had told us he was still several dollars short of getting his Gameboy he’d been saving for.

That’s where the five dollars came from.

I’m crying as I write this.

In the past eighteen years, I believe with my whole heart that Ryan was created especially for me, and I was created for him, even if we’d only had a year together.

But we had seven! Did you hear what I said? We had SEVEN YEARS TOGETHER!

Happy Birthday, punkin!

I love you.

mom

Encouragement · Family · Hope

What happens on Elm street, stays on Elm street

The kids at school call me “Freddy Krueger.”

And they ask me about my “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

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As I talked with Louie I remembered some of the awful Freddy Krueger theme song.

“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you

Three, four, better lock the door

Five, six, grab your crucifix

Seven, eight, gonna stay up late

Nine, ten, never sleep again.”

“Everybody’s got scars,” Louie said with tears. “I still got a heart!”

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Louie

He told me how great it was being with Terry.

“Watching him use humor the way he does really helped me out!

Now I’m always crackin’ jokes with the kids around me, and they are so shocked and can’t believe I can do this!” 

“Sometimes I tell them ‘I got attacked by a shark with laser beams.’

I make ’em laugh! I say, ‘Hey guys! I’m medium-rare and you’re raw!”

 

Louie is my friend and he’s in my Hero Hall-of-Fame. 

I see courage every time I see him. 

Dawn

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

Encouragement · Family · Hope · wounded healer

Seen through her baby’s eyes

I’m Dawn.

The mother in this story is me. Our little family was boxed-in by a fire in our car.

We skidded across the access road off the Interstate and rolled the car three times.

Three of us survived. My seven-year-old son, Ryan, was burned alive, to death.

I realized last night that I haven’t told you very much about our baby boy, Tyler, who was freed from the flames along with Ron, and me. (We three were burned over 25% of our bodies).

This was–no-contest–the worst experience of my life.

Everything in me died on a slab that day, but my breathing wouldn’t quit.

I only wanted one thing . . . to be with my Ry-Ry immediately.

About Tyler.

My 2-year-old gave me the best Gifts of my life. (He’s a sophomore at Auburn now).

He gave his gift every morning of every month of every year after “the accident.”

 

He saw me beyond his own pain. He saw beneath my scars.

He saw the heart of a mother who didn’t deserve to be called “mother” anymore.

For him, nothing had changed.

We were still Team Tyler!

And every morning he pushed my bedroom door open, he saw the one thing he needed most. Mommy-Me! I was all he needed.

I was haunted by my consummate failure at the ‘’scene,’’ Tyler wasn’t.

I was more than my scars.

That’s what he taught me again and again, and he hardly knew how to talk.

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Forget words he knew me ‘by heart.’

I was all-mother, not his ‘scarred’ mother.

I was the mother who knew just what he needed, and when.

He showed me I still had the Goods.

He never once bailed on me while I was bailing on myself every day.

How can a 2-year-old do that?

I think about the ”Little Prince” and what he said, “

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.

What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Tyler saw me rightly and I grew into his vision of me.

He took me every day by the hand into the kitchen for breakfast.

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Tyler

He led me to the window to show me, in a loving way, that Life goes on.

It didn’t matter to him if I was ready to see it or not. God only knows how saw my strength. God only knows how he knew me.

Tyler will always be God’s best Gift to me!

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me and tyler

dawn

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

Family · Relationship

I found it in the Dark

I’m thinking about the big Blessing that happened to me.hand dark

I’m still not sure if I found it or it found me.

But I’ve got to tell you what was weird about it.

I found it in the Dark, not in the Light.

I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

Do you remember the story of the policeman who was going out the door to work the night shift and dropped his keys in the grass?

His wife came out to help him look.

He was walking up and down the curb.

His wife asked him, “Is that where you lost them?”

He said, “No, but the light’s much better here.”

I think that’s true for all of us.

We assume our Blessing is dancing in front of us in the light because that would make it easier to find.

But don’t forget, it took me 14 years to find it, and when I found it I knew immediately that the Blessing wasn’t for me to keep.

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I was Blessed to be a Blessing to others.

RY shines 2

Dawn          

 

 

 

 

I’ll tell you how the Blessing grew next time…

 

Encouragement · Faith · Family · Relationship

Count your Blessings

I started counting my Blessings: being a mother, enjoying a long and loving marriage, our healthy sons, and a purposeful life.

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We’ve all experienced tragedies that we thought would follow us forever and stop the beating of our heart.

When Ryan was killed in the fire, my heart stopped and all I could see and hear was, “NOOOOO!”

There was no Blessing there on the frontage road in South Texas.

And it was emotionally exhausting to search for the Blessing.

It took me 14 years to get my ‘focus’ back.

But once I found it, it was like hitting a gusher.

I let it run down my face like oil and all the way down to my toes.  

A record-breaking gusher of Blessings!

One big “Yes” overpowering the “NO!

I want to tell you the secret of how I found my big “YES!”

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The Blessing that’s bigger than any Curse.

We’ll look together here next time.

Dawn           

Family · Hope

A total eclipse of me

As far as I know, I’ve never really been afraid of the dark.Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 9.08.27 PM

That’s because I was born without the experience of Fear.

I outranked Fear.

When there would be a noise in the kitchen, my brothers and sisters would hide under the covers, while I would go downstairs alone to investigate.

Then, Ryan died, and Fear barged into my world.

It was like I was stuck inside a total eclipse of me.

I couldn’t see me.

I couldn’t feel me.

It was like when ‘’the lights went out on Broadway.’’bulb

And, I was lights-out in my heart.

I’d think the best thing I could do for everybody concerned was to swallow a bottle of pills and die.

Then, the sun would come up and my little Tyler would touch my arm.

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me and tyler

And I would know, “I’m still here!”

dawn

 

Family · Friendship · Relationship

Com-PAN-ioning

“The word is ‘’pan.’’

It means ‘’bread’’ in most every language.

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Trenton & Colton w/ Singapore friends

It suggests that ‘’breaking bread” together is at the heart of our companioning with God, family, and friends.

This is the center of our journey together that we’ve talked so much about.

There is an episode in the Book of Revelation where Jesus says, “I am knocking at your door. If you will answer and let me come in, we will eat together” (Rev. 3:20).  

What if Jesus is saying that eating together is a key to building relationships?

That he would choose food that we are homesick for?  A table is heavy with good grub. Think back for a moment over all the great meals you’ve shared. 

Did you ever feel that the one sitting across from you is the richest choice on the menu?

bread companioning.jpgIt suggests that ‘’breaking bread” together is at the heart of our companioning with God, family, and friends.

This is a part of our journey together that we’ve talked so much about.

There is an episode in the Book of Revelation where Jesus says, “I am knocking at your door. If you will answer and let me come in, we will eat together” (Rev. 3:20).  

Jesus might be saying that eating together is key to building relationships. Think back for a moment over all the great meals you’ve shared. 

Did you ever feel that the one sitting across from you was the richest choice on the menu?Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 3.39.44 PM.png

dawn

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