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.

Ryan
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

Grief · wounded healer · wounded Mother

A Mother’s #1 job

A Mother’s number one job is Not to ”secure your own mask before securing the mask of your child.”

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Job numero uno is to take a round from a rifle for your kid. Like it or not, Moms, we are their saviors. As I’ve said before, I wanted to save my seven-and-a-half son, Ryan, from the fire. Not only did I not save him, I never got to him. I ran.

Ryan burned to death.

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 No mother could fail more completely.  And I will never get over it however old I get.        I hear what you’re saying:

‘It was an accident, Dawn.”’

“You did the best you could, Dawn.”

”Ryan is better off, Dawn.”

“Imagine all the future problems God protected Ryan from, Dawn!”

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Is that all you got? Fuggedaboutit! There is nothing you can say that I haven’t heard already. And this tragedy cannot be understood unless you are a member of a very small sorority of mothers whose young child died violently. (It’s the Sorority nobody rushes!) 

It has taken me seventeen years (6,205 nights) to say what I’ve said to you today. What have I learned?

God is the President of our Sorority.

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dawn

 

Grief · Hope · wounded healer · wounded Mother

“7 Things I learned from my son”

There’s no way in Hell that I would have considered doing the mommy job of preparing the funeral for my baby boy. Not physically, not mentally, not emotionally, not psychologically, not spiritually, not nothingly. It’ll take everything I’ve got to sit thru it.

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Ryan’s funeral could have been the ‘worst of the worst nights of my life.’

But Ron saved the day. He got his heartbroken self up in front of everyone, and told them the “7 things I learned from my Son.” Let me tell you some of what he said that afternoon.

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“When my son, Ryan, came along, I prided myself on teaching him the alphabet and soccer and flattered myself that I was a good teacher, but as I look back I now see that I was actually still learning and that I was still learning more important lessons than I was teaching.

Lesson 1- Appreciate Life

Lesson 2- Smiles are Infectious

Lesson 3- Explore your world

Lesson 4- Don’t take yourself too seriously

Lesson 5- Don’t confuse intelligence with experience

Lesson 6- Charity means giving when it hurts

Lesson 7- …and the greatest of these is Love.”

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Ryan

 

That, my friends, should tell you the kind of son we enjoyed in Ryan.

dawn

 

Grief · wounded Mother

The Worst of the Worst day of my Life!

I remember driving to the Funeral home with Ron to see Ryan’s body just before his cremation.

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Just the two of us, Ryan’s mom and dad. His parents. That’s all we were to anyone that day. As we entered a cold storage room, I remember thinking to myself,

“How could they be so insensitive to have let us spend our very last moments with our little boy in such an unfriendly, frigid environment?”  

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All there was was a child-sized makeshift,  cardboard coffin. It stood solitary in the middle of a room. It was a stark reminder of how Ryan died in the car. Alone. Seeing the box screamed there would be no more talks, hugs, and laughter from our little Ry-Ry.

We both gasped and crumbled. I have to admit it was surreal and unbearable that our little boy’s body was inside a cardboard box.

We cried out to God,

What kind of love is this that you would rip him out of our hearts as if he’s better off with you?”  He’ll tell you himself, he’s better off with us.

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 Some of you are wondering, “How much of him was left after the fire?”  Do you really think we opened that cheap container? All we could do was cry and say goodbye to the little boy in the box.  The only one more damaged than Ryan was me.

All is lost!

ryan’s mother

Grief · wounded Mother

The worst day of my life! (part 2)

It’s  Saturday afternoon and we’re driving Highway 83, along the Mexican border. We’ve just left Ryan’s first swimming meet and are heading for his soccer match 45 miles away.

 

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Suddenly, we hear an unrecognizable POP! It’s so loud! Our car begins to roll over and over. Then, we are trapped in our car, on fire.

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Everything in me wants to get out of the fire. The other everything in me wants to get the kids out of the fire.

My maternal instincts are raging! So are my primal instincts.

It’s like an internal civil war: “Do I save my children, or do I save myself?”  

dawn

(So I’ll see you on Monday.)

Family · Grief · wounded Mother

The worst day of my life! (part 1)

Our SUV is rolling over and over and flames are beginning to eat through my passenger seat, searing my hamstrings. The final rollover lands us on my side. My door won’t open. Everything I touch is glass, gravel, and weeds on the shoulder of Highway 83.

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The fire ignited under me and is crawling toward my 7-year-old, Ryan, sitting behind me in the backseat.

Our happy family of four are trapped like POW’s. I can smell the skin on my legs burning. Then, I am numb. No, more like frozen. Gradually, my brain begins to thaw.

I open my eyes and every one of us is on fire!

My baby, Tyler, is!

My seven-year-old, Ryan, is!

My husband, Ron, is!

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And it feels like we’re all melting. Both children are trapped in their car seats. Can a person be on fire and frozen at the same time?

This is only the beginning of the worst days and years of my life.

dawn

(See you Thursday for part 2)

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