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

Adventure with Engagement AWE · Family travel · Hope · Motherhood

A wonderful gift waiting for us in China!

Molly could be weighed against feathers.

She is so little for all the machines surrounding in the burn hospital, giving and taking.

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Shanghai General Hospital , China

She had suffered through God knows how many surgeries, not to mention the endless skin-graphs.

Did I tell you we met her in China at the burn hospital in Bejing?

So many children, so little time!

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Molly

You know the feeling of wanting to take them home with us in.

We brought a big white stuffed dog for Molly.

 

When our Tyler bent down eye-to-eye with Molly he gave her his high-beam smile (a wonderful gift in itself); then, he took the big dog out of it’s red package and handed it to her.

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Tyler

We were all happy-surprised when she reached out on her own to take it from Tyler.

She turned to her mother and hugged her with her dog between them.

Every door in my heart blew open.

I was full of love for Molly, but I had some questions. 

When she leaves here will she be stroller’d out into the great outdoors?

As she grows, will she pedal down neighborhood streets on her two-wheeler? 

Will the other children accept her?

Will she swing around the pole of parking meters?

When she sleeps will she reach out for stars?

I look at her mother and remembered every emotion rocking her heart.

All I want to do is to sweep Molly up and rock her for a solid month-and-a-half.

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)

Hope · Motherhood · wounded healer

6 Things I’m Grateful For Today!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Gratitude! Did you ever think we’d get to Gratitude? And I’m not talking about happiness. For me, it’s taken 17 years to make this move into Gratitude. But I’m getting closer. And so I’ve gathered a list of things that I am grateful for since Ryan’s death.

  1. I am Grateful that we had Ryan for 7 years.

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    Rr-Ry

 

      2. I am Grateful for our little boy, Tyler, who saved us all.

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Ty-Ty

        3. I am Grateful for Ryan’s brothers, Trenton and Colton.

       4. I am Grateful for the wisdom Ryan is still bringing to us.

       5. I am Grateful for all the Undercover Angels that I’ve met along the Way.

       6. I am Grateful that my faith is becoming natural to me.

Am I grateful for Ryan’s death? NO. And, by that, I mean, “Hell-No!” But, I am grateful for what God has shown me from it. It’s impossible to even say this aloud so I’ll write it–

If I had it all to do over again, I want Ryan back now.”

But I’m beginning to see Ryan’s death differently. Looking at our 3 boys now, I realize that Ryan did not die in vain. It is so like Ryan to leave living, breathing gifts to us– the gifts of Trenton and Colton. And he’s still opening doors. He’s still changing our family and our family MAP into the future.

IMG_6630It’s the most unexpected gusher of Gratitude, to see Ryan’s death as I do now, knowing that I don’t have to give up the tragic sense of it. Ever.

Have a Thankful Day!

dawn

#ryanshines #myscars #childloss #thankful

 

 

Encouragement · Hope · Motherhood · wounded Mother

The Best Gift I’ve ever received!

 

Besides offering a funny face when I was so grief-stricken, my 2-year-old son, Tyler, gave me another gift that turned out to be the Best Gift I’ve ever received in my life.

And he gave it to me every morning of every month after “the accident.” (That’s my baby boy!)

What he gave me was a new way of looking at myself and life. He saw beyond my pain. He saw beneath my scars. He saw the heart of a mother in the chest of someone who didn’t deserve to be called a mother anymore. For him, nothing had changed. Nothing. Because every time he pushed my door open,  he saw the one thing he needed most; his mommy. He saw me as a fountain–everything he needed.

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Tyler

I saw my failure at the ‘scene,’ he didn’t. I was more than the scars that came from the scene, he taught me that, and he hardly knew how to talk. He knew me ‘by heart’ not words. I was his mother, not the ‘scarred’ mother, but the mother who knew exactly what he needed, and when.

He showed me that I still had the Goods. He never bailed on me once while I was bailing on me every day.IMG_8684

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 became his vision of me.

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

 

 

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

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me and tyler

It didn’t matter to him if I was ready to see it or not; it’s what he saw in me. It’s the Best Gift anyone has ever given me.

dawn

#myscars, #ryanshines, #motherhood

Encouragement · Family · Motherhood

Badges of Love

old woman hands:piano

Take a look at these hands. They could be the hands of your mother. Hands that carried you, changed you and nurtured you. These are hands that have been lovingly lived in.  If you look carefully at them, they look like a MAP. With veins like highways and age spots like Scars collected along the way. Hands that have been somewhere and I don’t mean on vacation.

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Don’t be taken in by that silly commercial.

The one where a mom and daughter are holding out their hands while the “hypster” asks us if we can tell which is the mother and which is the daughter.

And their point is you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

I say that if you’ve completely invested yourself in the life of your family, your hands will tell the truth about you. If you’re a mother, your hands will tell a hundred or more stories.

They get cut and bruised. Scarred. The idea that a mother’s hands should look as young as a daughter’s hands is crazy-sad. In the name of beauty, we try to erase the wear and tear of a person’s body as they grow older. I get that.

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Ry and me

But when I look at my hands, I see the evidence of the sacrifices I’ve made, and my Scars are somehow transformed into Badges of Love.

dawn

#myscars, #badgesoflove, #motherhood