Encouragement · healing-over-pain · Hope · wounded healer

The CHAR KING


I want to introduce you to Terry, one of our Burn-Survivors and a Firefighter to boot.
This guy’s a riot!

Terry pre

 

He’s survived 58 surgeries, and, at the same time, he is just hilarious!
He has personally helped many burn-survivors deal with their scars with humor.

 

They love Terry.
We all do.
He’s our hero. He is my friend and hero!
 
“The kids at school would stare at me and call me, “Char King,” he told me, “so I got a tattoo on my arm that says, “CHAR KING,”  and beat them at their own game.
Terry 'char king'
In fact, they laugh with me, not at me.”
 
“I, also, take control of conversations in the hall at school.
I decided it was best for me to tell them what happened to make me look this way, instead of leaving them guessing.
Or, I let them make up their own stories about what happened to me.”
 
“I figure if I can’t laugh at myself, what have I got?”

One of the things I learned from Terry is that humor helps us focus on what’s good and right with us instead of what’s wrong.a

 

dawn

#catchingcourage #ryanshines

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Encouragement · healing-over-pain · Hope · wounded healer

“All I wanted was to get my life together.”

Preston is the burn-survivor whose vulnerability is from head-to-toe.

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He could have cried easily but he kept it together.
 
“The best thing that happened to me because of my burns was, ‘I NEVER GAVE UP!'” 
bs-Preston
 
“I DO feel like a hero because I want to inspire other kids who are burned like me and give them hope.
I want to show them that their scars don’t have to stop them from doing anything.
I want to let every burn-survivor know that they don’t have to worry about their burns, but that they can feel normal like I do. 
That’s how I want to help everybody who is like me!”
I can’t imagine feeling like a hero at 15-years-old like Preston. 

Preston heroes a little bit every day.
It’s not a one-time thing.

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dawn
#catchingcourage #ryanshines

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)

Encouragement · Hope · wounded healer

It just didn’t matter anymore

Everybody knows Brody won’t take off his shirt.Brody2 CC

He won’t swim when all his friends are swimming because when he was a little boy he was horribly burned.

It was his chest that was seriously mangled.

He finally realized he can’t escape his scars unless he wore a shirt 24/7!

He could hide his scars under a shirt!

But what does Brody do when everyone goes shirtless?

Brody at hose CC

A few weeks ago I met Brody face-to-face at our “Catching Courage” event in Florida for burn survivors and firefighters.

To say he was in a league of his own would be an understatement.

He had something.

Don’t ask me what it was except to remind us that “The Lord works in mysterious ways!”

Brody is a wonder boy straight from the Heart of God. 

Ask anyone who knows him!

Brody is his own highlight reel on ESPN!

I could tell you BrodyStories all night, but let me just answer the earlier question about when things suddenly go shirtless.

Brody CC

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the dolphins.

We were in the dolphin pool at “Theater by the Sea,” during Catching Courage.

Brody, hanging back, looked at the other burn kids in the dolphin pool and you could see his brain working, you could feel his internal struggle.

He hesitated.

Then looked at the kids again and suddenly he stripped his shirt off.

He made a decision.

And with a big dose of courage, he ran into the water to swim with the dolphins!

The scars didn’t matter, and the insecurity was gone.

We all cheered him!

The Gift he gave us was his whole self!

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Hey Brody! You light my fire!

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 · Grief · Hope · wounded healer

Becoming a Blessings-girl

We finished talking about “Hope’s” answers to my deepest questions.

I hope you have learned as much as the boys and I have.  

road school
Colton & Trenton studying in the shadow of the Taj Mahal

Today our focus is about living in Blessings instead of crumbling under a Curse.

I usually think that it’s one or the other.

If you feel cursed, we tend to believe that it is the only reality within us.

Original Love

Like if you are angry, anger is the only reality in your life.

But you are MORE than your anger!  

I am MORE than my grief.

Getting through my own loss took more than a decade.

But I’ve changed. (It’s never too late).

present

I am a Blessings–Girl now.

Dawn                  

To be continued…

 

Faith · Hope · wounded healer · wounded Mother

The first heart to break

I believe that life is not selective and that all people, no matter who and where they are, are not singled out for disaster.hurricane

Think about Katrina in Louisiana or 9/11 in New York.

Are they SERIOUS when they call those disasters ‘‘acts of God’’?

When a disaster is so beyond explanation, ”It must be God-at-work.”

9:11

Think about it, we look at the destructive power of Nature, and we see that it’s out of control.

So we blame it on god. Even the insurance guys peddle protection against “acts of God.”

Do you really believe God singled out New Orleans and Manhattan?

Let me ask you a personal question.

Be honest.

Do you believe that God did and does all that chaos and damage, not to mention the killing?

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Ryan’s roadside cross in Texas 

I said it last week and I’m saying it again.

God’s is the first heart to break.

God’s is the first tear to fall.

dawn

 

Encouragement · Grief · Hope · wounded healer

Winter to Spring

It looks like I’m pondering in this pic. fullsizeoutput_457f.jpeg 

And I guess I am.

I’m pondering the weather.

When everything turns cold and bare, some of us tend to believe that it’s winter in our souls too.

It’s a kind of winter that seems like it will never end.

All the leaves on our Tree of Hope are gone, and we feel barren.

I have to admit that when Ryan was killed in the fire, it took years before there was anything green growing on my bare branches.

It’s when you think you have only one season in your life–winter.

And you get to where you stop expecting springtime and stay under the covers to sleep it off.

Maybe you’ve heard the voices in your head that keep saying, “Don’t get up, don’t get up!”

Can you identify?download

Or, is it like you have only one word in your vocabulary;  “Unfair!”

And it repeats like an echo.

Girl, I do understand the unfairness of life, and feeling like you’ve been robbed of your future.

You might be close to giving in or giving up.

That’s the bad news, but here’s the good news…Spring always follows Winter.

It’s as perennial as perennials.

And Spring is best spent with somebody you love. (“I” to “We”)

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Tyler(3)

Dawn

 

These are my thoughts today. Please join my daily Instagram @dawnraymondhirn