When Joshua was first diagnosed and I started my blogging adventure, Meri was one of the first to welcome me on board and wrap her internet arms around me and surrurond me with love. Her blog was one of the ones that helped me to see my sons new diagnosis in a NEW light and in a workable light.
Ryan and Meri were an inspiration to Brian and I. We would read Meri's blog and I could be quoted as saying... If Meri can do this so can I. It wasn't long after that they became known in my home as just Meri and Ryan. There was no need for last names, no need for blog names... it was just Meri and Ryan. As though we had gone to college with them.
When Ryan was diagnosed earlier this year, Brian and I prayed for them, our children prayed for them and as we all did we opened up our other friends to their life and begged for prayers. We talked about them so much on FB that they started to just be known as Meri and Ryan accross all of FB. Their legacy in the life of all our friends and family will be there forever. I think that the number of people who have been touched by them is to large to even think about.
One day there may even be a 7 degrees away from Ryan and Meri... This may not have been the way they would want to impact the world but it was the path that was chosen for them.
Through Meri's journey over the last few months, we have had friends who have chosen to pray when prayer was not always their path, we have had friends learn more about what T1D is and its ability to affect multiple children in one family. We have had friends who have told me that it was a reminder to tell your spouse you love them every day, and in my own relationship... it has reminded me to be a better wife.. (or at least try) and to remind me to be grateful for what I have and not be concerned with the path I am on.
When I woke up on Sept 2nd we went to church and joined the rest of the DOC in prayer for healing and peace for Meri, Ryan and the boys. I went on with my day but they were there on my mind the entire day. Later when I opened Facebook, my heart stopped... It broke for Meri, for the boys and for everyone Ryan touched in his life. I had messages from my mom, messages from the DOC and messages from friends who had just heard about Ryan and Meri from FB and had added them to their prayer lists... almost all the same- Ryan was gone. Instantly tears started coming. Not for Ryan- but for those who were left here. For Meri who was spending the first night with out her husband. I have read stories that he tucked her in every night, that they were each others hobby, that they were everything to each other... That for the first time she would be with out the love of her life, her best friend and her puzzle piece. I cried for the boys- the 4 amazing children that he has helped mold in to gentlemen. I cried for the innocence that is lost when you loose a parent. I cried because no holiday will EVER be the same again. I cried in anger that God would choose to take this man from this family when there was clearly so much left for him to do here. I didn't know what to say to her... it all sounds so cliche... and yet... it was all we could say... and then we heard from Meri http://www.ourdiabeticlife.com/2012/09/aching.html and we learned that she did get her miracle. She says that:
"How everything happened last Sunday is so personal I can't write it down here, but I can tell you that without a doubt...we received our miracle.
I sit here completely humbled, and shocked. How God got away with this without me cursing him is the monumental miracle itself. Each detail of the last week was carefully seeded so that on the other side I could not deny this timeline was always set. It just wasn't for me to foresee."
Now my heart cries for the void that has been left, and for the doubts she has on her ability to get to the other side of this. She can do this! She is strong and her faith is so STRONG it will carry her through even when her feet cant. Today they layed Ryan to rest. So many of us wanted to be there but California is so very far away, and yet it felt wrong not to be there to support her and love her. We pray she is feeling all our love from afar. What is next for this family?? Ryan was the soul income for this family of 6. 4 growing boys 3 with a life threatening disease. In our family we pay over $870 in medical supplies to keep 2 type 1 diabetics alive A MONTH, I cant event dream of her out of pocket. In addition to the future expenses... they have Ryan's medical bills. They have food to put on a table, power to keep on, school supplies to shop for, and then you have life expenses to try and bring some sense of normal back to their life. I know this is the month you hear me beg you to give to our walk team and help us find a cure.. I know that will be helpful to all of us in the end, but this family needs you RIGHT NOW...Would consider donating to both, sharing your gift with each of us, giving to JDRF in October and to this family now? Find an option that will work for you.
ANY amount will make a difference in their life. Consider donating your starbucks for the week, or plan to buy this family pizza for a night if you are on a budget right now. Dont feel as though you have to give $1,000's by your self. We are reaching all our arms out and hugging them. "It takes a village"... and here is your chance...
My heart is aching for you right now. The legacy your husband has left is deeper then most people will ever leave. Ryan's STORY is one that has impacted people all over the world and will be carried in their heart forever. Your families faith, love and strength will be a lesson many will learn from and carry always. I know you have said that you don't know if you are strong enough.. you are... but you don't have to be the strongest one around. Allow others to be strong for you, relay on your faith for your strength. Allow Ryan to help guide you, allow God to carry you... Allow your friends to listen and cook and clean for you... We love you and pray for peace for you and your boys. That you will find a new normal for your life one day.
As I think of my own angel waiting for me in heaven 2 quotes always stick out to me.. They have carried me through some sad moments:
"May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other"
"Courage is Fear that has said it's prayers"