Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saying Good-Bye

He was 17, hard-working, loving, gregarious, funny, and intelligent. He had an extremely close, loving family, including grandparents, many uncles, aunts, cousins, and two older brothers, with whom he spent much time. In spite of these assets, he found himself lured into drugs less than 24 months ago. As he spiraled out of control, his family did everything humanly possible to pull him back from the clutches of drug abuse. He recently completed a 30-day inpatient treatment program at the widely-respected Hazelden treatment center. Ryan was hopeful and very much wanted to be free from the choke hold that addiction had on him. Sadly, he was unable to do so and was taken from us all too soon.

The past several days have crippled us all. We have never cried so many tears; for Ryan, and for our dear Mike and Molly. The funeral, though, was the most beautiful and healing that I have ever attended. The eulogy, a family collaboration offered by Ryan's brothers, was a salve for our tender hearts. Molly also wrote a letter to Ryan, which was shared at the service and which she encouraged me to use as part of this post...

To my Beautiful, Beautiful Boy, What can I say, Sweetie? I know you fought so hard. I know you didn't want to leave us. I know you loved us. I know you wanted to get well. And I am so very, very proud of how hard you tried. You didn't let me down, Baby. It's not your fault; it was just too strong.

I want you to know that will always remember you with a smile on your face. I will never forget the warm embrace of your strong arms. And I will forever hear the sound of your voice telling me you love me. You will carry me through.

Although your life was cut terribly short, you have given me enough memories to last a lifetime. You brought me more joy than any one person could possibly bring to another. You made my life worth living. I am who I am because of you.

I still plan to make your memory book for graduation. Only now, I will make four; one for Dad, one for Brandon, one for Austin, and I will keep yours. You left me with no shortage of things to include; you have done so many things that make us proud.

You, my beautiful Ryan, are the best gift that God has ever given me. I thank Him every day for you. And I know His arms are wrapped around you as tightly as mine would be.

You will not lie alone, Sweet Son. When God decides, I will lay down beside you, and we will rest together. You and me; mother and son.

Until then, you will be with me wherever I go. And in whatever I do, for the rest of my life.

So, rest easy, my son. I will see you in Heaven.
I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. Mom
Rest in Peace, Ryan, til we meet again...

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