Live Loud ... Live Wild

Monday, May 19, 2014

Once we had the heart to start planning our son's service, I had it set in my mind that I wanted to write and deliver his eulogy. I didn't write it until the night before...and I just focused on Ryan as he was when he left us. It turned out just fine, and his service went beautifully. We had hundreds of red balloons that filled the church, lots of bubbles and ring pops. A giant stuffed Mickey Mouse held onto Ryan's ashes and large photos of our beautiful son smiled at everyone who came. 
Ryan loved balloons, bubbles and candy...he especially loved looking at himself whether it was in a mirror or photographs. While people started filing in and sitting down, I turned to my husband Dan and said "Ryan is loving this!".


Thank you to everyone who came. We couldn't believe how many people squished into the church to celebrate Ryan. It was heart warming and my husband and I felt every one's love and support. We feel so overwhelmingly grateful for the incredible people we have standing by our side and all of those who are thinking of us and praying. 

I wanted to share a glimpse of Ryan's funeral service and below is his eulogy & program. 


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We have a three and half year old son. His name is Ryan Cruz.

Ryan came into our lives at the tail end of the hottest summer we’ve ever known. They told us he would come out September 12…though the three of us couldn’t wait to be a family of 3 any longer. So, our baby boy was born on September 5th. Ryan greeted us with no cries, just lots and lots of fiery red hair. In fact, Ryan stayed pretty quiet until we got home…once we got home he made sure to make plenty of noise. Each day he showed us that even though he looked a lot like his daddy, he was extremely loud like his mother.

Ryan was never just a normal child. His personality lit up every room. He loved to be the center of attention and he loved to make his cousins laugh. If he wasn’t running full speed or playing sports he was playing board games or watching Disney movies. While watching Disney movies he would run and grab all his toys so he could re-enact the scenes. Ryan had toys for every movie, his current favorite was The Incredibles and his all time favorite was Cars. Ryan had every toy imaginable…and lots of shoes too. It was no secret that Dan and I loved to spoil our son. 

On a typical day Ryan would wake up before Dan and I. He would creep into our room to make sure we were sleeping and then grab his little iPad. He stayed quiet for a few minutes then he would crawl into our bed and yell “Its get up time!”. Dan would get up and I would take forever to get out of bed. As soon as I was in the kitchen making coffee, Ryan would come in and start grabbing things from the fridge to make his morning smoothie. He loved eating the frozen fruit and his favorite was picking out a colored straw. “I’m gonna have a geen one today mom.” he would tell me. Getting Ryan dressed for the day was my favorite and we would take photos of his outfits everyday. Dan always picked him up from school, and Ryan loved riding in “Daddy’s race car”. Those typical daily moments are what we will miss most.

Aside from Disney and running around, what Ryan loved most was his family. Ryan was very because, he was the only kid around with 3 sets of grand-parents, great-grandparents and more aunts, uncles and cousins than anyone. The best part was that Ryan had a special bond with each and every one you, and you all have your inside jokes and games with each other. Ryan has been known to play hard and he love hard. He loved giving giant hugs and big wet kisses. What we pray for is that you all never loose sight of the bond you had with our son. And may you always think about him with a smile. 

On Ryan’s last day we woke up early, stopped by Starbucks for a Chai latte and hot chocolate as usual, and then went to Disneyland. We had so much fun and he was able to ride the Cars ride for the first time. We ate churros and sent daddy lots of pictures and videos. It really was the best day. On our tram ride back to our car, I sent Dan a picture of Ryan just sitting there and a text that said “We really do have the coolest kid ever!”. Dan and I are so proud of Ryan, we will forever be proud of our son. 

Ryan left us entirely too soon. Although we don’t know the answer as to why he is gone, we can be happy that we were given three and half years with him. Our lives have been forever changed for the better because he came into our life. Let us take Ryan’s enthusiasm and spread his love. 



Together Dan and I stand here still a family of three. We have a three and half year old son. His name is Ryan Cruz. And we ask you to please, please continue to remember how incredible our child is. Promise that you will Live loud, live wild…Live like our Ryan Cruz. 


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Here are the programs, made by our extremely talented friend Heather of River and Bridge.





We also were able to wear the 'Sunshine Daydreams' t-shirt Ryan last wore. Thank you to my amazingly talented friend Sarah of Geo Fox Apparel for having these done for us. It meant the world to us. 


197 comments:

  1. I have no words. Just sending you lots of love. You will always always be a family of three. Y él nunca será olvidado. xoxox from Spain

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  2. So touching and heartfelt. Sending you so much love and support from LA xo

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  3. Your beautiful little guy will forever live in the hearts of all he's touched. May God continue to grant you and your family peace and serenity now, and always.
    Love, from Chino, CA.

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  4. Ryan will always be your son, and a part of your amazing family. He really is one of the coolest kids ever, and I love that he lived and loved so hard. His spirit and love for life is just so tangible, looking through your photos. He will be remembered often - every time we play shapes with the sidewalk chalk or make chocolate banana pops. You and Ryan have inspired so many fun times with my little ones. I have been thinking of you every day and sending so many prayers. I know that you will see Ryan again, and I know that he loves to see his Mommy and Daddy holding onto each other so tightly through all of this. I want to thank you for sharing his precious life through your blog. I am inspired to be a better mother, to be patient and appreciate each moment with my little ones, and to teach them to live loud and live wild, just like Ryan! Love and prayers from Canada

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  5. Sending love today and always to your beautiful family of three. I saw a little red-headed boy the other day and I thought of Ryan. I promise to keep him in my heart. Love!

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  6. May God forever bless you and your family. What an incredible little boy with an incredible story and legacy.

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  7. So beautiful!!!! Am sure he's lighting up heaven and giving the angels wet kisses :)

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  8. You're such a strong person, and you've inspired so many people! May my prayers reach you at this difficult time.

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  9. This is beautiful, Jacqui! Continued prayers and love from myself, Tony and the girls!

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  10. Just wanted you to know your faith is inspiring and the love you and Dan have showed through sharing Ryan's story has touched my life in such a way I will never understand. I have prayed for you daily and will continue to do so. Your strength is beautiful.

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  11. Such a beautiful and touching eulogy. What an incredible little kid, with some amazing parents! Sending much love from the UK

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  12. Your family has touched my heart deeply. I have a two and a half year old son (almost 3) and he sounds like Ryan in so many ways. I will continue to remember your son, and cherish every moment that I have with mine. The world is better for Ryan being in it. Continued prayers and strength to you and Dan. I know I will continue to try and live loud and wild in his memory. Love to you and your family. -Cate

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  13. Such a beautiful tribute to your little man. I'm so sorry for your loss. My cousin lost her almost 3 year old almost 9 months ago. I wish I could tell you the pain isn't as strong with time but it is. Luckily for both you and my cousin, you have an amazing support team in place. Your son will never be forgotten and neither will his parents! I know you don't know me but if you ever need anything please let me know. You have so many people on this journey along side you, so please don't feel like you're alone! Love to you and your husband and sweet Ryan Cruz!

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  14. I didn't know Ryan but your love for him is so strong! He is the coolest kid around! I've been hugging my guy (London-- 19 months) a little tighter each night. RIP Ryan.

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  16. So beautifully written. What an amazing little boy. Sending love & prayers from Quartz Hill, CA.

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  17. Jacqui Jacqui!! Thank you so much for writing a blog on this. We are so very blessed because you have shared your beautiful son with us. I just left you a comment on IG earlier this morning asking you to continue blogging, and I am so happy that you are sharing your memories, thoughts, and love with us. We will always be here for you, even when the dark days come and all you want to write about is pain. Thank you again for allowing us all to become a family through your story and your son. God Bless! Rest in heaven Ryan! <3 Granada Hills, Ca

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  18. I just wanted to send you my condolences and tell you that you are truly an inspiration. Looking through your instagram feed, it was obvious how much love you and your husband have for your son and it breaks my heart that this tragedy had to happen to you and your family. Your strength and love shines on through your instagram and this blog post and as sappy as it all sounds, you honestly make me want to be a better person. I never knew Ryan, but I have fallen in love with him and will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers <3.

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  19. Ryan and your family have left a permanent mark on my soul. Over the last few days my heart has felt a mixture of sorrow and hope for you. I don't know you, but I stand by you, and I will never forget Ryan. I ordered the Sunshine Daydream tee for my daughter, along with the Remember Ryan tee. We will think of him often, and we'll call on him for help in understanding this life, this world. We will also do our best to live loud and live wild. Thank you for the reminder. And thanks so, so much for sharing your story with us. An aside: a good friend of mine died of cancer in his 30s a few years ago. His father told me that he talked to Dino often. Once he asked Dino, "What's it like over there?" And he said Dino answered, "There is no there...just here". That brought me so much solace. Ryan is here.

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  20. How beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing such amazing words. Thinking of and praying for all of you.

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  21. I don't know you personally, and live across the other side of the world, but your story has touched my heart. I am sorry you have lost your beautiful boy, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with all of us. I wish you love and hope for the future, I will hug my children tonight and think of your lovely flame haired wee man who is watching down on his incredible parents. Look after yourselves. Much love.

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  22. Hello, I came across your Instagram... And am just completely at a loss for words.. I can't imagine the pain you are feeling and I pray that each day gets easier and brighter. June 2012 my husband and I miscarried identical twins. It felt so unreal. Being able to see our two creations and knowig we wouldn't ever get to meet them.. We planned our wedding after in hopes to try again... June 2013.. We ended up miscarrying again.. Not knowing or understanding why God would make us go through the repetitive heartache we knew that we still had each other and gained 3 angels up above... This past Christmas Eve, 12-24-13... We found ourselves pregnant again, I guess you can say, third time was a charm.... I call it a blessing... I am now 6 months pregnant with our son, Hayden Ryan. When I read your eulogy aloud, my son was kicking my like crazy..... I read the first paragraph- and paused.... Our Hayden's due 9/5/14... When I read that your Ryan's birthday is the same I just was filled with smiles. Your son is living and alive, he will continue to give you signs, and allow you to know he is still with you and around you. I pray for comfort in your household. Here's a poem I used to read on my days where the losses my husband and I went through made me the weakest, each time I read these words, I felt immediate comfort in my heart..

    -Daddy please don't look so sad,
    Mommy please don't cry.
    I am in the arms of Jesus
    And He sings me lullabies.
    Please do not try to question God
    Don't think He is unkind.
    Don't think He sent me to you,
    And that He changed his mind.
    You see, I am special
    And I'm needed up above.
    I'm the special child you gave Him,
    The product of your love.
    I'll always be there with you.
    So watch the sky at night.
    Find the brightest star that's gleaming.
    That's my halo's brilliant light.
    So daddy, please don't look so sad.
    Mommy please don't cry.
    I am in the arms of Jesus.
    And He sings me lullabies.

    Red balloons for Ryan Cruz

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  23. Thank you so much for sharing this. Beautiful. You guys have not left my thoughts for the past two weeks. Ryan has touched so many. Although, I never met him- I surely will never forget his precious face and perfect red curls. Sending you lots of love.

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  24. love from orange. your beautiful son lives on and you are absolutely a family of three. we have two children here on earth with us and one in the next - we are a family of five in my mind and i keep our angel daughter alive by remembering her out loud and finding her in the beauty around us. ryan cruz, you made an impact and you are loved. wishing you comfort in your amazing memories and in each other. love + peace, ryan's momma and daddy.

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  25. Sending hugs and prayers to your family. A beautiful service to celebrate a beautiful and special little boy.

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  26. Ryan's mom, you just may be the strongest woman I've ever known. While we don't know each other, I want you to know that you and your son have a place in my heart. If I could take your pain away I would. Please find even the smallest bit of comfort in knowing that Ryan will be remembered all the way over here in Rhode Island. Keep blogging, we'll keep reading. Love, Harry's mom.

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  27. This is beautiful and Ryan is beautiful. We will forever remember him and his beautiful red hair. I'm sorry he was taken so soon. I am lost for words writing this. I wish you and your husband nothing but happiness from here on out. Ryan lives on forever.

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  28. I've been checking your site daily to see if you post and today you did. I am so sorry for your loss. He really did look like a very cool kid. My heart hurts for you two. Beautiful what you wrote.

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  29. To the Cruz family: So sorry for your devastating loss. My heart breaks for you because I know how this feels. . I hope you decide to have another child one day. It really helped me when I was in the same situation a few years back. Of course, no one else can ever replace your precious Ryan, but you clearly still have so much love to give another child. Give yourself time to grieve. Please know many are praying for you. Hang in there. It does get better.

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  30. Your strength through all this has been such an inspiration. Your story has truly touched many, not just by those who can relate to your pain, but to those who admire your strength and the love you have for your child. You are truly blessed in many ways. Ryan is also blessed to have such great parents. God Bless your family. Ryan will forever live on through you both and through the hearts he has touched.

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  31. Such a beautiful tribute to your son! You have been on my heart since I heard your story, and every time I think of you and the loss you have had to endure, I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I don't even know what to say because nothing I could say could ease your hurt. Just know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. <3

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  32. Thank so much for sharing these beautiful words. your son sounds like an amazing little boy. still continuing to pray for your family.

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  33. Such a beautiful and touching eulogy, thank you for sharing it with us Jacqui!! Be sure your amazing baby boy will ALWAYS be remembered! Ryan Cruz Saldana, the coolest kid ever <3
    Sending much love and support to you and your family - Salomé from Paris

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  34. I have been thinking of you since I read Nienies blog a couple of weeks ago. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us. My prayers and thoughts are with you. What an amazing mother you are! HUGS from Florida. :)

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  35. So sorry for your loss. Your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  36. What and amazing eulogy for sweet Ryan. He has touched so many lives. I will continue to pray for him and your family but I want to tell you how incredibly remarkable you are. What a blessed little boy to have you as his Mommy.

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  37. I'm sorry for your loss. I had not heard about your blog or family until after the fact, but I can clearly see that a beautiful sweet angel had graced this earth, spreading love, joy and happiness with his bright red hair. I wish you and your family lots of love and light during this time--life is precious, especially that special boy who loved balloons.

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  38. I am blessed to have known about your family and see your perfect love. I swear to embrace the message of your sons life and to keep him alive in my mind and heart. The three of you hold a special place in my heart and at the root of that is love. You all are in my prayers...I send you love.

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  39. Wow…you are truly amazing, inspiring, brave, honest, and so many other wonderful adjectives! I have been looking forward to your next blog, hanging onto every iG post, and praying for sweet signs from our Savior telling me and hopefully you and your hubby that Ryan’s spirit is still very much alive and with us all. My husband and I have been speaking often of your tragic story and being a man and woman of what we have always said “strong faith,” we both admitted that if put in your shoes our faith would definitely be shaken. Questions like “what can beauty can come from this?” “What is our story or the plan for us going to be?” We can only imagine what glorious plan God has in store for you two and how we look forward to discovering his plan right alongside you both…well from a far OC to be exact. I know for us (my husband and I) your story has taught us what I think the most important lesson that I believe we will ever learn…allow your children to be little, adventurous, free, loud, and most of all be there by their side and enjoy it along with them. Although I do not know you personally it is so obvious through your blog and IG that your boy was loved to the moon and back…and more! His smile showed it all. My husband and I took our 2 boys (Gavin 3 and Owen 1) to Disneyland last night and I told my husband that it would have been so lovely to run into your sweet family of 3 while in line for Buzz. My Gavin surely would have gotten a kick out of Ryan and I am certain we would have joined into conversation as most mothers do. Your little man’s story has rocked every piece of momma heart, body, and soul! I am so sorry that it took the sacrifice of your little boy to wake me up and challenge me to be an even better mom than I was. I hope that the coming years you are able to meet and hear from people all over this world that have been so incredibly touched by your story and bravery through it all. I think of you, your boy, and husband often actually hourly to tell you the truth and you are in my prayers during my morning and afternoon commute. I hope you believe in your heart that the love and prayers will continue even as the days, weeks, and month pass by. Your boys’ legacy will live in the hearts of so many forever. My husband and I vow to be your prayer warriors for the rest of our lives. Great job momma from one mom to another I am so incredibly proud of you. Cheers to the plans God has planned for you guys! Hoping one day I do run into you in line at Disneyland and I get to tell you in person how truly lovely you really are. – Carly Gomez (ig name carlygomez321).

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  40. Beautiful words... Ryan is definitely the coolest little angel shining down from up above!

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  41. You are the strongest most amazing parents I've ever seen. Ryan is always here and always making us smile. I hope you and I get the chance to chat again someday. I really did enjoy my time with you (and Ryan), sipping Starbucks and walking around looking at fun cooking & crafting supplies. It was a great morning and I'd love to do it again sometime.
    xo. Tara

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  42. I came across a pic of your family on IG and was drawn to the Reds since I have some too :) When I read why a friend had posted your picture, I broke into tears! As I scrolled through your blog and IG in the following days I wondered why God would allow this to happen to a family whose love is felt in every image. Ryan’s program beautifully sums it up.
    I saw a comment that said it isn't about the amount of years lived but the amount of life lived in those years. It brought a smile to my heart because Ryan was blessed with two loving parents who have given him the best life.
    I have never been as broken hearted by a story of someone I do not know, as I do by Ryan. I know I am not alone in this feeling. I keep thinking what a wonderful soul he has to touch so many people. I continue to pray for your strength and I will not forget your son. I hug my boys a little tighter for Ryan and will let them live a little louder! What more do we wish for as moms than to be sure our babies are happy? There is so much proof you have done that for your smiling son.


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  43. Praying for you and your family. You have such touching words. What a beautiful boy! Why things happen the way they do, we sometimes just don't understand God's meaning. I hope and pray the best for you!
    xo

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  44. may the smiles soon outweigh your tears.
    you are forever a mama. forever ryans.
    so many hugs to you and dan.
    xxo

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  45. Your strength is amazing!!!!! These beautiful words are so true and honest and loving! Thinking of you all!

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  46. Thank you for sharing your beautiful baby boy with us. This has really hit home with me as I have a little boy the same age as Ryan and I can not even fathom what you and your family are going through. I am so sorry for your loss but know we are all praying for you!!! Sending lots of love from Seattle Washington!!! XXXXX

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  47. I am in awe of your strength and grace and ability to be so very open with complete strangers. To allow us to share a small piece of your beautiful sons life and death. Thank you. Thank you for, without intention, reminding me to be thankful for each and every moment, for each and every breath. Even the hard moments, the bad days, the scariest situations; I am thankful. I am so very sorry for the pain you feel. I cannot begin to understand, but I hope you can take some solace in knowing how many lives you and your son have touched, how many perfect strangers have celebrated his life this past week. I see Ryan's picture every time I log into Instagram...and I smile because his smile is contagious and I feel like I knew him. Thank you for sharing him with all of us.

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  48. I am in awe of your strength and grace and ability to be so very open with complete strangers. To allow us to share a small piece of your beautiful sons life and death. Thank you. Thank you for, without intention, reminding me to be thankful for each and every moment, for each and every breath. Even the hard moments, the bad days, the scariest situations; I am thankful. I am so very sorry for the pain you feel. I cannot begin to understand, but I hope you can take some solace in knowing how many lives you and your son have touched, how many perfect strangers have celebrated his life this past week. I see Ryan's picture every time I log into Instagram...and I smile because his smile is contagious and I feel like I knew him. Thank you for sharing him with all of us.

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  49. Jacqui, from the bottom of my heart- thank you so much for sharing your baby boy with us. You wrote such beautiful words for Ryan. His spirit is awe inspiring and has touched people's lives from around the world, including mine :) Those of us who are strangers to your family still find ourselves loving your son- and we only got to know him through pictures and stories- a truly incredible little boy. Love spreads like wildfire- the kind of fire that exuded from Ryan. I promise to live loud and live wild in honor of your son. He has touched my heart and soul, and is here to stay. Mama, we love you. Keep loving fearlessly, keep remembering, keep smiling, and keep it RAD. You are an inspiration to us all! <3 Sending only good vibes everyday, and lots of electronic ((hugs)) from Arizona. XOXO

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  50. I've been thinking about you guys constantly. I'm so sorry sweet lady. If he is even half as sweet and enthusiastic as you are, he was one cool kid. Praying for you lots. Much love.

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  51. Jacqui, I read this out loud to my six year old daughter who keeps asking me about Ryan since I told her about him the day I heard about it, she just saw me weeping as I read and she said "mommy why are your crying, he is in a better place", she also said to tell you Ryan Cruz is cute and his mommy is pretty:) it is amazing how little ones see things. I can not even begin to imagine
    the pain of your loss or how much you will miss him or why this has happened to your family, I know you do not know me and that you are probably overwhelmed with all of the comments you have received but I wanted to tell you that your son has touched my heart, you definitely gave him a wonderful life... what a beautiful mommy you are and what a beautiful boy you have. thank you for touching our hearts with your strength.

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  52. you are such a brave, beautiful momma and you always will be. lots of love and prayers for you and dan and the rest of your family. ryan will never be forgotten. xoxoxoxo

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  53. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing

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  54. Jacqui, thank you so much for being so brave and sharing this with us. You have all been in our hearts and on our minds constantly. We won't ever forget Ryan. Such beautiful words and such an amazing way to remember your sweet boy. Lots of love and hugs to you & Dan. <3

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  55. I am in awe of your strength and Dan's. Not a day has gone by since his untimely death that I don't think of sweet, beautiful Ryan. I've told all my friends to remember him, to keep his memory alive. We love you and are with you. Your red balloon campaign reminded me of this poem. I found the metaphor comforting; although I cannot even begin to fathom your pain, perhaps you will too:

    Red Balloon Rising
    By Laurel Blossom

    I tied it to your wrist
    With a pretty pink bow, torn off
    By the first little tug of wind.
    I’m sorry.

    I jumped to catch it, but not soon enough.
    It darted away.

    It still looked large and almost within reach.
    Like a heart.

    Watch, I said.
    You squinted your little eyes.

    The balloon looked happy, waving
    Good-bye.

    The sky is very high today, I said.
    Red went black, a polka dot,

    Then not. We watched it,
    Even though we couldn’t

    Spot it anymore at all.
    Even after that.

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  56. I am in awe of your strength and Dan's. Not a day has gone by since his untimely death that I don't think of sweet, beautiful Ryan. I've told all my friends to remember him, to keep his memory alive. We love you and are with you. Your red balloon campaign reminded me of this poem. I found the metaphor comforting; although I cannot even begin to fathom your pain, perhaps you will too:

    Red Balloon Rising
    By Laurel Blossom

    I tied it to your wrist
    With a pretty pink bow, torn off
    By the first little tug of wind.
    I’m sorry.

    I jumped to catch it, but not soon enough.
    It darted away.

    It still looked large and almost within reach.
    Like a heart.

    Watch, I said.
    You squinted your little eyes.

    The balloon looked happy, waving
    Good-bye.

    The sky is very high today, I said.
    Red went black, a polka dot,

    Then not. We watched it,
    Even though we couldn’t

    Spot it anymore at all.
    Even after that.

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. I have thought about your sweet family everyday since I heard the news. I felt even more connected as I read your blog post. My son is 1.5 yrs old. He was due Sept 12, born Sept 5th also. We will think of Ryan every year on their birthdays!

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  59. I lost my sister to a sudden illness this year. I wish I could give you a hug because I know words don't help. So a virtual hug to you and peace be with you.

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  60. I have never met you guys but I have been praying for you. Thank you for the awesome post about Ryan! Hugs to you both ❤️

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  61. I have read this post twice now. I don't know you & will probably never meet you but just know you have impacted my life. I will think of you and your son everyday! So many hugs to you. xoxo

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  62. So much love to you all.
    I love the program and what you ask every one to do in memory of Ryan. Beautiful boy.

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  63. This is beautiful. So full of love and life. I truly believe that his three years on earth had so much purpose. Thank you for sharing him with the world, he has truly touched and changed the hearts of so many people. I believe that some things happen to cause change in this universe, his life has changed mine and so so so many others. The was you parent and love as a mother has inspired me. Not just because he passed but because of the way you lived your life with him and the way it was expressed so beautifully through your words and pictures. Know that he is loved by the world and his life will always be remembered. XOXOXO

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  64. You are such an amazing woman. I admire your strength, and have not stopped thinking about Ryan since I first heard about that beautiful little redhead who's life was taken way too soon. My son's birthday is in September also... We will say a special birthday wish for your sweet boy. Thank you for reminding us to live and love freely. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  65. Your braveness and strength shine, Jacqui!! I have thought about and prayed for you all every single day. The way you love Ryan and the way you show and document it through your blog and instagram have inspired thousands and thousands of people. Ryan's radiant smile and the video of him belting out the biggest belly laugh is embedded in my heart forever. We are living louder and more wild than ever in honor of you and Ryan... and what the heck, I'm buying those Disney passes I've always strayed away from. YOU, DAN AND RYAN are incredible people. I am so, so very grateful I came across your story. You've changed our lives forever. Stay strong..... Prayers every day for you and your family.

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  66. This is beautiful...I hope you and your husband know how many lives you have touched with your story...Ryan will for ever live in our hearts!!!

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  67. God clearly has given you incredible strength. We will continue to pray for you and your family.

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  68. My heart hurts so very much for your beautiful little family. The love you have for your son and the bond you share with him is so obvious in your words. I'm sending you guys so much love and thinking of your family every day, as we all are. I didn't know him, but his personality is clear in every photo and every passage you've written about him, he truly is an incredible little boy. There are no words that could possibly change what you're feeling for a second, and I wish I could bear your pain with you. Sending your family love always.

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  69. I know that you don't know me, I am just a fellow blogger who happened to see posts about Ryan one night on instagram. That night changed my life forever. I have tears pouring down my face right now as I read this. I have wept for you several times and prayed every single day. Your little boy's life cut short too soon, has made me all the more aware of my own two little ones' lives and to be attentive and joyful in every moment with them (even the rough ones). I know that I will always remember your little Ryan (who I only wish that I had the opportunity to meet in person...he seems like such a character. And I can only imagine how he could light up a room). You have shown us all how strong people can be in the face of the worse kind of tragedy. Thank you for that. I will continue to pray for you and your husband often. Your son is so beautiful and his story will never end.

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  70. Thank you for sharing. That was such a beautiful post that left me in tears. Your son just seems like the most amazing, silliest, sweetest little boy! I have been praying for you daily that you will be carried through this and you will feel your son with you. We will never forget your sweet little boy. My heart just hurts for you. From one mama to another, lots of love.

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  71. This is beautiful! I teared up as I read this. Continue to stay strong and carry on the love of your beautiful son, Ryan Cruz. I know you don't know me, but the story of your son touched me deeply.

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  72. Thanks so much for sharing such an intimate look into the service you had for your son, it was beautiful! I've been so sad following your story, but also blessed by how you are keeping his precious spirit alive.
    There are no words to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. XO

    I am attaching a link to a sermon by my pastor, Greg Boyd (Woodland Hills church St.Paul, MN),
    he helped a grieving mom some years back when she lost her son. She thought it was God that took him from her, she thought it was "God's plan" that he died. I'm only sharing because this sermon helped Jessica SO so much. And renewed her hope!!!! (the video is at the bottom of Jessica's blog post about Henry).

    Blessings to you and your family!

    http://jessicakelley.com/henrys-story/

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  73. Jacqui,
    Thank for sharing this with us. My heart aches for you - there hasn't been a single day when I haven't thought of your beautiful boy Ryan. We lost our first son Cameron and I remember that my deepest fear was that people would forget about him or forget that I was a mother even though my little boy had died. Know that your beautiful Ryan will never be forgotten, and that you will always be his beautiful mother. I wish with all my heart he were still with you.
    Love,
    Ronnie xo

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  74. You take My Breath away,Your Beautiful Boy Ryan and You have not left My Mind for two Weeks now and never will!What a Love Story You have as a Family,You are so Strong,do whatever it takes to stay that way!I know I have hugged My Little Girl a little tighter,a little longer because of Ryan,and Always will!He will never be forgotten,He has touched so many Forever!:)**8,Love Bree!

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  75. Jacqui and Dan, I am sending my love all the way from Australia.
    Hearing about what happened to Ryan shocked and saddened me so much.
    I don't know you or your husband personally but from what I've read about you/read in your blogs you both were the most devoted and loving parents to Ryan.
    Ryan will never be gone, he will live forever in both yours and Dans' heart - and noone can ever take him from there.
    Abbie XXX

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  76. Thanks to this great man of spirit called Dr Samura which I don't know how to thank him for the good work he has Don for me and family which I want to share my testimony with to you all so I was married to Hassan Moel and my name is Julie deshields for six years now he left me with two kids with know reason which I don't know what to do so one day i was in my friends place when I exposed my pain to her about my depression which I have be looking for who to help me out of it then my friend called me closer to her self telling me on how she got this great man of spirit who helped her found her way to get her husband back then I ask of his contact she quickly go and get her computer and gave me his Email ID and his number so,that is how I contacted him for a help. And now am so happy with my family and with a happy home if you are in such pain kindly Via Email SAMURATELLERSPELL100@YAHOO.COM or call +2348103508204 have faith in him and he will help you
    Via web site {http://samuratellerspell.webs.com/}
    Julie Deshields.

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  77. You were chosen by Ryan to be his parents for a reason. . . when I got pregnant I heard one cannot really chose to get pregnant until a baby chooses you as his/her parents. And so you were the CHOSEN by Ryan and that is so special. You are the parents to such a special child. . .grab on to that.
    The memories and the chance to have him in your life for 3.5 years, the joy with which he filled your life is a gift and nobody can ever take that away from you.
    I have a 3 yr old too. He was born on January, 2nd 2011, and a 6 year old girl. Your story, your pictures have impacted my life to an extend you cannot imagine.
    I have cried with you, I have prayed for you and I would like to know that one day you feel better... Thousands of children around the world are being hugged and loved thinking of Ryan around the world, so a little bit of Ryan love has been spread all over the world now. . .
    Thank you for sharing your story.

    xxxEva from Madrid (Spain)

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  78. he is such an amazing kid. i can't stop thinking about him. "live loud, live wild" - i live my life according to these words, everyday. kisses from poland. stay strong!

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  79. Thinking of your family from Kansas City, Missouri. I cannot imagine.

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  80. Everyday I think of you and Dan and Ryan. Everyday I remind my husband how precious this time is and how little we have of it. Everyday, I wonder how is it possible that two people can be so strong and so brave. Everyday, I tell myself to slow down and remember to live. xo

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  81. Lifting you up in prayer and thinking of you and your adorable son daily. Sending love from Georgia!

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  82. I have had you and your family in my thoughts and all of my prayers since I heard of this unspeakable tragedy.

    Being a mother of two young boys I cant even imagine what you must be going through. Just know that all of us that have been touched by your story will be praying for you. That we all stand behind you and will be more than willing to give you any support you may need in this hard time. My heart is broken for you and your husband.

    You both are forever in our hearts. Sending you all of the love in the world!

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  83. I am so sorry about this horrible thing that has happened to you guys. I will pray for you and hope that someday your pain is bearable and that God gives you somehow the strength to make it through until that time. Your little boy was truly so beautiful and I think it was wonderful of you to share your beautiful eulogy with people, some of whom might be going through losses of their own, others who join you in celebrating the blessing that was, and is, your little boy. Good luck to you guys.

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  84. He is one cool kid who is inspiring so many to live loud and live wild. Lifting you guys up...and praying you through the pain.

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  85. What a lovely boy, what a strong family... I admire you so much. Sending you love from Milan, Italy.

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  86. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. You, Dan and Ryan have been on my mind and heart for days. I am continuing to pray for peace and strength for you and your family. Ryan was so incredibly beautiful and so are you. God bless your heart.

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  87. Thinking of you and your precious family, adding love and prayers to this virtual mountain of support from San Pedro, CA.
    LL

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  88. Your story first touched my heart when a friend of mine from Oregon posted the go fund me site for your family. She had said that your husband and her boyfriend were childhood friends. I felt an immediate tug on my heart to dig a little deeper. I felt bonded to you instantly and I still can't figure out why. I shared your go fund me site on my blog page and my facebook and it is one of the biggest responses I have ever gotten - people really want to help and support you and your beautiful family any way possible. I have faced my own tragedy a brother killed in Iraq at 20, my mom passes 3 years ago at 57 years old from breast cancer, and my 21 year old baby brother was killed in a fatal car accident just shy of a month after our mom. It hurts so much and never makes sense and no matter what anyone has gone through - they don't feel the pain like you do. I cannot imagine losing a child and I think about how my dad must feel all the time. Your family is beautiful and no doubt Ryan is shining down on you every single day. Your whole family is inspiring and touching people's lives...look at all the work your Ryan is still doing.

    Someone once told me it doesn't get better when you lose someone, but it gets different. It will get different for you, but never stop talking to Ryan, feeling him around you, and smiling at the memories you have. I love that you say you're still a family of three, because yes, indeed you are.

    Sending lots of love, good vibes, and healing energy to you and your loved ones!

    That Comfort Girl

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  89. thank you so much for sharing this ...i will keep you and your family in my prayers ...Ryan looks a little like my 2 year old and ever since i read your story , i certainly have appreciated my time spent with my daughter more than ever. He was absolutely beautiful and will always be remembered. keep doing the things you love doing and keep his memory alive ...stay strong and remember you will see him again...Revelation 21:3,4 ..God promised of the resurrection hope where you will be reunited with your Ryan ...until then keep strong and remember we are all here for you

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  90. Such a beautiful eulogy to a beautiful son.

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  91. Like so many of us hear who have commented your family are continually in my thoughts and prayers. No one will ever forget your son or the lasting impact he has had. Your eulogy was beautiful! My family is also no stranger to loss, my Aunt lost 2 babies one at 6 months and 1 at 3 months, my cousin at 20 was stabbed in the chest on Mother's Day and I lost my brother when I was three. His birthday is May 8th and we always talk about him and remember his spirit on that day. Since we lost my cousin on Mother's Day the weekend before we get together and remember his spirit and celebrate his mother. I pray that your family finds a way to cope with this loss and that they get together every year to remember what a wonderful child Ryan is and that his spirit will always be remember with such joy and that his happiness through your blog and social media touch other people. My cousin who was a mother of 4 and who passed in December from Breast Cancer is watching over your son and my loved ones who passed. Just know you have people who support you and pray for you. My prayers are with you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  92. thinking of all of you in Austin, Texas. thank you for sharing your beautiful words about your beautiful boy.

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  93. Beautiful. Prayers and love to you and your husband.

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  94. That was beautiful and strong. I will always keep you in my prayers, and remember your little boy who touched the world, that is pretty amazing. Thank you for sharing your story, your son was blessed to have you as parents and you two to have him as a son. May God Bless you in your future journey.

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  95. you are amazing and so brave. SO brave.

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  96. Your family is in everyone's thoughts & prayers. So happy to hear Ryan had such a beautiful memorial, I'm sure he loved it. Praying you'll have strength & growing courage during this time.
    Xxx

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  98. Jacqui and Dan thank you for sharing your beautiful son with us. A friend of mine in the San Fernando Valley shared what happened to Ryan and being a Godmother to two beautiful kids (they are also my niece and nephew) I was so heartbroken. Not a day has passed since I haven't thought of you guys and praying that God is comforting you two and your entire family. I will definitely Live Loud and Live Wild like your Ryan and encourage everyone I know to do so. Keeping you all in my heart and thoughts. Love from NYC, Erika

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  99. Thank you so much for sharing with us. You guys have been on my mind since I found out about your sweet little angel. I have prayed countless time for you and Dan and will continue to do so - lots of love from NYC - Cyn.

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  100. Thank you for sharing your sweet boy with us. You can see how vibrant he is just by looking at him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  101. Hugs and love to you. So sorry for your huge loss.

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  102. Love, Hugs and many Prayers sent your way! Remembering Ryan always and keeping you all close in my heart!

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  103. Beautiful words you shared. I'm sending you love and prayers and strength.

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  104. i came across your story and it broke my heart to read that such a young and innocent life has gone to heaven so soon, i can`t imagine what is like, even thought i am a mother too, but the loss of a child is something only the affected parents can understand. I hope you can find a way to live on with this heartbreaking reality, knowing that you gave your son your all, happiness, love and attention, and he lived a happy life. All the best wishes for your family. I am deeply sorry for your loss. :(

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  105. What strength you have to share your story of the gift of your son. Thinking of all of you tonight and remembering you in my prayers.

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  107. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words about your son. The way that you describe your daily routines is perfect. These memories are yours forever. There is definitely something very special about Ryan that captivates everyone who knows him. Although I have never met you, your family has been in my thoughts every day. I will continue to send positive vibes and strength for you and all of Ryan's family and friends old and young.

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  108. Jacqui, Reading the eulogy your wrote for you son, Ryan, brought tears to me eyes for your loss and had me awe struck by your courage and strength, what you wrote was truly incredible. You are incredible. I have never met Ryan but it is easy to see from his pictures the type of boy he was and the amount of love he was surrounded by, Ryan was a very lucky boy to have you as his Mom and your Husband as his Dad. I hope you and Dan give eachother strength throughout your healing and never forget the love that brought you together and the love that allowed you both to create your beautiful son. As you said, you will forever be a family of three. Reach out to eachother, hold eachother, remember together, laugh and cry and scream together...Don't ever lose that. Thinking of you both...Live Loud, Live Wild...from a fellow fiery redhead in Ontario, Chrissy.

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  109. Your story touched me so deeply. Your eulogy is beautiful. Ryan was and still is a coolest kid ever. Thank you for sharing your awesome son with us. I will remember him forever.

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  110. Sending love to you and your sweet Ryan from St. Louis, MO. I have two little ones, including one with wild, curly hair and a huge personality, and you have reminded me to slow down and cherish every moment. Thank you for having the courage and generosity to share. You are truly an amazing mom.

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  111. God Bless you and your family, and your precious son.

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  112. Live Loud Live Wild forever! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and you're extended family at this unthinkable time. Sending love from London, England from one family of 3 to another. x

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  113. Such a beautiful boy.. Sending you so many hugs from Ireland, Katiexxxxx

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  115. Death is nothing at all.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    I am I and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we are still ......
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you for an interval.
    Somewhere very near, just around the corner.
    All is well.
    'Death is nothing at all' by Canon Henry Scott-Holland.¨
    There's not enough time or enough words in a lifetime to tell to Ryan how we love him and we will never forget him. NEVER. He has changed our lives forever : every night since 2 weeks I fall asleep with my daughters in my arms and my heart thinking about Ryan.
    Rip little red angel.
    Fly, fly with you red balloon among the stars....
    Beautiful family of three forever. Jacqui and Dan, smile for him, he is happy !
    Families are forever, families are eternal
    Promise you that we will Live loud, live wild…Live like wonderful Ryan Cruz.
    With all our love and prayers from FRANCE.
    Mom Audrey and Flavie, 3 years old, Nina baby 4 months and Dad Hervé.

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  116. Lots of love from Cyprus. You and your boy have touched my heart so deeply as I am a mother to a little three year old boy too. i dedicated a post to ryan on my blog because his story has made me realise how precious life is.
    You are an inspiration and I will continue to send you love.
    take care and be well.

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  117. "The morning glory blooms but an hour and yet it differs not at heart from the giant pine that lives for a thoztsand years."Matsunaga T
    You are amazing parents.Congratulations for the way of thinking and believing.You are so brave! Your little boy is a magical creature. Such a small but beautifull life! I am so sorry for your loss...You are in my heart and my mind all those difficult days! You and he...We sent you hugs from Greece.We have two Red ballons in our garden tree...Ryan's ballons...

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  118. "Live loud, live wild" esa será mi frase de vida. Jacqui, Dan, no saben lo triste que estoy desde que leí sobre el viaje que ha hecho su Ryan. A mi me encataba ver sus fotos, ver el amor que le dabas a él y la manera cómo le diste ese carácter tan propio a él, no es solamente que era un niño particular, es también el hecho que tan chiquito, tuvo la capacidad de llenar el corazón (incluso de desconocidos) con tan solo una sonrisa, su mirada y la manera en cómo se notaba que amaba a su mami y a su papi. Gracias por compartir todo esto con nosotros, que somos desconocidos para ustedes. Yo no soy mamá todavía, espero un día serlo y espero tener un nene, es mi sueño! y espero que ese nene tenga esa ganas de vivir que Ryan nos ha dejado como recuerdo. Jacqui, miro tus fotos y no me puedo imaginar tu dolor. Quiero que sepas Jacqui que yo recuerdo a Ryan todos los días, antes me divertía tanto ver sus fotos aquí, ahora él es un angelito que me da mucha alegría y fuerza, lo tengo en mi corazón, los tengo a ustedes 3 en mi corazón.
    Gracias Jacqui. Eres la mejor!

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  119. I have no words. It's so beautiful. I will thinking of you, for always. I will never forget Ryan, I promise. With all my love

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  120. Beautiful Eulogy. It was a church filled with love for you and your family. You are a strong woman and delivered the eulogy so beautifully and from the heart. I could feel the love in that church. I will continue to think about your sweet Ryan and will live loud and live wild! Hugs to you all.

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  121. What a beautiful tribute to an amazing little boy. Your eulogy to him was beautiful. I'm so sorry that Ryan isn't here with you physically anymore. I do believe he is all around, embracing you in his love. Like you, I talked at my daughter's funeral. I knew her better than anyone else, and I needed everyone to know just how amazing she truly was. Violet was only 5 months old when she was taken from us, and we lost her in a very different way than you lost your Ryan. But, like Ryan she was taken suddenly and unexpectedly. I want you to know that you aren't alone in this journey. There are so many of us out there. Since I lost Violet I have stumbled upon an amazing community of grieving parents, all trying to figure out how to live the rest of our lives missing a chunk of our hearts and souls. I started writing a blog to process my overwhelming and all encompassing grief. It has helped me tremendously. If you are ever feeling like you can't go on, reach out. Reach out to us. We are all here to help you navigate this terrible wretched journey while you figure out how to piece together the fragments of your broken hearts. Sending so much love to you and Dan. Thinking about your precious Ryan, my Sweet Violet, and all the other beautiful littles taken away far too soon.

    Your friend and fellow grieving mama,
    Michelle

    avioletlifeforme.blogspot.com

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  122. I have heard about your son from many different places on Facebook - he has touched the lives of so many people. Your eulogy was beautiful. I know he will be with you ALWAYS. So much love to you and your husband.

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  123. This is so beautiful - thank you so much for sharing these amazing words you wrote for your son. I can just feel the immense amount of love your amazing little boy shared with you both and with everyone in your family - there are just no words for that amount of love. Ryan Cruz will forever inspire me to Live Loud and Live Wild!! <3

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  124. What a beautiful tribute to your son - you are an amazing family. Sending my love to you both! xxoo

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  125. That was beautiful. You and your husband are absolutely amazing. I think we are all forever touched by your beautiful family. This little 3 year old has taught us all so much and we will forever cherish him.

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  126. god has a beautiful red hair angel in paradise!! he will always be in my mind!! hope one day i can meet him in paradise!! but now he is our little wild angel!!!

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    1. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you how amazing you and your husband are. I would follow with a high five, smile and be able to walk away knowing that I was able to meet such an inspirational family. You ARE an inspiration and your little rock star will forever be in my heart. I will always check in and see how you're doing and continuously pray for your healing. Though hundreds and hundreds of miles away, I feel you in my heart. I am a mom and I have a son. I will love him stronger, laugh a little longer and live each moment more consciously because of your inspiration and strength. Your images capture so much love. You should be very proud. Your beautiful son and your story have touched so many. Your story has touched me in such a way words can't describe. Thank you for sharing your moments and I truly hope the little we say or do can give you and your husband strength and faith in all you do moving forward. May God always be with you along side your big boy. Love always! #teammom

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  127. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsiGp-69mBA

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  128. I am thinking about you & praying for you and your family. I am also telling all I know about Ryan Cruz. What a sweet face & what an angel. You're remarkable.

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  129. What amazing words for an amazing little boy. May he live on and every time I see a red balloon I will think of your son and how much he was loved, was crazy and wild and how much he loved his family.

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  130. Dear Dan and Jacqui, I am holding you in my heart and prayers. I will remember your beautiful boy always. It is abundantly clear how much Ryan was loved. He knew that you loved him!

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  131. I am weeping for you. And so proud that you were able to read this at his service. I couldn't get through it and I'm not his amazing mama. You are one strong woman. And as awful as this will be for your family probably forever, you are already so inspiring to so many people. I have a son so much like yours. He's wild and crazy and fun. Every day since I learned of you I have tried to be a better mom and to hold on tight. My heart absolutely aches thinking about what you must be going through. Sweet Ryan will be with you always. And you are incredible.

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  132. I am also weeping and weeping as i read this your story has touched my heart. You will always be in my prayers. May God give you the strength to keep going with a huge smile Love you

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  133. My birthday is September 5th- sweet Ryan will be on my mind each birthday - he will not be forgotten- prayers for your family

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  134. Jacqui this is beautiful and I thank you a bunch for sharing it with us, you will forever be in my prayers, Ryan had the best mother ever and he knew it. You will forever be a family of 3 your gorgeous red headed son will forever be with you. My heart aches for you Dan, your family and of course for Ryan.

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  135. My baby girl was born on September 1, 2013. You can bet we will be celebrating Ryan also- September is a beautiful month. Beautiful words from you to your son. I know he is with you. Take time with your grief. Visit those places eventually, and you will realize that he is never far from you. Much love.

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  136. My Dear Friend Jacqui, Thank You for what you have written to share with us today is beyond beautiful. Although I don't know you and Dan personally I consider you a friend...My heart aches with pain ever since I found out what happen to Little Ryan, tears are streaming down my face as I write this to you. I can't even begin to imagine what you and Dan must be feeling, I am so sorry for your loss.... I have gone through all your pictures on this website,on your Instagram and Dan's Instagram, I have seen every little video that you posted of Little Ryan on YouTube and all I can say is that he was loved by everyone, he truly was a Wonderful little ginger, Full of Life living an amazing adventure. For some reason I find myself going back to those pictures and I can't help but begin crying and my heart aching all over again. I am a mother of two wonderful little girls as well and I feel your pain! You truly are an amazing wonderful human being, a wonderful mother who was devoted to her little boy, You will forever and always be a Family of three, You and your family will forever be in prayers....May God give you and Dan the strength to carry on. Little Ry will never be forgotten he will be in our hearts forever. Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever! "Red Balloons for Ryan Forever"

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  137. Wow. This is so beautiful. God bless you and your hubby. My twins birthday is the same as your baby boys. September 5. I will always remember Ryan.��

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  138. What a beautiful eulogy. You are such a brave woman. And you will always be a mother. A mother to a sweet, lovely boy.

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  139. Wow what a beautiful eulogy. I have a 3 year old daughter and reading this brought tears to my eyes. Your a very strong person and may God continue to bless you and your family of 3. I will always remember Ryan even if I didn't know him he had a big impact in my life!

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  140. Such a beautiful eulogy,God bless you and your husband!We will never forget you're son for he is a very special boy!You are remarkable people!!!

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  141. You are an amazing mom Jacqui. I can only wish to be as great a mom as you. I have a three and half year old son too and looking at all of your memories you've posted makes me strive to be better. More creative and fun like you. You are truly an inspiration. Please know that you are in my prayers always.

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  142. I came across this post and blog by luck but I felt your pain like it was mine and cried like you were the closest friends! You give a nice lesson to everyone, if Ryan taught you how to live every moment, we can learn from yours and Ryan's spirit how to live better and happier! My prayers and thoughts are with you.

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  143. I have never met you or your family but my heart aches every day since finding out about your son's passing. I pray for you and your husband every day. <3

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  144. What a beautiful little boy and what great parents. I don't know you but I've been thinking of you often and hope that over time you will heal from this as much as you can. I'm sure that beautiful Ryan will always watch over his mommy and daddy. Lots of love.

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  145. this is beautiful. I never met any of you, but I now think of you every day and I pray for your son and your family. I too have a wild 3 year old boy full of life. The first time I saw a picture of your son - before realizing what had happened - i thought that my son would be so happy to get a chance to play with your Ryan. In every picture I see of him, I see love, happiness, and pure joy. It breaks my heart that you won't get to know the joys of raising him into adulthood, but it is clear to anyone who takes the time to read your blog or look through your photos that you gave Ryan a wonderful life. I am a perfect stranger from Canada, but your story has had a profound impact on me. I will remember your son forever.

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  146. Sending my love and prayers. I know that one day you will all be together again. Hugs from Conroe, Texas

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  147. Your pictures are beautiful and Ryan was very much loved. I cried reading this blog as I myself have a 4 year old boy.. sending lots of love and prayers for you and your family... Bug hugs -Maria ...Miami, FL

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  148. Thanks for sharing. My nephew passed a month before Ryan - he was 2.5 and although it was a different circumstance (brain cancer - 15 day battle) it doesn't take away the pain. You are right, we will never no why - why won't bring Ryan or Kai back, but we can continue to reflect on these wonderful memories we have and put our hope in Jesus - He is grieving with us, but because of Him, He will turn our mourning into joy. www.in-due-time.com

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  149. We think it's beautiful the way you two are moving ahead with your lives. But, what we don't see on here is anyone actually, literally thinking of Ryan's side of what was an avoidable tragedy.
    I know, having raised children of my own, horrific accidents can befall any of us. I have discussed this with so many of my friend's who have small children and they all agree - this did not have to happen.
    It still baffles us all that any adult would ever think of playing with a mere three-year-old in an 'unfenced front yard', 'very close to a street'. Their little legs are so lightening fast and those of us who have raised children know that even 'we' cannot be fast enough to catch them when they decide to move so quickly.
    We don't know who decided that this beautiful baby boy would be able to rationalize a situation where a toy flew into the street and whether or not to run after it; they were not using their adult mind in allowing him to play and run so close to a street.
    Those adults need to take some of the accountability. This was not 'God's Will'.

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    1. That's an awful thing to post here.

      I will never forget Ryan Cruz, the adorable red-head 3 1/2 year old boy. May God Bless your family as you continue to Live Loud and Live Wild for your son.

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    2. I hate to say it, but there have been times my husband and I have asked the same question. Why was he so close to the street? Why were they playing in an unfenced front yard? We all make mistakes and misjudge, and it is so unfortunate that this had to happen in a moment of clouded decisions. On the other hand, what parent is perfect? What parents thinks "oh my child can't play with their cousin because something bad might happen." We don't. I've spent every day since I've come across this story praying and every time I read a blog post by this amazing mama, I break down in to streams of tears at the thoughts of "that's exactly how I would feel. That's exactly what I would think." Although my husband and I have had the same thoughts, that doesn't take away from the pain and sorrow we feel for this family. We are allowed our thoughts.

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    3. Is it really necessary for you to say this? Do you think these parents have not asked themselves that already?

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    4. Wow why even post such a question? As a parent who has lost a child I know even though it is god's plan you still ask yourself "what could I have done"? And the answer is beyond our understanding as gods timing is perfect, smh

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  150. My sincere prayers and condolences for the loss of your son. It seems as if I can see his light and soul shining through from your pictures. I can't imagine the pain you must feel. I pray for you and your family's continued strenght. I pray that the lord raps you up in his comfort, love, and grace. I don't understand why such terrible things happen in this world, but I do beleive that God brings the survivers through all tragedies. I pray that you are able to continue to live your life with your husband and have as many happy moments as possible while continuing to greive and remeber your son. Amen.

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  151. This absolutely breaks my heart...my son (middle child) is turning 4 in August...so he and Ryan were the same age. The way you describe your son's personality and actions reminds me so much of my own son...and I don't know what I would do if ever faced with a tragedy like this. My heart breaks for you and your family...but it is amazing how strong you are being and that you continue to put your faith in God and His plan. We never understand it...and it often can hurt us...but the faith that it is for some greater good that none of us can begin to fathom is what gets us through things like this. God bless you and I pray for your strength, comfort and healing.

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  152. You are so brave ... my son is born 5th september 2012 .... on his next birthday we will put something red here in france in memory of your really handsome wee man....

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  153. Yours is the only blog I read. I'm a mom to one little boy, and I can certainly empathize, to an extent, of course.

    I want to thank you for being so encouraging, even in the darkest of days. I love the way God is working in you, and the way you continue to sift through the pain and pour love into so many lives. Thank you for shining a light in this world. I continue to pray for your family daily. Sending many warm hugs your way.

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  154. Jacqui, you are a wonderful mama to a beautiful and precious boy! You are an inspiration to me to love my littles to the fullest, actually to love everyone around to the fullest. I hope you geta a chance to love and be a mama to many more... Be strong!

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  155. Dear Jacqui,
    May God bless you and keep you,
    May His face always shines upon you.
    Your family will be in my prayers. I am so sorry for your lost.
    I am also inspired and strengthen by your faith in God. And your love for your son and husband.

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  156. Went across your blog and let me tell you:You and your husband teach life. In order to have happiness during devastation is incredible.Ryan touched our lives all the way here in Cairo Egypt. You taught me to be grateful for my life so I want to thank you and we will keep Ryan in our prayers forever and always.

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  157. You're little sweet pea is still leaving hints and signs through everyday things and occurrences. While reading your blog just now my mom turned on a previously aired (but new to me) episode of So You Think You Can Dance, which I was listening to in the background while reading. Right as I started to read the beautiful eulogy you wrote/spoke at Ryan's service the dance started to the song "99 Red Balloons." Then right as I was finishing the eulogy I looked up at the TV to see a pile of red balloons falling from above and down onto the stage. I felt a little gasp then thought...even to a complete stranger Ryan is still making sure his presence is known. ������

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  158. Just saw your story on Ellen. I wish you nothing but love and peace in the new year. You have a friend in me! Follow me on Twitter @edwardoz

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  159. I do not know you , I have only just seen you on Ellen , but my heart hurts for you , I know your pain as I also have lost my beautiful son , you are an inspiration, and I hope you have a blessed Chrtistmas, and keep the faith that is all that gets me through at times .

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  160. I saw you on The Ellen Show today……your blog is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart with the world. Sending love from Ohio.

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  161. I also found your blog by watching the Ellen show today. You're thoughts and blog are so beautiful. Without even ever speaking to you, I love your view on life. Sending you and your family lots of love from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. xoxo

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  162. Sending peace and love to you and your family. From Vancouver, BC Canada

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  163. I saw you on Ellen. I am so sorry for your loss and I am sending love your way. Thank you for your bravery of sharing your story.
    Chelsea in Dana Point, CA

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  164. I know it wasn't a coincidence that I saw you on Ellen today. Today would've been my brother's 48th birthday. He died when he was 2 1/2 years old. My Dad had been watching him jump on the trampoline in the backyard and then he had to leave for work. My brother was never able to get off the trampoline by himself, so my Dad assumed he was still back there. Unfortunately, somehow he had gotten off the trampoline and was playing on his trike in the driveway and my Dad backed over him. I am always amazed that my parents marriage survived, but my Mom simply says, "It was an accident. How could I be mad at your Dad?" I wasn't born at the time, but I was always shown pictures and told about my brother. One day not too long ago on my brother's birthday, I asked my Mom if my Dad wanted to drink himself silly on this day every year. My Mom looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Why? We celebrate Donnie's life!" Yes, there are definitely ways that this tragic event has affected our family, but my brother is still remembered fondly and with lots of love ... 45 years later. Even I, who never met him, still love looking at pictures of him and look forward to meeting him someday in Heaven. He's my brother even though I never met him. As I mentioned, today is his birthday and I don't believe in coincidences, so thank you to Ellen for having you on the show and for bringing me to your blog ... and for you and your amazing spirit. Your adorable little guy will never be forgotten and his life will be celebrated always.

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  165. Saw you on Ellen today - I'm so sorry for your pain, I wish I could take some of it away. Ryan is one cool kid - he will never be forgotten. You may never know why this happened but know that God has a plan and that your sweet boy is with him. Love and prayers from Cincinnati

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  166. Sending you love, prayers, and even more positive vibes from Virginia. God bless you and your adorable family of three.

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  167. I would be really surprised if you read all of these comments, like tomorrow, next week, next month....8 months........ I didn't catch the whole interview on Ellen, just saw a clip on FB. I had/have a blog also, tho I haven't updated it and shut it down to public comments awhile ago. You are brave to keep an open forum. I won't say I'm sorry, because after the loss of my son I couldn't stand peeps saying that. xoxo to you and your husband and extended family. Just know that you and your husband will not grieve in the same way or at the same times/intervals. It's all good. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Know that you will have outbursts, crazy ass shit flying out of your mouth at times. Again remember to be kind and gentle with yourself, and "remember" your hubby is going thru the same grief cycle. Peeps will expect you to get over "this" sooner rather than later. There is NO getting over a loss of your child, there just isn't. Tho, you can get beyond the loss. Beyond is time.....time, whether months, yrs, so forth. Last, DO NOT BLAME yourselves!! I don't know the entire story, it doesn't matter. Shit happens as it seems. There are so many "ifs" that we as parents can flagellate ourselves for.....DON'T, because there is no end. End all be all, know that you have support. Know that you are not alone. Love your son and keep loving him. Celebrate him, every day and more so on the Holidays.

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  168. Your son's pictures make more than just your family smile. Thank you for sharing your story. The love you have for your beautiful boy shines brightly from my computer screen. He will always be with you. (((hugs)))

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  170. Seeing your sweet Ryan's pictures made me smile too. Sending love and light your way. Wishing peace and comfort in the new year. Big hug from San Diego, CA.

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  171. You and your family are being bathed in such love and light right now, thanks to Ellen's generous spirit. This, in itself, is a blessing since now Ryan knows you are being taken care of in his absence. And as a grandmother, I hope some of this love goes to your mom, too, as I can only imagine her grief losing a grandchild. From seeing you and your family on the show, I can feel you are taking care of one another. Hope you keep writing in your blog as it can be a wonderful tool to help you through this emotionally raw time. You are truly blessed even in your grief. I am in awe of your strength.

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  172. Just watched Ellen all the way from the land down under, Australia. Jacquie Saldana....what an inspiration you are! Sending you and your lovely husband massive hugs and love across the oceans.

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  173. I just saw you on Ellen and had to reach out. You are truly such an inspiration. The amount of positivity you carry is amazing. You and your family seem to be handling this situation in the best way possible. Although I didn't know him personally, Ryan's presence will live on in my life. I'm sending all of you much much love. Stay strong.

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  174. I lost my grandmother a year ago today. I miss her terribly and know it can't compare to the loss of your beautiful three year-old. Stay strong. God will take care of you and your husband.

    Love from Shreveport, LA

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  176. I'm so sorry for your loss. I personally don't have any children, but I do have little nieces. It makes my heart sink to even think what you and your family are going through. I saw you on Ellen and its amazing how you're so grateful and positive.
    Sending you and your family lots of love. xx

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  178. You, Dan and Ryan are the best family that every will be. Ryan is still there, very close to your hearts <3 -- I would write 'stay strong' but boy are you all so strong!

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  179. Ryan is adorable, no, he is beautiful!!! Both you and Dan are amazing! I just saw you at the Ellen show and felt so much for you. From the Philippines, I send you all my love and the light of Ryan!!!!

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