"Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will."
-my favorite quote from the movie 'Hope Floats'.
Dan and I have our good days and we have our bad days. We even have those really awful days when we can't breath between sobs. When our family just holds us because their words don't make a difference. And at the end of those really awful days we are left broken, but in some weird way we feel pieces of us being put back together in a new way.
After the initial shock of my son's death died down and panic set in, I remember frantically asking my family "Will I still be me, will I still be funny?". Most told me yes of course. A few who knew the truth told me no. They said that I will be become a new me.
Two weeks after we lost Ryan I found myself wanting to go into work and see my girls. All my girls at work are my friends and through this difficult time they have become a type of family that I feel so blessed to have. I sat in the office and cried with my boss Hanah. She cried with me. She made me laugh a bit, but she also gave me some insight. There was a break in our cries and conversation. It was quiet and she blurted out "I can't wait to meet my new friend!". I looked at her and I remember thinking, what is she saying? What does she mean? I thought for a second she was trying to tell me she was meeting a new girl that was coming to work for us. Then she explained that she couldn't wait to see me come out of this as a stronger woman. Hanah told me through her smile and tears, she couldn't wait to see me become more bad ass than ever. It all made me laugh, and then it stuck with me. It gave me immense hope and I've been clung to it ever since.
Each time I break down, I let myself have it. I relish the moments where I can't stop crying. Where I can't seem to see straight and all I think are negative, nasty thoughts about why this happened. I let myself have these dark moments for one simple reason.
I have to hope that after I fall apart, I will be re-built into a stronger woman. I will be re-built with a hole in my heart, but able to live with the absence. I will never not be Ryan's mother. I will just be a new version of Ryan's mother. A more wise and patient version filled with grace, everlasting hope and immense strength. That is not to say I wasn't all those things prior to loosing my son. However, I have to believe those qualities and more will be reinstalled within me. These qualities I hope will shed light on not only my life but others as well.
It was scary at first to learn that no, absolutely not, will I be the same as I was. Hell, it is still scary! I've gotten to know and love me for the last 29 years. I loved me. I loved being Ryan's mother. As I say good bye to the old me I am frightened. I'll be scared for a while. But, I do feel a sliver of comfort knowing that I will become a new me. In Hanah's words "a new friend".
A new wife.
A new sister.
A new daughter.
And please God, oh please I pray to be...
A new mom.
The end of my son's physical being is sad. It has left my husband and I stripped raw.
The beginning of our life with out Ryan is scary. It has my husband and I terrified, holding each other.
But it is the middle that counts. The middle being the 3 1/2 years we had with our son. The middle giving us strength and hope that we will be that happy and more one day. While Ryan watches proudly from above.
We hope to be re-built and to have happy days come soon.
I hope to see and love the new me.