Thursday, December 4, 2008

6th Annual Angel Ryan Project

Dear Friends & Families,
Hope you are well. The holidays are approaching. This year I have been feeling guilty that I have not been reaching out to many of you. I have been in a cocoon. After all, the normal daily routines and hectic schedule keep me busy mentally each day. Living in the moment allows me to be present of the joy or current challenges.

Time passes. Knowing Ryan feels so long ago for me. He is always in my heart but as the years pass he feels more distance to me….after all, I have lost the opportunity of getting to know him as a boy or as my son for the last five and a half years. I only can remember how he was as a toddler. I can only hold on to the limited memories of my son. Instead of growing with Ryan, there are the “wonderings”. Wonder how he would be as a 2nd grader, how well he would have enjoyed soccer, basketball, baseball, etc, etc. Wonder if he and Matthew would have intense sibling rivalries.

A teenage girl wrote this to another eight-year old girl who lost her 10 year old brother to cancer. “Remember what I told you before that sometimes, if you listen hard enough, you’ll be able to hear your brother whispering to you, and if you whisper back, he can hear you too. And when he can he’ll visit you in your dreams :) Just like if he was right there with you.” Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Ryan has not been in my dreams for years and he does not whisper to me….but yet… I know he is my son and will always be….

Matthew will turn 8 on December 15th. Matthew is growing up so fast and his baby face is turning into a matured looking boy. He enjoys school, loves Star Wars, Legos and playing with friends. Matthew is the pillar on reminding us why we are so blessed to still be parents. He keeps us smiling and keeps us living. The other night, he told me that he has many friends but Ryan is still his best friend. Matthew learns of Ryan through the memories we share with him…

John ended his start up venture in the spring and now has the opportunity in spending more time with Matthew. When life gets challenging, it is easy to get into a downward spiral and we have to stay positive not to let that spiral to take us down. John is now spending this time, exploring creatively. After all, life can be a lot of worse. We count our blessings by having each other as a family and good health. A 11 year boy right before his death said, “I feel the saddest when people just give up.” We all know too well that we cannot give up but to conquer and make a lesson and meaning out of our life experience.

It is time again for us to ask for your support for the 6th Annual Angel Ryan Project. As the state of the economy is in such turmoil, we all have to be selective in our charity givings. If we can give, we need to continue to do so as those who are in needs appreciate our help even more now.

Matthew and I will deliver the gifts to the Mid Peninsula Boys & Girls Club on Tuesday afternoon, 12/16th. If your children are interested in helping with the delivery, please join us. I hope we can count on you to celebrate Ryan’s life with us by donating a gift or 2. The value of each gift is about $15 and the club will mail you a tax receipt. You can deliver the unwrapped gifts to my house or send me a check so Matthew and I will go shopping for you on Dec. 11th. The Club is an after school program for low-income families so gifts will be most appropriate for children between 7 to 14 years old age. They often lack gifts for the older children.

Recently, I attended a seminar on “Raising Self Disciplined and Confident Kids”. Dr. Robert Brooks, the speaker encouraged us to ask ourselves these 2 questions. (1) What charity activity have we been involved in as a family? (2) Does our children see us helping others or a charity? Through your continued support to our family and the Angel Ryan Project & Ryan’s Ride, we are able to show Matthew empathy towards others in addition to honoring Ryan. No words can express our gratitude to you.

May you find peace and joy during the holidays and let’s also remember to count our blessings.

With peace and joy,