The path lead me to this blog and her most recent story which you can find here.
The story is about a young boy, 3 years old, with fiery red hair and the sweetest smile. It's a story about a fun day at Disneyland, two parents that adore him, and a tragic accident one Friday evening when the frisbee flew into the street. Its honestly hard for me to type just that. I didn't know Ryan, I didn't know his parents, but I don't think it takes anything more than knowing how much you love your child, your son, to feel deeply for this family.
It is unfathomable the incredible pain losing a child would bring. It's scary loving something so much. I read once a mother that wrote "when you have children your heart is no longer yours, it is out in the world walking around in these tiny bodies." It couldn't be more true.
It doesn't feel right to even tell this next story in the same post with Ryan's. You can't even compare, but it was a moment for me, even just an instant, when I was helpless and my baby was in trouble and there was nothing I could do. We were at the park with a friend and Jake was running around the tennis courts. There were some older kids playing, a couple just running around and one on a bike and one on a scooter. I told Jake it was time to go to the car so he ran from me. I was walking behind him and realized that the older kids were getting closer. Then I saw the one on the scooter riding straight for Jake and looking behind him. Jake is fascinated with scooters and stood and stared. It was like slow motion as I yelled and I screamed and the kid slammed into Jake. It scared everyone and thankfully everyone was fine. The sweet little kid was so worried about Jake but it wasn't his fault, I should have been there. He shouldn't have been playing so close to their game. I cried, probably a lot harder than Jake.
It only made me realize that we can do everything right, all the time, but things happen. We can teach them and watch them and hold them, but things happen. I'm not comparing a sweet 3-year old getting hit and killed by a truck to Jake's incident with a scooter. I'm only saying what every parent already knows. This is a tough job, not because it's a lot of work, but because you can only do so much. It's a human we are working with here, not a spreadsheet, or a checklist and we can't control it all.
So if you have a chance, read Ryan's story, give a prayer for his sweet family, maybe even a red balloon, but most importantly read one more book before bed, give a little longer hug and some extra kisses and be thankful you get to hold your baby tonight.