He promised that everything would be ok.
People make promises every day, and often they do so without taking any stock in what the word really means. Ryan on the other hand, when he promised something...it was set in stone.
Early in our relationship I remember driving to his parents house one evening. He was telling me some fantastic story about work that morning and I was in a fit of giggles saying, "You did not!" "That did NOT happen!" At a stop light he looked me squarely in the eye and said, "I promise. When I promise you something it is very sacred to me. I only say those words when I am 100% telling the truth." And looking into his soft eyes, I believed him 100%. I took his lead and promised him back the same thing.
Soon after, we would try to trick each other by using a "B" instead of a "P." "Bromise" was our inside joke when we couldn't promise but we really wanted to.
Last week, the day before Ryan passed he looked me in the eye again and said, "I promise, no matter what, everything will be OK."
And that is why I had no idea he would pass on Sunday. His promises meant something. I wasn't worrying about the worst. But even after death his words ring in my ears, "I promise, no matter what, everything will be OK."
He hasn't lied to me yet.
His service was overwhelming to say the least. Mostly because of the love that people had for him. My right shoulder is in serious pain, all the way down to my elbow from being hugged more sincerely by more people than ever in my entire life. Ryan was a big believer in bear hugs. Every hug I felt was given from him.
If I told you how many people mobilized to make his funeral happen, you wouldn't believe it. Our church community, the diabetes community, our school community, Ryan's bakery customers...everyone had a hand in making the day absolutely beautiful. The church has never been that full. I'm humbled by everyone's willingness to serve our family. I'll never be able to repay the debt, although I hope one day to pay it forward in meaningful ways.
It was a perfect tribute to a man who was practically perfect in every way. And best of all, I knew Ryan was there with me...with all of us.
He hated funerals, but without a doubt, Ryan approved of this one.
As hard as Saturday was, as it has always been in my life...love prevailed. I am encircled by love from my church friends. I am enveloped in love from the people who loved Ryan most. And I am embraced with an overwhelming love from the DOC. My facebook page has lit up like a Christmas tree with letters, songs and words of hope. Each message has pierced my heart. I can physically FEEL the love jumping off the page for our family. I'll never be able to thank you enough for softening my heart, and especially for making me feel like I'm not alone in all of this. The donations our family has received is humbling to say the least. I know many families sacrificed to donate that money. Your kindnesses are not unnoticed. In fact, they help me breathe.
I have faith that everything will be ok. Doesn't mean I'm not scared. Doesn't mean I don't throw up every morning taking in the enormity of it all...it just means that I'll continue to walk in faith, knowing that my Heavenly Father, and my angel Ryan will pave the path ahead for our family.
Somehow we'll get through this.
He promised. And as always, I believe him.