Monday, April 16, 2012

Keeping it Real......

I'm not going to lie.  Yesterday was hard.  I started out feeling so rested and strong but as I moved through the day the life seemed to be sucked right out of me.  It was a day of going through Ryan's paperwork, cancelling credit cards, cancelling his phone, going through his things......a day of pain.  I had to say the words, "My son died" over and over and at no point did it get easier.  The words would just get caught in my throat.  But even in the pain, God sent some blessings.

Blessing 1: I walked into the Apple Store to get a new User Id for Ryan's computer.  I stepped up to the counter and started saying, "I need to get a new User Id for this computer as it was my son's and....he died."  The words came out choked and tears started to flow.  The young man at the counter said, "Are you Ryan's mom?"  I looked up in amazement and asked if he knew Ryan.  He said, "I go to Woodmen Valley Chapel and my wife is reading your blog."   The vice on my heart loosened and I looked into his caring eyes and was able to continue.  Thank you Jesus for letting Tyler meet me at the counter.

Blessing 2: I took my mom to my Chiropractor today as her back has seized up.  No wonder with all the stress.  My precious Dr. Christie took care of my mother and came out and sat beside me and shared that she too had gone through a similar situation when she was 15.  We sat and teared up together and talked about Ryan as he was one of her regulars.  She had fixed him up when he fell off a ladder and when he took other falls.  Yes, there were many opportunities for Ryan to leave us in the past.  Thank you Dr. Christie for taking such good care of our family and being a friend along the way.

Blessing 3: The principal and two school councilors came by today and offered support to Amanda and Luke to get them through the end of the year.  The school has been so incredible. They had provided a couple buses of kids to come to the funeral.  I was remiss in asking how that happened and who organized it, but we felt honored they allowed academics to stop in order to celebrate the life and death of one of their past students.  We live in such a supportive community.

Blessing 4: After they left I had to escape down to Ryan's room for some alone time and just plain grieving.  As I laid on his bed crying I looked over at his bookshelf and there hidden amongst the great books was the book I have been looking for since his death, "The Four Loves", by C.S. Lewis.  This is the book he read over and over.  I thought it had been lost.  As I ran my finger over its' warn and highlighted pages I couldn't help but recognize it as a gift from God on this very hard day.  I once again tried to start reading it.  As we shared at the funeral, I had tried this summer so that Ryan and I could discuss it...but to no avail.  I couldn't get past the Introduction.  Ryan had laughed with me about this and thanked me for trying.  As I tried again today  I kept looking for notes Ryan might have written to help me understand the great meaning he received from it.  I believe I am destined to get the cliff notes.......I will not give up trying to understand it.  My heart is being sculpted in such a deeper way that I believe it will happen.

Blessing 5:  My sweet friend Wendy Wise brought us a wonderful meal that I actually ate.  As you can imagine my appetite has not been great.  Others have eaten the food provided, I just haven't had an appetite.  The linguine and chocolate cake were just what my soul needed.

Blessing 6: My husband is a rock.  He seems to know what I need before I need it.  We grieve together, we hug, we weep, we move foreword.  I am so grateful to be walking down this path with him.

Blessing 7:  My daughter took to cleaning the house today.  We usually live in a pretty tidy home and it has been chaos for over a week.  It was a blessing to have my kitchen tidied and the floors cleaned.  Something seemingly so little, but meant so much and gave me a sense of order.

Blessing 8:  Luke and his buddies are planning a Bible Study as so many of his friends are longing for more.  Need I say more.......

It has been my plan to move forward this week and put one foot in front of the other toward "normal".  Grief is exhausting.  I'm not sure I will be able to accomplish all I set out to do, but I'm taking one day at a time. The kids are going back to school today.  Tom is going to attempt to study for his final Appraisal test, I am going to prepare myself to go to work tomorrow.  We will see where the day takes us.  God is our provision and our strength.  He will lead us through this foggy path we are on and help us discern the next step.

Thank you for your continued prayers and will not be a short journey for us.

Isaiah 58:11  I will always show you where to go.  I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones.  You'll be like a well-watered garden,  a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,  rebuild the foundations from out of your past.


  1. Much love from the Deiro's - still here, still praying

  2. <3 I can't wait to come home and give you all hugs. It warms my heart to see how much trust and faith you have in God. Stay strong!!

  3. Gail, I've been overwhelmed with a full heart from your blog.
    I manage the WVC Facebook "page" and "group" and wondered if you'd be OK with me posting a link to your blog there? I believe our Lord Jesus is doing amazing things through you and your blog.
    Let me know.

    1. Absolutely. However God can use Ryan's death and life to further the Kingdom and draw hearts toward Him, we are in.

  4. I am eating my lunch and reading your list of blessings. Your blog is like an iceberg with only 1/3 of the whole picture showing. I have read the responses over the days since Ryan left us and realize that our Lord has caused your words to be blessings; to start conversations and create prayers for more of God and less of us. People have shared Ryan's story and linked your blog to their that by word of computer and word of mouth and word of heart, God's glory and love and eternal promise is broadcast out, and out and OUT!! I know we see His love in these tragic times, but it amazes me how the death of a believer brings such a rush of souls harvested for Him. You're right, it will be a long road and it is narrow Sister, but others have stepped onto the path with us, that weren't there before, I just know it. Praise God and pass the Nike's!

  5. Gail,

    I have been moved and am awed by you. Your strength and faith in Christ inspires me beyond words but also makes me question if I could live out my faith as you have, if I experienced a loss to one of my daughters. Twice in the last several weeks God has put two amazing woman in my life (one seasoned and one young), neither whom I have met, but have touched me in what it truly means to trust Christ. Obviously you, but also a 14 year old girl named Emily in my daughter, Cailyn’s class. Emily has cancer and shared with Cailyn how, “her trials have brought her closer to God”. I have shared both of your stories with the Men’s group at WVC. As men, we are supposed to be strong Mighty Men! But yet a mother and a 14 year old girl have shown me what true strength is as well as living out your faith through absolute trust in God. As a 43 year old father, when someone asks me what does it mean to be the light of the world or a city on a hill…. I will point to Gail and Emily.

    God Bless You!


  6. Hi Gail! I just wanted to say Thank You for your blog. I have been following it and I too have been truly moved by your faith and the vulnerability you're sharing. I can't imagine the pain and grief you and your family are going through; I'm so sorry!!
    I used to work at CHC as a PRC, so I know the "work family" you have, and I can guarantee you you're in great hands! They will be there for you and your family every step of the way (in case you haven't experienced that yet). Know that you're in my thoughts and prayers.
    Also, I'm sure you have tremendous support and grief group opportunities through WVC (if you choose to be apart of them), but as I was reading your blog this evening I thought of a friend of mine in COS who also lost her son in a tragic accident (avalanche), and I believe he was around Ryan's age. Her name is Leah Niedringhaus, and is just amazing. If you'd like, and when you're ready, I could pass along her information to you. I know she leads a grief group, but I'm sure she'd be willing to speak with you individually. Obviously, I know there's a time and place for this kind of introduction, but I just wanted to let you know I thought of her and you.
    May God continue to deliver His overwhelming strength, peace and rest over you and your family!!
    Thank you for your written testimony.


  7. Gail,please let me know how I can sign up to bring you a meal,and what your likes and dislikes are.I lift your whole family up daily in my prayers,and I know God answers prayer.Thank you for sharing,it has been used by God,to bring many closer to Him.Your Testimony is encouraging.I will pray for loads of Grace,supernatural strength to help get you through these next few days.Greiving is exhausting,and lengthy.I've been down a greiving road myself,it transforms you.Thinking of you,sending love your way,hugs,hugs,hugs.

  8. Thank you for sharing Isaiah 58:11. Your blog today, as the others have been, was profound. Thank you, dear Gail. I'm still praying often for you. God bless you. Blessed be the name of the Lord - our Rock and our Refuge, our Hope, our Redeemer.