Friday, July 31, 2009

Our son has been renewed. As we feel the pain that he is no longer with us, we also rejoice that he is free of the struggle that much of his life on earth was. Love sustained us all through this difficult time; our marriage, our children, our family, friends, church family and above all else, the love Christ has placed in all of our hearts. May we all never forget that He is Almighty.

This day was unlike any other for many of us, but especially Chris and I. As the day began, we both couldn't help but notice how beautiful God made this day, the day we celebrated our son's life and all that he brought to us here on earth. The flowers were beautiful, blue delphinia and white roses with greenery mixed in, lay upon his dark wooden casket. Some white delphinia, gathered together to form a cross, was also placed behind his casket. Many more flowers stood at the front of the Sanctuary as we greeted our guests and accepted their heartfelt condolences. The sun beautifully shown through the trees and bounced off the fluffy white clouds in the sky. We also felt the warmth from the sun as we walked behind Ryan, as Matt and Kim carried him. It was a warm 80 some degrees with a coolness in the wind that washed over our faces and blew our hair. The air was fresh as is Ryan's life in Heaven.

After the burial ceremony, we invited our parents to participate with us in a ceremonial dove release. Ryan's four Grandparents released 3 doves, signifying the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In a separate basket was the 4th dove, Chris, Charlotte and I released together, signifying Ryan. The last dove circled above us all many times and then finally flew so high up into the sky that we could no longer see "him". As our guests departed to join us for a family dinner at the church, Chris and I lingered by Ryan's grave for our final moments with him. As we knelt beside him, we knew that we were saying goodbye, only to say hello again someday.

As we left the church, following the family dinner, we were again admiring the beauty of the day. We decided to get the camera out to take some pictures for the first time today.

The flowers we selected from Ryan's arrangement on top of his casket, now pressed in our family Bible.

Charlotte's smile is a wonderful gift.

After we put our tired little girl to bed, who was so well behaved today, we decided to spend some time outside to soak up more of God's glorious artwork in the sky. Chris and I toasted to our son and his life on earth and in Heaven.

We love you our son.
Mommy & Daddy


The Smith Family said...


Alison Baillargeon said...

We are so glad that the day was so beautiful and I am ao thankful that I was able to celebrate Ryan's life with your friends and family. This was the first time I had seen someone release doves,and I thought that was a perfect ending to the service. Ryan flew so beautifully and so high. It seemed fitting that he lingered for awhile watching over all of us before flying so high. I am speechless. Here is to Ryan and his strong sweet spirit. Toast your baby boy tonight for he is perfect and happy. We still pray for all of you and love you everyday.

Anonymous said...

How happy I am to read that you took comfort in God's warm sun and soft wind today.... I felt the beautiful day was so appropriate to honor beautiful Ryan. The doves were so perfect and meaningful, how perfect again that Ryan's stayed near for a time, making sure Mom and Dad were alright. Beautiful pictures again today, that you are so smart to take to remember so many significant details. I am so glad to have a picture of him from the service and to have seen his beautiful, perfect face. We continue to pray, in thanks for his life, his comfort now, and for peace for you. Love to you both. I am here anytime. Anne K.

Anonymous said...

So very touching. I have followed your family's story after reading the Extraordinary Mommy blog. I admire your strength, faith, and courage. Your children our beautiful, and you are two very special parents. May God bless you and give you comfort.

Sandy Jenney said...

I am so sorry for your pain...for your loss. I have a dear friend who experienced the same thing as you..twice. Both her sons Mark and Ryan died from SMA. Mark was 5 months old, Ryan was 5 1/2 months old. I think it happened about a year and half apart from each other. That was about 14 years ago now. I went to both their funerals.
I wish my friend had a blog to write her emotions down....internet friends to listen to her deepest darkest fears, her anger her emotions.
The pain is no less... But I think you will have some comfort in knowing you can help others at some point. Knowing that your Ryan will not be forgotten...that his life will affect others. Your words will be heard and felt by strangers, friends and others who are going through the same struggles as you. You little Ryan was beautiful...his eyes so full of life...just in a body that didn't want to let him move.
How wonderful now that even in your darkest pain and what will become anger and then acceptance...he is moving now. He is in heaven and moving those little legs...his arms...he can breath easily and is no longer in pain. He is being held by Jesus now. I can't really know your pain....I can only know the pain my friend went through.
Thank you for sharing such beautiful words at such a terrible time in your life.
I will give your blog to my friend Julie to read.

Rita said...

I'm glad today was beautiful for you. I wish I could have been there to give you a hug as you've been in my thoughts all day. I know our goodbye day still seems surreal even now...

I'll be walking for both of our boys tomorrow.


Ellen said...

Your strength during this time has been amazing. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all. Your family will continue to be in my prayers.

chindogg said...

I also noticed the beauty yesterday held outdoors. It too was "perfect". I have and will continue to pray for your family to keep their heads up from now on, and to keep your faith in God when times are low. Your family was wonderful yesterday, I enjoyed so much talking to everyone, especially your sister. She is truly a great gift to you. Love you!

Lisa P said...

Jenn, Chris and Charlotte -
What an absolute honor and joy it was to celebrate Ryan's life with you yesterday. Though we have really just met in recent months, I feel like I know you now so well through your blog and watching you both interact with your darling Charlotte at school! I have often pictured your tender interactions with Ryan through your words, but yesterday it was such a gift for us all to be graced with the opportunity of seeing you stroke his downy hair one last time and feel the love of your family as you gave him a few more tender touches. How lucky he was to have you - how lucky you were as well. What a beautiful family and love story. Thank you for sharing it - I look forward to reading future chapter! You are all in my heart and I wish you all nothing but peace and healing.

Lisa P., Grant and Nate's mom from GSS

Anonymous said...

That's so wonderful that today was able to be so special and so perfect for your family. We're still praying for you and will continue to do so as you walk through this tough time. May the Lord bless you abundantly; may He hold you close and bring you comfort like you have never experienced before. My heart aches for your family, but also rejoices that you are able to rejoice in Ryan's life through his memorial service.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

It was a pleasure and an honor to get to meet you today. Your words are beautiful and bring to a place of worship. God be praised, God be lifted up! Your life in these days has brought glory to the Father.

I will be sharing a bit of your story tonight in our service. Know this, that people you will never meet will be blessed by your strength, which is so obviously from God.

May God bless you with Himself today and may you have wonderful moments of intimacy with Jesus today and everyday.

ExtraordinaryMommy said...

Friday was a gorgeous day. Ryan was a gorgeous boy - so fitting. I truly hate that he is gone, but take comfort in your peace and strength.

It was an honor to be there with you. I will continue to pray for all of you.

You will never be far from my thoughts.

xoxo Danielle