Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ryan's Memorial Marker

The headstone for Ryan's grave was placed yesterday. Chris and I designed the marker together. The background image was taken by Chris while I was on bedrest from room 18 in Labor & Delivery. We were admiring the sunset, only to look close at the picture and see the cross placed directly in the center. Exactly where it belongs. The image on the right, a friend gave to me after Ryan died. Whenever he was really sick and we were unable to console him, this is exactly the image that I prayed about and hoped that Jesus was holding Ryan close. When I saw this image, it was assurance to me that yes, Jesus was with him, always. We wrote to the artist and got permission to use the drawing for his memorial marker. And finally, the picture of Ryan is one of the best pictures we have of him and was also used on his prayer cards at his funeral. The scripture underneath the Jesus picture is also the same that was on his prayer card.

The marker is all bronze and textured. You can feel the clouds, the ridges of Ryan's fingers, the wrinkles in Jesus' robe. As I touched it today, I remembered the many hours I spent just holding Ryan's hand, praying that his life and our lives would be so much different. That we would have more time together...

As the Christmas Holiday approaches, I can honestly say that my Christmas wish has already been granted. We were hoping that Ryan's marker would be placed before Christmas, and thankfully, it has been. We miss him so much, and many days, I feel as if I could crumble because he is not here. Christmas or not, doesn't seem to matter. I miss our son with every ounce of me.

Charlotte came with me today. As we pulled into the St. Charles Memorial Gardens, she said "Let's go see Ryan!". She already remembers why we are there before I tell her. As she stood by his grave today, I wished so deeply that she was sitting on the couch, holding him and tickling his chin and belly instead of running her fingers over the bronze in the ground. As she stood up, she said "I love you Ryan" and blew him kisses to heaven. I love both of my children so much.
I am sure you noticed the extended area of the granite and the extra drill marks for another memorial plaque. They mistakenly mounted it to the "double" slab instead of the single. They are going to fix that ASAP. Overall, we are very pleased with how it looks and are thankful to have this to come and look at and a more permanent memorial for our son. At the same time, it makes it hit home that much more that we had to bury him only 4 1/2 months ago. It seems like he has been gone for so long, yet the time he was here, much too short. If I were to freeze a moment in time, I would go all the way back to when I first held our precious, vibrant, beautiful baby boy. A moment I'll cherish my entire life.
I have so much in my heart that I feel this page could burst with emotion. I miss you Ryan.
We love you,
Mom & Dad


Lisa P said...

Jenn -
Ryan's marker is beautiful. I still feel like words cannot express how much emotion I feel for you, Chris and Charlotte as I read your words and hear about your sadness. I know its a long healing process and especially difficult during this time of year. I just hope and pray for a gentle peace to come and help heal your heart. I will be thinking of you!

Jen said...

A beautiful marker for a beautiful boy!

chindogg said...

It is absolutely beautiful!

Felicia Milberg said...

You know, I forgot to tell you that Charlotte has talked about Ryan a lot lately. For an example, when we were in the changing room she said out of no where that she misses Ryan so much and look up to the ceiling and pointed and said thats where he was, up there with Jesus. I can not believe I forgot to tell you this. This memorial is beautiful and precious. Your courage, strength and faith in God amazes me. You are and your family are a true inspiration. I know I have said this MANY times to you, but Charlotte is one of the most incredible, sweet children I have ever met. It is so sweet and refreshing to hear her speak of her little brother. Once again, I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas.

Rebekah said...

I am so glad you got Ryan's marker before Christmas. It is a beautiful. Love and prayers being sent your way!

Jackie H. said...

I had received an email about your son right after he died & signed the petition and kept the link. I had insomnia tonite and somehow came to this site again. I think I posted last time that our stories were somewhat similar. My son Kurt died 18 years ago at 5 1/2 months of age and he is buried at St Chas Memorial Gardens also and has a brick at the Angel of Hope. We used to go to that same service! We even like the same music (Coldplay!!) God Bless you and your beautiful family.I really do know what you have gone through and it truly seems like yesterday.