Follow along and read about how Ryan spent his final days surrounded by those he loved the most... his FAMILY.

You can follow my blog at: Our life in Letters to Ryan

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to all our family and friends this year.

***May the light and love of Christ fill your hearts and homes this year***

November 3, 2010

Friends ARE forever...

While Ryan was off at school or work, he was surrounded by many good people. He often spent more time with some of his classmates and co-workers then with his own family.

What a blessing it is to be surrounded by good, loving people on a daily basis.

When Ryan was told that he only had weeks to live, two of his good friends and classmates called to see if they could come visit. This visit was kind of a big deal... these friends were doing their residency in Chicago and trying to get time off during residency is NOT always EASY. These friends were able to juggle their schedules so they could fly in and out in the same day, taking minimal days off.

Even though their visit was short, the time spent together was priceless. Seeing these boys visit was like old times: they talked school, work, life... it was like no time or distance had changed. I know how much it meant for Ryan to see Joe and Marc...

~Thanks guys... for EVERYTHING~

* * *

When residency first started, Ryan would come home and tell me about everyone and how much he enjoyed his work. He was was really excited to be working with such a great group of people.

You know how some people come into your life and you just "click" with them? Well, that is how Ryan felt about Pete. He often talked about wanting to be like Pete, both in his personal life and professionally...he really looked up to and admired Pete.

Before Ryan passed away, Pete came down to check out Ryan's 3rd baby- his truck:

Thanks Pete for being such an example to Ryan...

Not only are families forever... but so are friendships.

I am so grateful for the wonderful people we have met over the years and for the friendships that have been made as a result.


(Man, I can barely type. These final posts are going to be hard, bare with me ;)

October 24, 2010

Love Letters...

People ask me all the time how the kids and I are doing...
Very well.

I think some people may think it is just a front I put on or just something to say, but really, we are all doing good.

I want to keep the TEAM RYAN blog mainly about Ryan and the wonderful life he lived, but still keep everyone up to date with our little family.

I am really excited to invite everyone to MY blog called DEAR RYAN.

I am still in the process of trying to get the layout all worked out and since I am not super computer savvy, it's definitely a work in progress... but I'm getting there. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy the updates on how we are "really" doing.

The blog will definitely be full of pictures (did you expect anything different from me?!?), day to day stuff, thoughts, reflections and just complete openness as we continue to keep chugging along :)

Come visit:

Thanks to EVERYONE for all the love and support


October 20, 2010

Sneak Peak

This past week the kids and I took a trip up to Wyoming/Utah during Hallie's Fall Break.
We came to visit family and to see Ryan's headstone.
I am getting a little ahead of myself- I still haven't even blogged about all the amazing things we did with Ryan before he passed away, but I was so excited to give you a little peak of this past week:

Beautiful COUNTRY life

Playing outside ALL day long

and a little glimpse of the HEADSTONE...

The trip was great...
Nothing is better than being surrounded by those you LOVE!


September 27, 2010

Oh HAPPY Day...

I celebrated my birthday and it was one of the BEST birthday's EVER!!!
I have never been one to get super excited or be sad about turning one year older, but this year was a little different.
When friends would ask me if I was excited to do something fun for my birthday, I had mixed feelings- yes and no. I was definitely excited to get out and celebrate, but at the same time not really looking forward to it because the ONE thing I wanted and would WISH for wouldn't be there. I usually started to tear up when people asked, because really, I just wanted Ryan. I just wanted to hear him say, " Happy Birthday Babe!" or just to get a glimpse of those beautiful blue eyes staring at me as I opened my presents and blew out my candles. So the thought of NOT having that, made me really sad.
As my birthday neared, the mailbox was often filled with cards and packages from family and friends. I would take them inside and place them neatly on the bed in the spare bedroom. It was fun to walk by that room every day and see all the cards and gifts that were piling up JUST for me.
For birthdays, I always lay out the presents in the kitchen for the birthday person to wake up to. But it's just not the same when you are doing this for yourself, so I just left mine in the spare bedroom.
So on the morning of my birthday, I got Hallie ready for school and as she is eating breakfast she asks if I could save my presents for opening until after she gets home from school. I happily agreed and then decided to start taking all the present from the spare bedroom and put them out in the kitchen. (I guess I kind of wanted to see my presents out in the kitchen after all) As I started bringing them over, Hallie says, "MOM, can you open them NOW?!?!?!?"
"Of course" I told her.
I was really glad she asked me to open them because secretly, I did NOT want to wait!
I started off with my Birthday CARDS, reading all of them out loud to the kids. Some made me laugh really hard and others brought a smile and tear to my face.
~ It was now time for my presents~
I opened my first few gifts and was VERY excited with the contents inside... then I moved on to my two last gifts.
I opened the first and cried after reading the sweet note Ryan's mom enclosed with it and then moved on to my last present. I saw a card on the bottom of the present and decided to start with it. As I was opening the envelope, I saw ANOTHER envelope. Another envelope- WHAT?!?
(My heart started beating REALLY, really FAST and hard!)
As I pulled it out, I saw this:

and then this:
As soon as I saw that handwriting, I knew who it was from and well... I just cried.
I cried so much I really couldn't do much else because I couldn't see through all the tears.

Still TOTALLY crying, I open up the envelope to see this cute, glittery card:
...and the kids just stood there staring.
The kids stood there waiting for me to read the card and I couldn't get ANYTHING out. Finally Hallie says, "Mom... who is it from?" I couldn't even say, "Your Dad." So, she walked up next to me and began reading it and says, "Oh... it's from Daddy!" I just smiled and then tried my hardest to read through all the tears:

I finally made it to the end and let's just say it was the BEST present EVER, BIGGEST surprise and the BEST way to start off my Birthday morning!!!
I had absolutely NO idea I would be getting that card. My day could have ended RIGHT then an I would have been SO happy and content, but my day was just beginning.
Plenty more surprises awaited...
I noticed cars had been honking early in the morning, but didn't think much of it...
Well, some pretty clever friends decided to make signs for the front yard that said,
"HONK for Margie's Birthday"
I laughed really hard realizing that all those honks at 6:30 am were for ME :)
Then a few of my other friends and their kids decorated my front door and porch with balloons and my garage with a HUGE "Happy Birthday Margie" sign. I especially loved the zebra print letters- very cute!
Thanks guys... so thoughtful and cute!
I my friends!
It was now time for breakfast with some of my closest friends

... and then lunch with these special ladies
My morning and afternoon were spent eating and chatting with my BEST friends- food and fun, can't beat that!

Night came and I headed over to a friends house for some yummy cake and ice cream, except it wasn't really JUST cake and ice cream but....
~A ToTALly AweSoMe (surprise) 80's BirThDay BaSH~

What made the party even AWESOMer was that I had two VERY special people come and surprise me.

Not only did they drive 12+ hours to be there, but they also dressed up:
I laughed SO hard at my dad's faux-leather pants and my moms stirrup pants and jacket with BIG shoulder pads.

Parents and a party were just the icing on the cake to an already wonderful day!

my AMAZING friends that did SO much to make my birthday EXTRA special.

I really couldn't have asked for a better day. Pretty much everything I wanted I got...

and one day, I will get my EVERYTHING.

Thank you friends and family for the thoughtful cards, gifts and for ALL the birthday love.

To describe the day in one word: PERFECT!


September 10, 2010


I have been in contact with MANY people over the past year and it has been so touching to see the outpouring of LOVE and SUPPORT that has come to our family- THANK YOU everyone!

A fellow reader (and friend) of the TEAM RYAN blog recently wrote me to say that her husband is entering the final stage of his cancer, where medical treatment is no longer possible. My heart sunk reading the e mail because it was not very long ago that we were going through the same thing. I remember the sadness that I felt at that time and what got me through and kept me going was the strength I received from all the prayers.

I am asking all of you to remember Paul and his family in your thoughts and prayers. The power of prayer is such a real and powerful thing. I hope that Paul can have the time he needs to say goodbye and that his entire family can have the strength and peace they need to get through this difficult time.
I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has given us the opportunity to be with our loved ones here on earth and for the knowledge to know that we WILL be reunited again.

August 28, 2010


It's Saturday morning and it's CLEANING DAY.
I had been moving some things around in my room and decided to make use of some empty space under my bed. I looked under the bed and started digging out some random things like kids toys, DUST and then found a folded up piece of paper. I opened it up and to my surprise read this:

Tears welled up in my eyes and I just sat there thinking why I had written this note and when. All I could think of was that I left the note on Ryan's pillow because we were going to meet up somewhere...

I just couldn't get over finding this note because it still VERY much applies!

I will see Ryan again...we ALL will.

Love YOU

August 23, 2010

Phone Calls...

My car was in the shop and I had just sold Ryan's smaller car. Not to worry though, I had had a sweet 1970 Chevy truck waiting in the garage for me :)

Since the gas gauge doesn't work on the truck and I worried about running out of gas, I wanted to stop and fill it up.

The last time Max had gassed up the car was this time:
...and he LOVED every single minute!!!

As I was pulling up to the gas station:

MAX: Mom, can I help you?

Me: (Not really wanting the "help", but realizing the last time he helped was with Ryan) SsssssssURE...

MAX: Which button Mom? Press this one? THAT one?

Me: No Max, just wait a second... you need to hold on Bud.

I get everything ready and then let Max press the fuel grade button. He tries to do everything and I'm trying my hardest to be patient (Ryan was usually REALLY patient with the kids). I let him put the nozzle into the tank and pull the handle. A custom gas tank had been put in and the gas pump will NOT shut off on its own when it is full. So after a good 45 bucks had been pumped in, I figured there was enough gas and I take out the nozzle to put it back.

MAX: Mom, it needs more gas!!!

Me: No, I think we are good Buddy. I think that's enough.

MAX: No... it needs more!!! It DOES need more!

Me: (As I am putting Max into the truck and getting him buckled in) No, that was enough.

MAX: No it wasn't Mom, because the last time I helped Daddy, he put in more!

Me: Yeah, maybe Daddy did put more in, but really, that was enough.

MAX: Can you call Daddy and ask him? He would know if it needs more.

Me: No bud, we can't call Daddy and ask him.

MAX: Why?

Me: Because Daddy is in Heaven. We can talk to him anytime, but he won't talk back to us... we can't call.

MAX: Well... you can call Heavenly Father! I'm sure he has the number to call Daddy.

Me: (As tears are streaming down my face...) Yes, we can talk to Heavenly Father anytime too and he always hears us, but there is no number we can call.

MAX: Yes, he has the number to call Daddy. I KNOW he knows the number to call Daddy Mom!

I continue explaining that we can ALWAYS talk to Heavenly Father and Ryan, but there won't be a physical voice speaking back to us or a phone number to call and talk.

Of course, if that was the case, I'd be on the phone ALL the time ;)

August 4, 2010

Things found...

Hallie started school on Tuesday and she LOVES it. Well, it's really that she has an awesome teacher and he is going to make this a fun, FUN year!

For part of her homework today, she needed to find 5 things that she likes or enjoys. The VERY first thing she did was find a picture of Ryan. She went straight to his memory box and pulled out his funeral program. I asked her if she really wanted to take that or find a picture of him instead. She wanted a picture of just him... so she goes right over to my nightstand and gets this framed picture:
She wanted THIS one. Not any others... THIS one.
She kept saying as she held the picture, "oh I LOVE my Daddy! I just LOVE him!"

I TOTALLY agree, I love him AND this picture too!

As I was in her room tonight getting her ready for bed, I found this old journal from last school year...
...and on the cover I read:
This pulled on my heartstrings, but I really do love what she wrote...
"hes grat (he's great). You are the best. xox"

It's SO true!

~Missing and loving you ALWAYS~

August 1, 2010

A special BIRTHDAY surprise

We are BACK!
After our MONTH long vacation, I made it home just in time for a little someones birthday. I couldn't WAIT! Our baby girl, who isn't so baby-ish anymore celebrated her 7th birthday on Wednesday. I have looked forward for this birthday EVERYDAY for the past 2.5 months.

Why you ask?
I guess I am jumping the gun of future posts, but Ryan made videos for the kids for special birthdays/milestones. When Ryan was making the videos, Hallie's birthday was right around the corner. He knew he probably wouldn't still be here for her birthday and he wanted to be sure she would have a special surprise from him, so he made a video for her 7th birthday.

I am so grateful Ryan took the time to make these special gifts and memories for the children. I know they will be forever grateful...


Ryan adored his baby girl and they both shared a special bond. I'm not sure if it was because she was the firstborn, a girl or just his little princess? But one thing I do KNOW for sure is that
Hallie will ALWAYS be a Daddy's girl

Told ya:


Wednesday morning came and I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. I was SO excited for Hallie to enjoy the special gift from her father and so excited to see the love of my life again. I couldn't wait to hear Ryan's voice, hear the advice and words of love he would give Hallie and most of all, to see Hallie's reaction...

When Ryan made the videos he went into the room and taped them alone. While he was taping, we put a note on the door to be quiet and Hallie remembered back to that time. As she was looking at the DVD and with a BIG smile on her face, she said, "Is this the videos that Dad was making? Is Dad on here?"

She was very EXCITED, although I think I was just a TAD bit more than her... (I could have easily gone and watched all the videos but have chosen to wait and watch them as they are given)



I had no idea what he was going to say, but he had lots of advice for Hallie for this upcoming year with school and preparing for her Baptism. He talked about when she was born and the love he has for her... it was wonderful, absolutely wonderful!

We smiled BIG ole' smiles, shed some tears and just enjoyed seeing, hearing and loving our Ryanstone.

Oh how we miss him, but what a WONDERFUL gift he left for all of us.

It was now time for yummiest part of the day... time to

~Make a WISH~

Happy 7th Birthday Sweets, you deserved the best day...

...I hope it was all that and more.

LOVE you,

July 27, 2010

Car Conversations...

Hallie: Mom...what's wrong? Why are you crying?
Hallie: What's wrong Mom? Mom...
Hallie: Mom, why are you crying?

Me: Because... (still not able to answer)

Hallie: Why are you crying Mom?

Me: Because I really miss Dad right now...

Hallie takes our her notepad and starts writing a note (she LOVES to write notes) and then hands it to me.

It reads: I bet Dad is prople sitting next to you. Love, Hallie

Hallie: Mom, see that word right there, that says probably. I just wanted you to know

Me: Aww, thanks Hallie, that is a really nice note.

(Then she leans forward and taps her hand on the passenger side seat)

Hallie: Like RIGHT HERE Mom, I bet Dad is sitting right here!

Then she hands me her special stuffed animal that has a voice recorded message from Ryan inside of it. I play it once, it brings a smile to my face and the comfort I needed, I wipe my tears, thank Hallie and we continue on with the drive.

Then an hour or so later...

Hallie: Hey mom, do you like driving home?

Me: Not really, but it's okay...

Hallie: Well, if I had a magic wand, I would make it so you would be home instantly and then
you wouldn't have to drive anymore!

Me: That would be ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, I'd LOVE that Sweetie!!!!!

Max: Ya and if I had a magic wand, I'd have MORE magic wands!

Hallie: And you know what else I would do with that magic wand?

Me: What?

Hallie: I would bring daddy back...
Max: Me too, me too!!!! I'd bring Daddy back!!!

Hallie: He would come back being sick though
Max: Ya, Daddy would be sick

Hallie: ... and THEN, we would put ALL our magic wands together and make him not sick
anymore and then he could give us piggy back rides and he would be able to hug you
really strong. That would be GREAT huh Mom?

Me: (as tears are streaming down my face because I wish that could be true) Yes, that
would be wonderful!!!

That little Hallie sure knows how to cheer me up and add that extra bit of sunshine I need to brighten my day. She is a special little girl and I am so lucky to have her happiness, light and love in my life.

July 21, 2010

Pretty NEAT...

I received this in my INBOX YESTERDAY:
Based on reader votes, you are a finalist for the 2010 BlogLuxe Awards! Thank you for writing such organized/amazing/beautiful/hilarious/inspiring/fun/over the edge/tasty/downright awesome blogs!

Two winners from each category chosen by our VIP "Academy" will be announced at the Avery SocialLuxe Lounge in New York City on August 5, 2010.
Thank you to everyone that voted and most importantly...
THANK YOU to everyone that has come along and been a part of Team Ryan. To everyone who has supported Ryan and our entire family throughout this journey, we couldn't have done it without all your LOVE and SUPPORT.
To all of YOU- Thank you SO MUCH!
Love to ALL
(More posts coming soon... I've been enjoying a lilttle vacay with the fam)

July 4, 2010

4th of July reminiscing...

The past week has been hard for many reasons. Lots of 1sts and lots of reminiscing...

It was exactly one year ago today that Ryan was released from the hospital after undergoing his first round of chemo. After 3 weeks in the hospital, we couldn't have asked for a better way to spend our 4th of July. It truly was an INDEPENDENCE DAY.

As much as I wish he were still here to celebrate this 4th of July with us tonight... I know that he is free from so many other things that confined him over this past year. That knowledge brings me so much peace and I know that he is ALWAYS near in spirit.

I am proud and grateful to be an American.
I so very thankful for all my freedoms that I can enjoy on a daily basis because of honorable service people who have fought and who continue to fight for all of us- THANK YOU!

So much to be grateful for, ALWAYS...

Happy 4th of JULY

June 29, 2010

Thank YOU!

I got a pretty cool e-mail last night...

Someone(s) has nominated TEAM RYAN over at Social LUXE Lounge for the MOST Inspiring blog.

THANK YOU- It means a lot!
* Actual BlogLuxe award has no cash value. The goal of the BlogLuxe awards is to encourage recognition amongst peers.

1 vote PER day

Go HERE to vote or click the button on the sidebar.

THANK YOU for all the support that you have shown our family.


June 24, 2010

A telling fortune...

After a soccer-filled day, Ryan had a special visit from his boss, Dr. Dancho. Dr. Dancho presented Ryan with a certificate of completion of his 1st year of his residency.

With his first year under his belt, he could officially perform surgery.

Way to GO Ry!

Ryan showing the family his certificate
Ryan was excited and proud of a 1st year well done. It meant a lot for him to receive the certificate. He was so happy that he wanted to go out and celebrate and treat everyone for dinner. He was craving Chinese... so off we went for some YUMMY Chinese food.

Ry and his little sis, Jessica

Ry and his sister, Jennifer

Everyone reading their fortunes

Then Ryan picks up his fortune.
(Keep in mind that there was 12 of us at the restaurant)
Out of the 12 fortunes, this is the one Ryan picked and it read:
After Ryan read this, I started crying and Hallie says, "That's right Daddy, you're almost to heaven!"
Ryan looked up at her with a smile on his face and said, "Yup..."

I keep the fortune in my wallet and take a look at it now and then.
He IS there...
and that knowledge brings so much comfort and peace.

~Love You~