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

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.