I wonder (too much) what would happen if anything ever happened to you, or what you would do if anything happened to me. You see, I love you. I love you more than you will ever know. If you happen to have your own children someday, you’ll have a better understanding of the love I’m talking about. Just having you as my son is the greatest gift you could’ve given me in this life (it would be clever for you to remind me of this should a birthday be forgotten, or years from now when you want to learn how to drive).
When I see you, I see myself. But there’s so much more to you than me. I’ve heard people say that “the world is your oyster,” but I disagree- again, there’s so much more. There’s a universe. And that universe is filled with infinite possibilities and potential, all of which is uncertain. All that unknown can be very exciting; it can also be scary. This isn’t easy to write to you but it needs to be done, so bear with your wordy mother. Deep breath.
I want so badly to love you, support you, teach you, and to accept you for all that you become. Though really, that’s going to happen regardless. What I truly want is just the opportunity to watch you grow. Give you ice cream, take you to a Laker game, go on a rollercoaster, and later in life- have a beer with you. But I don’t know what I don’t know and I can only hope that we get to do those things.
On Friday, a 3 year old named Ryan was running after a frisbee when he was hit by a truck. Ryan died that day. Ryan’s parents lost their baby. I am certain that the grief and pain is unbearable, NO ONE is prepared to deal with the loss of their child, ever. And Ryan is so beautiful. His red hair was much nicer than your stringy curls, but the potential, the dreams, and the love for him was very much the same as the love your mom and dad have for you. So you can imagine how closely such a tragic accident could hit the hearts of so many strangers around the world. Ryan could have been any of our babies, and for some, he will be.
And I wonder what I could do to make sure it isn’t you, or it isn’t me. All too often I find myself trying to control our futures to guarantee there is one. But I’m letting you know through this letter that I’m giving up the control I wish so badly to have. I’m attached to you and that will never cease. But my attachment to the future that I want for us is holding me back from fully living in the present, and I no longer want to grieve what isn’t lost, or fear what isn’t scary.
Heed this message, Dylan. Embrace it, accept it, and relinquish your own attachments to the future you see for yourself. When unknowns strike you in this life (and they will), please trust that the universe isn’t broken. It is as it should be. Accept the moments that you are given and learn to find the takeaway, the lesson, the opportunity for growth, and cherish its process no matter how painful. Never let the unknown be a source of fear, resentment, or anger. You deserve happiness, laughter, and all the excitement infinite possibilities have to offer. We all do. I hope we never have to find the takeaway from losing each other, but if we do, trust it will be okay and that you are forever and always loved just as much.
I offer my most heartfelt condolences and prayers to Ryan’s family, may you find the strength and light you need to guide you through this time of darkness. And please know that your son’s life has changed mine. Red balloons for Ryan today, tomorrow, and always.
There is a Go Fund Me page set-up to help Ryan's family with costs related to his departure. If you can, please help.