A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a blog that has impacted me deeply. I found the blog because the author–Ryan–was nominated by someone for a “Love Bomb“–a weekly ministry of people from all over the world who leave hundreds of comments to encourage someone going through tough times. Each week, someone is nominated and we all read a few posts, comment, and pray for the person/family. It usually only takes 5-10 minutes of my time, but sometimes I just can’t stop reading these blogs. They sometimes end up being part of my “Google Reader” so that I can continue to read updates and pray. The blog in this post is one of them.
The blog that was nominated a few weeks ago was this one. Ryan is young (I think he’s my age or younger) and dying of cancer. The doctors have given him 3-6 months to live. He has a beautiful wife and two gorgeous children, and his blog discusses this strange and awful journey of preparing for what seems to be a certain death in a very short period of time. Of course, they are praying for a miracle (and I am, too!), but they are also preparing for “life without Ryan”. Most recently, this included buying a new car so that his wife would have reliable transportation if/when Ryan passes away. They also went as a family to Disneyland last month to create memories as a family that their kids will remember always. He loves his wife SO much and it is apparent in everything that he writes.
Unlike some blogs that discuss similar situations, this one is not depressing and morbid. Rather, it is realistic and somehow upbeat despite the subject matter. He is open about his faith and even wrote a great post about why he doesn’t blame God for his cancer. Ryan and his wife’s brave approach to all of this is inspiring and challenging. It has made me wonder which is worse: knowing approximately how long until you die, or having death come suddenly…I think knowing would be worse.
I will admit that I have shed tears over these blog posts. I cannot imagine being told that I had 3-6 months to live when I’m not even 30 years old yet. Even worse, knowing that I’d be leaving behind a spouse and children. It has caused me to think through what it would be like if Brennan were no longer here and what life would look like. Or, what Brennan’s life would look like if I weren’t here.
And because of that, it has changed how I view our marriage. Our marriage is healthy, happy, love-filled and relatively new, so it’s not that I suddenly had a 180 degree turn or anything like that; but it has caused me to treat each day as if it could be our last (which is true) and to be much more thankful for the gift that Brennan is in my life. It is SO easy to become comfortable and to take things for granted, and Ryan’s stories have really made me want to make an effort to NEVER do that. Tomorrow is never a guarantee, and I pray that I approach each day with that in mind.
I wanted to share Ryan’s story because he and his family really need prayer during this time. I also wanted to share because I think his story will have an impact on anyone who reads about him. Please check out his blog and pray for him.