I lie in my hospital bed sore, sorrowful, uncomfortable, and in pain. My head hangs down awkwardly because of a feeding tube and drain strung up my nose…the weight of both tubes make lifting my head difficult. My back throbs with pain because of fractured disk in my lower spine. It hurts to turn or shift my body in any direction. I’m bruised on the outside as well as within. My whole world has been rocked hard. I never would have pictured myself in the situation I’m now in.
My legs shake uncontrollably and even though I haven’t eaten for days my stomach is uneasy and nauseous. Despite my poor physical condition, my broken heart is even worse. My mind can’t seem to understand and make sense of the loss of my husband and daughter. It all seems so unreal…I was holding them tight in my arms not more than a few days ago.
I question why life can change so drastically in a matter of seconds…literally seconds…that was all it took for my life to change forever.
The sun begins to set and I stare out my window feeling more alone than I ever have. My room is filled with sweet visitors…all with good intentions…but I still feel alone and full of despair. I don’t want to be here. All I can seem to think about is how soon it will be before I can be home. I want to see Ryan and Evee.
My eyes sting with tears as I remember holding Evee’s lifeless little body close to mine in the Emergency Room just a few days earlier…her skin cold and void of life’s warm touch. At the time I was still in shock and my mind couldn’t process the current events. I was numb of feeling. I was beyond grateful to be able to hold my precious baby, but I knew it was just her body. My Evee had finished her mortal journey and was now back home in the loving arms of her Savior. Although I lay there completely broken both inside and out…I felt a tangible peace and I knew that we would be ok.
I blink my eyes and force myself back to reality…my harsh…hard…unreal…reality. It will be ok, I think…I hope.
All my family, including my sweet Kaya are gathered for a moonlight bike ride up at Snowbasin…organized by my brother-in-law and many other loving individuals in honor of Ryan and Evee. Ryan and his brothers would go on a night mountain bike ride each month during the summer on or near the full moon. Tonight was the full moon and they were riding for and with Ry.
I long to be with them under the bright full moon instead stuck in the hospital…but thankfully Jess promised me that she and Kaya would FaceTime me when they launched the balloons. Today I needed the inspiration and hope those balloons would bring.
I anxiously wait for their call with my phone held tightly in my hand. I don’t want to miss it! I’m grateful for the dear friends keeping me company as I wait…they’ll never know how much their presence and support strengthen me.
Finally I hear my familiar ringtone and see the face of my sweet Kaya smiling back at me.
“Hi Mama,” Kaya says shyly.
“Hi Baby!” I reply eagerly “mommy sure misses you!”
“I miss you too Mama!” Kaya replies.
Hearing her tender and soft little voice does my aching heart good.
Soon I hear Jessica’s voice,
“Hey Lyss! They’re about ready to launch the balloons! Look at how amazing they look!”
She pans the hundreds of glowing balloons with her phone…it truly is a remarkable sight! I see all the family, friends, and community there in support of my two angels… and soon I feel a lump in my throat and more tears welling in my eyes. We are so blessed!
With tears streaming down my cheeks I can hear my sis-in-law, Karie, thanking everyone for coming. Soon after her remarks, Karie leans down and holds the microphone up for Kaya.
“Fly with Evee!” Kaya says happily…barely loud enough for the crowd to hear. But at her mark everyone let’s go of their bright glowing balloons.
My heart skips a beat at the glorious sight. And the grief in my heart is softened for a brief moment and replaced with peace, comfort, and stillness. God truly is good. Families are eternal. And I’m blessed to have two of the strongest, most valiant angels in heaven routing me on.
We all stare up at the sky…me through the screen on my phone… and watch as the balloons become tiny little glimmers.
The night ride begins and mountain bikers both young and old…skilled and novice…ride for my two loves. Pretty amazing. Pretty astounding. Pretty awesome.
Thank you to everyone who made last years’ first, “Ride for Ryan Fly With Evee,” ride so memorable! It was through all of your support, love, effort, and prayers that it was made possible!
We’ve decided to make it an annual ride and we want everyone who is passionate about life, family, the outdoors, biking, and the goodness of God to join us!
This year lets “Ride for Ryan Fly With Evee,” on Friday August 19th.
What: Ride for Ryan Fly With Evee – Moonlight Bike Ride
When: Friday August 19th @ 8:30
Where: Sardine Peak Trailhead: Snowbasin
Shirts will be available for pre-order by next week. You can also purchase shirts the night of the ride. However, it will be on a first come, first serve basis.
Can’t wait to see you all there!!