This Saturday is May 2nd. It will be one year since Ryan Cruz Saldana was killed and taken from Jacqui and Dan. 365 days later and I still can’t rectify it in my head or my heart. I don’t understand it. I don’t know that I ever will.
I do not know Jacqui personally although we are connected through several different avenues including my sorority Gamma Phi Beta from Sonoma State University. If you don’t know this story you can check out her blog at www.babyboybakery.com.
This story touched my heart deeply last year. It happened at a very vulnerable time for me and it was a rough, rough week. The kids were out of town and I was watching their fish and in their home daily without anyone home and the silence would kill me. I would walk in through their front door and the stillness of the air and the quiet and the strewn about toys and things hit my face and brought immediate tears. And each day I’d think to myself, “they’re coming back. They’ll be back. Ryan is not”.
It touched me because as a self proclaimed worry wart I am annoyingly overprotective with the children in my life and I know from following Jacqui she was as well. Which made this a true, honest to goodness accident and my heart could never take it. Neither could my brain.
When Ryan died Jacqui asked for one thing. She didn’t want her son to be forgotten. Which makes sense. And I will do everything I personally can to help her with that. I wear my red Converse and think of him. I go to Disneyland and see a red balloon and think of him. Ryan IS everywhere and has touched so many of us.
In times of tragedy there are people who try to take advantage of others, and I don’t ever want to be in that boat. I mourn this baby lost and I feel horrible for his family. I too jumped on the #RedBalloonsforRyan bandwagon last year. I own several t-shirts. But I am wiser this year. Sadly. And I now know that people profited off of that. And yes, IT DID make Ryan known and as of my last check that hashthag has almost 45,000 Instagram posts. (Some are creepier than others, but none the less, Ryan has not been forgotten.)
So with the year anniversary of his death coming upon us I wanted to start with those closest to me and the people in my life. Let’s remember Ryan by doing something to give of ourselves this weekend. We can all find a minute or a $1 to donate let’s do it and let’s do it big in Ryan’s memory. For Jacqui.
I’d be honored and grateful if you’d share this post and spread the word. I don’t want anyone to benefit from this but the people on the receiving end of our gestures of kindness.
- Whether it’s helping an older person at the market.
- Or paying for the person’s Starbucks behind you.
- Offering to watch the children of your single mom friend.
- Getting a meal for a homeless person.
- Or picking up the phone and calling someone you love to tell them that you love them.