I received a text from a friend the other day that I kept hearing on loop in my head...
“Hi Barbara, I just saw a pic you posted and now can’t find it! I’m a fb fool. But it’s the one of you and Ryan wearing Nemo and Dory hats and I instantly had this thought...Dory was smart, optimistic, caring, and talented—and most of all—kind. Basically, the unsung hero. And ultimately saves Nemo.
I love you. “
When I first read this, I assumed my friend was praising me... like so many people have for all of my “strength”. What flooded my mind, were years and years of memories... all the firsts... all the doctors... all the advocating... the pushing... the happy... the sad... and all the threads in between. Was my friend implying that I was “Dory” and therefore Ryan’s “hero”?
But as I thought about it again I wondered if my friend really meant Ryan was the “unsung hero”?
What if finally someone else saw what I already knew with every fiber of my being... that Ryan was MY hero... my teacher.
That I only became the mom I am today because of him.
That I learned to see “smart” through grey lenses after Ryan was born and finally let go of my black and white perspective.
That Ryan taught me optimism as he woke up each day with a happy smile and “I love you” with his hands no matter if he was congested or his knees hurt or he was tired... his optimism shifted my outlook and those who loved him most.
That Ryan personified “caring” and “kind”.. you could literally see the kindness in Ryan’s big beautiful brown eyes or close your eyes to remember the feel of his hands as he gently rubbed yours while cuddling on the couch.
That Ryan was the talented one ...
Looking back amongst thousands of pictures and videos watching Ryan dance or “sing” or command attention unabashedly proved his raw, amazing talent...
Ryan understood that he was “different” than his most people he knew but when he looked at himself he only saw “amazing”.
Which was pure and real.
He taught those around him to reexamine stereotypes and prejudices and preconceptions about his “weaknesses”.
Ryan took the good and wasn’t even wired to worry about the flip.
I am still not sure which way my friend meant it since she couldn’t find the picture but knowing the beauty of her heart I am betting she “got it”...
RYAN will always and forever be my hero and did ultimately “save” me...
He made me the best version of me like he did for himself and those around him too...