“Accept what you can. Change what you can’t. And learn to tell the difference between the two.”
That’s something I can hear my dad say to me over and over thought the years...
He is the “king of quotes”. And I guess it stuck.
Today marks a month.
In Jewish religion, the first 30 days after a person dies, is a period of mourning called “Sheloshim”. It is a period of time to remember and honor.
I can picture very early on sitting on Toba and Zalman’s couch with Jeff as we all were reflecting, crying, remembering... Zalman explained that what I was doing with my daily posts represented the true spirit and meaning behind “remembrance”.
And while not my original intention, I understood that by sharing my “mourning” publically, I was ultimately able to honor and remember Ryan in the most beautiful way I could. Posting became a way to keep Ryan “present”- to share his life,his journey, his legacy.
That brought me peace.
When I think back over these past 30 days, besides feeling emotions all over the map,
I am filled with so many questions, often on auto-loop in my mind. So many “whys”...
I know the “whys” are questions without answers...floating... just “out there”...
But I know my heart can’t lead with them.
I understand my head can’t get caught up in them.
And I can’t allow myself to be weighed down by them.
And maybe what I have come to realize is while the questions will always be there.
The key to finding happiness is being “ok” with not having the answers.
Being “ok” with the life we are given and at the same time being “ok” wishing things were different too.
Being “ok”if everyday is not “ok”...
And being “ok” with our perfectly imperfect world.
It’s not black and white.
And it’s not always easy .
But I believe that being “ok” is a conscious choice.
It is an empowering decision we get to make no matter what comes our way.
And when I think back, “acceptance” is what made me fall in love with Holland and not live in mourning of Italy lost...
“Acceptance”is how Ryan lived... with his body, his communication, his mobility, his relationships... his life...and his love.
Accepting doesn’t mean being happy with what you are given... but living happy has its roots grown in acceptance.
Even though I am not one to share my world on social media, I have come to love posting about Ryan and will continue to do so in some way... on some days... when it feels right.
For now, I am filled with my mom’s special words about Ryan when I needed it most this morning.
She reminded me how whenever Ryan was sad he would sign “daddy is always in my heart”...
I can close my eyes and see his beautiful face, articulate and lightening-fast hands and loving body language as he signed those words at various times these past few years.
I feel lighter knowing that Ryan too is “always in my heart”... in my core... in my breath...
He is always and forever with those he loved the most..
Ryan is always and forever Warter Strong...