Early last week I was doing my usual early morning Instagram check and I kept seeing these pictures of an adorable little boy with beautiful red hair with the hashtag #redballoonsforryan. Of course I went searching the tag, wanting to see what was going on. Eventually I learned the heartbreaking truth, he had been hit by car and passed away the Friday before. It broke my heart, and I have no connection to the family at all. And then I got pissed off, because while the majority of comments were nothing but supportive, I saw negative ones too. People that blamed the parents because they had let their little boy play in the front yard. Because they let him live.
The Internet can be equally a grand and awful thing. So many businesses came together to make specialty items celebrating Ryan's life (like this Mulberry Press Co print), with all proceeds going to his family. There were funds set up, auctions held; all to help pay for whatever the family needed. Of course, you should always donate with people you trust, because there are people that can take advantage, but the generosity was overwhelming. Most of the auctions and special product orders ended yesterday, but Indie Nook is still donating a percentage of the sales of their Red Balloon shirts indefinitely to Ryan's parents. There was far more positivity than negativity for this little boy and his family, and that was heartwarming. It restores some faith that people still want to help others, that people are still kind.
So now you know why I felt so selfish because I didn't get a present. I still have my children, and that's more than enough. I can't even imagine what this family is going through, its truly devastating.
From @babyboybakery's Instagram. This is how she spent her Mother's Day.
Sending red balloons into the sky in Ryan's memory, instead of hugging her little boy.
Here are some links to get a better understanding:
*Baby Boy Bakery - Jacqui's (Ryan's mom) blog
*Diary of an Addict- Alissa Circle's (Jacqui's best friend) blog. Ryan's story is here and here.
*CBS Los Angeles reports about his accident, and the out pour of support from online.
Hug your loved ones always. Never go to bed angry. Unplug and be present. Do what makes you happy. And annoyingly enough- YOLO. Because its true.