Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rest in Peace Ryan.

Bittersweet is the only word to describe today. I was so excited to write a blog post about my trip to Boston with The SAMFund. I found out the best news and the worst news upon arrival though, and it’s been quite hard to sort my thoughts.

 One of my best friends is going to have her baby today.

This morning I received news that an old colleague of mine passed away from a leukemia diagnosis. 

I don’t know how I am supposed to feel today- happy or sad. I really don’t feel anything. I just got back from a weekend spent with amazing young-adult survivors, and I come back to the news of a fellow amazing young-adult not making it. I can’t stop questioning everything. I am so na├»ve. Why do things like this happen? I am overcome with survivor's guilt. I said to my husband this morning that it’s weird how things happen- a baby is being born at the same time someone is leaving the world. I don’t understand, and probably never will. All I know is that we all have so much to be thankful for, and I know that I am guilty of taking my days for granted. It’s sad that it often takes something like this to put it all into perspective, but I guess we’re all learning from each experience.

Ryan- I know you’re gone, and it’s hard to believe, but you fought the most courageous battle of all. I looked through our past emails and found this message that you had sent me:

“Sorry it took me so long to respond... Lets just say I have found it a bit of a challenge. I might not have shown much in the past, but I always saw what you have done a pure inspiration. I always said, "I only wish I had the same courage." and now oddly enough, I'm here. I like to thank you for reaching out to me, it means a lot to have people that can relate. I'lll make sure to keep in touch, as I can only guess I'll have a million questions soon enough. Thanks Kate, it means a lot.”

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have. You fought the hardest battle, and you will never be forgotten. You had more courage then anyone I know, and I know you are looking down over everyone and watching over us all. Rest in peace Ryan Heitke.