Losing a piece of your future

February 23, 2014

I was once told when you lose a parent you lose a part of your past, when you lose a sibling you lose a part of your present and when you lose a child you lose a part of your future.

Ryan Kenneth Zarlenga 12/7/87- 2/23/93

Losing a piece of your future is a forever thing. There is always those thoughts of would he have gone to college, would he be married now, have his own children like the others that are his age.


Ryan and Chelsea

And it all happened so quickly, we were blind sided. Honestly, the thought that we could lose a child never crossed our minds. That happens to other people, not us! When the ambulance came to take him I quickly grabbed his jacket. It was cold out, winter time and he would need this when we come home. 


At the time he wasn't speaking, in fact he didn't speak at all the day the ambulance came to get him. The night before were his last precious words. How is one to know that will be the last time you hear your childs voice? You don't, you are told to treasure every day because you never know when its your last... but do you? Or do you get caught up in  the everyday stuff?


But on Februrary 23, 1993, here we were in the hospital, after being told he wouldn't survive, his brain was swelling so rapidly there was nothing we could do.  He had no more brain waves and was already gone. But how do you leave your child at the hospital? I needed to hold him! I couldn't just leave! So they unhooked Ryan from all the machines and laid him in my arms to hold one last time as family  came through and kissed this beautiful boy.


The weather was so fitting, probably one of the worst blizzards we had seen in recent years, and shouldn't it be the most horrific of weather when your going through the most horrific of tragedies? Joel and I were driven home by my parents, in the back of their car, the silence, slick roads and snow coming down. All the outside darkness matched what was going on in our heads.


 Such a sweet boy Ryan was... shy, quiet and always wanting to please others. An easy going brother always giving up anything he had for his sister. He always reminded me so much of myself.


Chelsea, Shawn and Ryan

Everything happened with Ryan so quickly, it was over before we realized what was happening! At Metro hospital the doctors were great, family came in to see him and I remember my father in the hall wanting the details from the doctor. Always a man of common sense, he wanted to make sense of this all. And at the time they were still figuring things out. Joel and I stayed at the hospital that night and were awoken in the middle of the night that he'd taken a turn for the worse. 

You can read more about Ryan HERE and  HERE where my father wrote his eulogy


Ryan and Uncle Gordon


One of our visits to HHI 


 Ryan left us with a lifetime of memories and taught us all so much! Live your life, love your family and enjoy the little things because they really are some of the best things!


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