Monday, July 25, 2011

We have Peace!

At church yesterday a friend gave me a card that had this quote,
"The Lord compersates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, October 2008.
Her own sister passed away 2 months ago with cancer, and this quote was shared with her family during her sister's funeral, and she said that she loved it and found great comfort in knowing the Lord knows us and our sorrows. I too found comfort in those words, and I know that the Lord does know us and our sorrows.
My brother sent this quote, " From an Eternal Perspective, the only death that is premature is the death of one who is not prepared to meet God." Elder Ballard.
Dylan was prepared.
We grieve Dylan's passing, but are grateful to know where he is. Dawson (Dylan's older brother) said the morning of Dylan's passing, "Heavenly Father needed him." Yes I too believe that Heavenly Father needed him and that he has a very special mission to accomplish.
Words cannot express the love and appreciation we have to all of you who have sent cards, made phone calls, come by to visit, sent money, send gifts, prayed for our family, offered words of sorrow, came to the viewing and to the funeral, and who continue to be such a big source of strength to us. We love you all dearly and know that you will all be blessed for having helped. I am so impressed with Ryan and Mandy's strength through all of this. These last 4 months have been the most trying and the hardest thing I have ever been through. Watching your children watch their children go through trials has been extremely hard for me. As the grandma it has been very hard to see the decline of Dylan. We are grateful that he did not have to suffer any longer, and that he is now free to run and play and do all the things he has not been able to do for a long time. We have a very special Guardian Angel watching over us and that is very comforting!
Thanks again to all of you!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Friend, My Mentor, My Son

I sit here alone in our quiet house, my kids off playing with cousins and my wife out doing some last minute preparations for this weekend and my thoughts are consumed by my son, Dylan. What a truly amazing kid he was. He was so thoughtful and kind to others. He always wanted to make sure everyone was included and not left out of anything or felt bad. He went out of his way to say 'hi' to people as they came into the room and truly loved everyone, in fact I can't remember him ever speaking ill of anyone (even the bullies at school that would tease and pick on him). This week has been the hardest, by far, of my life and I laugh when I look back and think of times when I 'thought' I was having it hard like going to school or struggling on my mission. Those challenges pale in comparison to what we have faced this week. Watching Dylan decline so rapidly over the last four months was the single most trying thing as a father I could have possibly witnessed. Knowing I could physically do nothing to take away his pain or suffering literally broke my heart and often my spirit. We fasted and prayed and gave him blessings to try and ease his pain and to ask for a miracle and yet that miracle never came (at least not in the form we wanted). I had to stand by and watch his 9 year old body deteriorate before my eyes and all the modern medicines and alternative treatments we tried couldn't stop that ugly tumor wrapped inside his brain stem. How I wished I could reach inside and rip that wicked growth out of him or transplant it into my own brain stem as I would have gladly and willingly gave my life for his. But that was not my course in life. Mine is to remain behind and shepherd my other children through this life. Dylan's was to come to Earth, gain a body and fulfill his earthly mission and return home to his Heavenly Father having done all that was asked of him albeit after a very short time. And while I will miss him terribly every day for the rest of my life and would literally do anything to have him back with me as a healthy boy, I can draw strength from the knowledge that there is a plan for all of us that is bigger than we can imagine. There is a work for us all to do and while we are bound with earthly perspective, we cannot fully comprehend what that work fully entails and often the way seems impassable and strewn with thick branches and thorns. I know that when we are able to look back on this earthy experience but do so with an eternal perspective, all things will become clear and the size and scope of our mission will be brought into focus and we will be amazed and what we accomplished and how many 'coincidences' shaped our paths and how often our father truly intervened when we felt lost or hopeless.
Many People have asked why God would let this happen. Why couldn't he, the omnipotent ruler of the Universe, reach down his hand and take it away? The very simple answer is: He could but he won't. And the reason being is, if he did he would forfeit the very plan that we chose to be apart of. If he intervened at every difficult or painful crossroad and spared us every moment of grief and pain in this life, then we would not learn to walk by faith. We would have no need of the atonement because all our painful decisions and paths would be protected and chosen by our Father in Heaven and our free agency would be rendered useless. We MUST pass through the trials of life to gain experience and wisdom and learn true Christlike love for our fellow man and render selfless service to those around us. This is our purpose on Earth; to love and serve one another and to bear each others' burdens and obey our God's commandments and prove ourselves herewith to see whichever way we should go. I am so proud and honored to be Dylan's dad and he has taught me more in the last four months about being good and faithfully enduring to the end than I have learned in the previous 36 years of my life. He is an amazing example of the pure love of Christ and the charity that is required of us. He gained so much pleasure in doing good for others and constantly worried about those that were going through their own trials (unfortunately too many of them were also affected by cancer). He loved life, he loved to laugh and make jokes and do stand up routines for people (he was pretty good at Brian Reagan). He genuinely cared for people and did more to affect people's lives in his 9 years on earth than I probably will be able to in the remainder of my time here. So many people have sent their concerns and condolences and a common theme in their messages is how much Dylan has changed their lives and how they want to do better because of him. You cannot imagine how proud this makes me as a father! My son having that much positive influence on the world is more gratifying that any other accomplishment I can think of. I can truly and honestly say that Dylan left this world better than he found it and not everyone can say that. His memory will live on in the works and lives of those left behind. My hope is for that memory to never fade, that we may always remember him and his life and his example and that in a year from now, when the pain subsides and the freshness of this experience is gone, that we all don't go back to 'the way things were'. I hope his example stands as a beacon for us all to strive to do better, to be better, to love better, to live better.
I will never feel fully worthy of having Dylan as my son but I feel privileged to have been chosen. We will forever be linked by the earthly bond and the heart of a father has truly been turned to the children. He taught me more than I ever taught him and I will forever be grateful to him for that. He has set the standard now that I must live up to and strive to become more like him. He will forever be my inspiration and guidance through this world. He truly and simply is my friend, my mentor and I'm so proud to call him my son!
I cannot thank you all enough for the heartfelt wishes of hope and support and pray God will bless you all for your acts of kindness on our behalf and pour his love and spirit upon you all!

Ryan-the Dad

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Viewing: Friday 6:00-9:00pm
                Saturday 10:00-11:30am

Funeral: Saturday 12:00pm

Stake Center: 2200 S 4300 W, West Haven

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Make a Wish

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Early this morning, 1:20, our sweet Dylan went to heaven.  He is free from the tumor.  He is free from any pain or sadness.  It was not easy to let him go.  Our lives were blessed every single day because he was in them.  We will feel this void for the remainder of our lives here on the Earth.  I know, he will be here with us whenever possible.  I know that he will watch over his brothers, sisters, parents, and family.  I know it was hard for him to leave us.  His mission on the other side is only beginning.  We love him so much, and will anxiously look forward to the beautiful reunion I know awaits us.  Thank you, from our hearts and souls, for all your love, concern, & prayers.  
We will forever be Doin' it 4 Dylan!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not great...


   The family photo, and this picture were taken at Bear Lake this last week.  We were all looking forward to getting away and going to our "happy place"...Dylan included.  It was a good week spent together...but not one of our typical weeks we are used to spending there.  Dylan is a fish, and would swim from sun up to sun down.  I think a small part of him refused to believe that he wouldn't be able to do the same thing he's done every summer.  He was pretty down and sad once we were there.  It was hard for him to watch all the other kids run and play and swim.  As you can imagine, it was heartbreaking for all of us.  SO many times I wished that Bear Lake could be like the Island on the show Lost.  That all of the sudden, just because we were in Bear Lake, he'd be free of the wheel chair... and all the other horrible effects of his tumor.   Through out the week his overall health was declining.  By Friday, Mandy and Ryan decided to take him in for another cat scan.  The results showed that the tumor has grown by 2cm.   This explained the decline, but is hard to hear.  The tumor is obviously very aggressive right now.  Today has been the worst so far.  He is pretty lethargic, been throwing up, not interested in eating, horrible headache, not really able to move at all, and very slurred speech.   All of these are symptoms of the tumor.  It is heartbreaking to see him like this.  It is so crazy that his mind can be just as normal as could be, but the tumor can be destroying him physically.  He is the same sweet boy as always.   I can't imagine how frustrating this must be for him.   Please continue to pray for him and his family.  Pray for his mom and dad.   I don't know if you all feel like this but our prayer lists are getting soooo long I can barely keep up.  Could you do us one more favor and pray for our newest little family member MASON.  He needs some extra help too..... pretty much we are a wreck  :)

I found this on pinterest the other day and decided it was fitting for us right now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Families are forever


I just got an email from Jennifer Woods, who has a son that is friends with Dylan.  She asked me to share about the Lacrosse Tournament and BBQ they are doing this weekend for him.  DAWSON will be playing in the tournament :)  Stop by and grab some yummy food!! :)


Grandchildren are the BEST!!!

We just got back from a week in Idaho with children and grandchildren to celebrate the 4th of July. It was WONDERFUL!!!

Ryan and Mandy and family went to Bear Lake to enjoy family for the 4th of July, so they were not with us.

Every prayer that was said and every blessing that was offered, included "Please bless Dylan's tumor to keep shrinking" - Tonight a granddaughter asked Heavenly Father to "Please bless Dylan's tumor to keep shrinking and bless that it might go away" - most prayers were offered by grandchildren, since they out number us adults, and oh how tender they were. Every time a prayer was offered, my heart filled with love and graditude for a wonderful family and knowledge of a Father in Heaven that Loves us dearly.

Everyone enjoy this summer!!! Isn't it nice to finally have it!!

I have to tell you how amazing Dawson (Dylan's older brother) is - I have watched him be so tender with Dylan, help him walk, push him in the wheel chair, and just be an amazing older brother. I know that Heavenly Father knew who to send first to help Dylan!!! I LOVE YOU DAWSON!!!! and Heavenly Father loves you too!!!!

Grandma Shaw