Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 10th - Ryan's Birthday

May 10th is a good day. It is a day that we go visit my brother, Ryan's grave site. We go as a family and clean up around the head stone and put in new flowers. This has been a healing event for all of us. We remember a great man, brother, son, would be uncle if he were alive today.

May 10th is a hard day, but not as hard as May 23rd. My brother died 13 days after his 20th birthday. He was killed by a drunk driver. My kid's never met my brother, nor did my brother get to see me get married. But, his memory is carried on. His example is passed down. His tragic death is helping others to hopefully choose to make better decisions.

My brothers and I were raised with the full knowledge of the damage alcohol can do to a family. We learned that we could choose to stay away or fall victim to the addiction that consumes so many lives. Joshua and I still choose to abstain from the use of alcohol as a way to set ourselves apart as an example to those we love. We talk very openly about how the actions of the young lady who killed my brother. Not in a judgmental way, but in a way that hopefully shows mercy and forgiveness. My kid's ask why Ryan is in Heaven and we tell them that "someone made a bad decision to drink and drive" and "that we need to pray that this young lady will make better decisions since she has a second chance, whereas my brother does not." My hope is that my kid's will not only see the how every choice they make doesn't just affect them. I also hope that they will choose God's way and not their own way.


The 5 Arbuckle's said...

I'm proud of your family for making the decision to abstain from alcohol and sharing that with others. Bill grew up around alcoholism and know it's terrible effects also. So our family chooses to abstain also. You never know when one sip will lead you down the path of alcoholism.

Alyssa said...

I love the fact that you plant flowers there every year! How great and wonderful that grave sight looks. We too are non-drinkers. My dad's dad was an alcoholic and killed himself by driving a motorcycle drunk when my dad was 6. My dad said, "Not even one sip." What an impact that story made on my life. Thank you for sharing yours.

Samantha said...

I'm sorry that we could not be there.

Kayla said...

I have never seen a flower garden at a grave site but I love it. Great story Elizabeth.

Amy said...

Elizabeth. Thank you so much for this blog entry. I was just having a conversation with my 20 year old about drinking. He does not but his views on it seem to be weakening. God is good in allowing me to be able to show him your words and to touch his heart to stay strong and not live like the world. Thank you friend.