Prayers for Strength

It’s been awhile since my last real update…not because I haven’t wanted to, rather it has been difficult to find inspiration or positive news to share. It is SO difficult to see my son in this condition. Once so full of life, zest and laughter…is now replaced by doubt, sadness and tears. His once strapping 6′ 3″ 200+ lb frame is so still and frail….I hate this! Why is this happening to him?! I am having such a difficult time understanding what reason God would have to do this to my boy. We are filled with such sadness and despair. Ryley’s once bright smile and baby blues always there to bring a smile to your face and a warm feeling in your heart must now be pryed from him, replaced instead by tears, fear and loneliness. Gone are the constant visitors steaming in to see him…back to their own routines…their own lives. I too must find the strength to get back to some sense of normal. After 30+ days of hospital couches, chairs and floors I must go back home for Colby and Will, I must go back to work, I must prepare for the new normal. I must find the strength to move forward to support Ryley’s long, long journey ahead. As I left the Shepherd Center yesterday, I kissed Ryley on his head and told him I loved him so very much, for him to be strong, to fight and work hard! I hoped for his strong embrace in return, but it never came. His smile and baby blues will have to be enough…for now. The walk from his room to the car waiting to take me to the airport was a blur. Do I cancel my flight and stay? How do I leaveKim on her own to bear this responsibility? How? Why? Why! One long hug and kiss for Kim then in the car. Do I stay? As the car drives off we wave both mouthing the words I love you in unison as my eyes tear up and I begin to sob uncontrollably. I hate this! I must be strong.

The rest of my trip is a blur. As if I was on autopilot I go through the motions to get on the plane and fly back home, my thoughts are back in Atlanta. But as I walk through the door at home I am greeted by Colby and Will and we hug…we hug for a long time…it’s so good to see them. For a moment things seem like they always have…what a great feeling.

As I awake this morning my thoughts jump right back to Atlanta. How did Ryley sleep? How is he feeling this morning? Is he going to go to PT? What’s the plan? He did have a restful sleep and his appetite has returned, thankfully. He needs to build his strength! Some PT is on the schedule and we pray he can handle. Kim’s got this…got him. She is strong! And Happy 22nd Anniversary Kim. You are my best friend and partner for life. We are miles apart right now but I know our love for one another has never been stronger. I love you Kim Hopper!

Please PRAY for Ryley to keep the evil one away from his dreams and mind. Give him the strength to WANT to work hard with his PT.

PRAY for Kim as his rock and caregiver over the weeks and months to come. Pray for her comfort as she sleeps by his side nightly on anything but a bed.

PRAY for our family as we live apart in the weeks and months to come. Keep our love for each other strong and deep no matter what comes before us.

Please PRAY for me to keep focused on all the preparation and work required to ensure our family’s path forward is secure financially with special housing, transportation, equipment and ongoing care for Ryley.
All of your support means the world to me and our family. I know life goes on but PLEASE do NOT forget Ryley. Mail him a note, a picture, a package anything to bring those baby blues and smiles out. If you are in the Atlanta area email/text Kim or me to schedule a time to stop by! He loves and needs visitors and needs your strength knowing you are there for him. Thanks to everyone from NC who has already come to visit including Cory Subasic and his Dad, Dean Buttrey and Lucas Arbutina. It meant so much to him…and to us!


We love you all! God bless you all!