Keep us in your prayers 

June is a big month for the award family. It’s everyone’s birthday…mine, my dad, my cousin, grandma, mom, and brother. It is also Josh’s dad’s birthday and some family friends. It’s also Father’s Day and many years have held graduations. It’s been hard to celebrate these events without Riley. When he was little, he would ask at each birthday “when’s it gonna be my birt-day?” Until, finally, we reached his on the 27th. Mother’s Day was hard. Each birthday has been hard. Father’s Day will be sad. Most of all, my brother’s 29th birthday will come around, and he won’t be here to turn 29. 

I still can’t believe this happened. Is it possible that this is my life now? There is an enormous void in my life and it seems to widen as time passes. Time, the thing that was promised to cure my pain, is making it ever more intense and difficult to accept. 

“You just need time” people have told me. 

“Time heals all things.”

So far, time has not helped. I feel as though nothing will. The hurt is unimaginable. It overwhelms me. I just want to talk to him. 

So please keep my family in your prayers as we navigate this tricky season in which we celebrate half heartedly and feel our loss more intensely than ever. 

In my dad’s words, from Facebook:

Dear friends and family, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the warm wishes and love that you have given me today and for the last three months as well. You’ll never know nor will I ever be able to express how much it has helped me to survive.

I remember birthdays spent as a young adult all alone, sometimes living in a car or worse. I thought it was the worst thing that a human could endure. Believing that nobody cared.

This birthday is my first without my son and I cannot breathe a full breath. I blew out a candle today with my family and made a silent wish to myself that Riley is in peace and at last happy and tears ran down my face. 

So thanks for all the love and patience I will never forget the kindness that people have in their hearts.

Now I need to do what we Wards do and get some whiskey. 

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