Red Balloons for Ryan


It started with Instagram and a picture of a mummy, a daddy and the cutest red headed boy I have ever seen. Then the caption. The words ‘tragedy’ and ‘sudden loss’ were mentioned. That sweet boy was dead.

I immediately went into a frenzy. Searching on other Instagram profiles for anything that would explain what had happened. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. A little boy, dead? A three-year old little boy, whose mother had posted, that same morning, a picture of him running through Disneyland, was hit by a truck. He is no longer here. No longer in the arms of his mother. How can that be?

This hit too close to home. Jacqui, is a mother who blogged about her son, baked with him, took silly selfies and filled her life with every bit of his being. She is me. To even come close to the thought of such an unfathomable tragedy, is unbearable pain. This little man, overflowing with life and love, was just gone. In a second.

Over these past few days, I realise this story has changed me. I have thought of the little things his parents will miss sorely. His tantrums and his messes. Sleepless nights and crayon markings on the white wall. Crazy moments when all you want to do is peace and quiet and to crawl into bed with a good book. His beautiful smile and the way he calls you mama. Sudden bursts of I Love You’s and asphyxiating hugs. Weird drawings you can’t help but find brilliant. Walking hand in hand, teaching him all you know and hope to learn from him. My heart feels broken for Jacqui.

I would lie if I said I have never thought about something bad happening. I always shake it off and move on This time, a little boy’s story has grabbed me and shaken me so hard, I can’t fight it. But I have learnt from it. We all must. Life. Is. Precious. Treat it that way and treat your children that way. Show them how much they mean to you. Everyday. Spend as much time as possible with them and shower them with affection. Life is too short to be pissed off and grumpy and dedicated so much to a time schedule that you forget these days and moments will never come back.

Hug your little ones tighter tonight and a belated Happy Mother’s Day.


This image was taken from Society6. I think all the proceeds go to Ryan’s parents. Since word spread on Instagram, Red Balloons for Ryan was created as a hashtag and people from all over the world did whatever they could to help Jacqui and Dan, raising almost 50,000 dollars. I like to think that each and every person, praying and sending love has lifted their spirits somewhat higher. You can read more about Ryan and his story here

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