Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 20th

It's February 20th.  To most it is a typical normal day. For most of us we have work, we have family and we do our best to balance life as we know it raising our children. We take the tough moments as they come, secretly thinking that our life is harder than everybody else that we know.  All of that being said, most of us, never have to deal with the one thing that enters all of our minds as a moment that could change our lives forever.  Scott and I deal with a lot.  If you are reading this blog you know because we journal it here.  I thank God every day that no matter how bad it gets, we have never had to face something that we couldn't handle and God willing I will never have to deal with that in our lifetime.  

There is never a moment in our world when we hear bad news or we discover a set-back with our son that I don't think about how fortunate and thankful we are to be blessed with the our gift that is our life.  We are always reminded of how fortunate we are because of the Borisenko family.

I wrote the following blog for the Columbia Daily Tribune almost a year ago but tonight I am thinking of the Borisenko Family and every year at this time I will think of them and many days in between:

Holiday cards.  Most of us send them and enjoy getting them.  When Scott and I lived in Colorado we loved the annual correspondence because for most of our Missouri friends it was the only connection we had all year.  It was a way for us to connect with our high school, Mizzou and St. Louis friends.   There were many cards that I always looked forward to opening. 

For me one of my favorite cards was always a family that I didn't really know because they were Mizzou friends of Scott’s. I felt a connection to them because Scott always talked about how much fun they were in college.  The Borisenko family.  Every year we would watch the family grow.  One boy, then two, then three and finally four.  I remember watching the cards and thinking, oh my,  how on earth does somebody have the energy to raise FOUR boys?  The card always depicted a beautiful shot of a summer trip or beach scene that instantly took you to a vacation or day of fun that you knew was a memory that the family would enjoy for a lifetime. 

December 2005. I will never forget the day I opened the Borisenko holiday card.  I opened the card and my heart stopped.  The memory is still so vivid.  I was standing in the kitchen of our Colorado home in disbelief at a card that now had only three boys in the photo.  I had checked the mail during the day because I was on maternity leave having just given birth to Wyatt.  I quickly called Scott at work.  “Scott what happened, oh no, what happened?”  I explained what I was looking at and we were shocked, saddened and overwhelmed with the news. 

Scott quickly searched the internet and was able to find out what had happened.  We were devastated to learn that John and Shawn’s youngest boy Riley had died.  We didn't know what to think or feel.  I remember that Riley was close in age to Rye because in previous years I thought it was interesting that their names were so similar. 

We learned that Riley died unexpectedly and there was no real explanation.  We quickly learned about Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC).  Riley was a healthy, happy boy who took a nap because he was feeling a little under the weather, and he never woke up.  My heart still sinks when I think about it.  I remember praying for the Borisenko family and at the same time thanking God that I had two healthy boys of my own. 

When we learned of Riley’s death we did not know that Rye had autism.  All we knew was that we were so lucky to have two boys who were healthy. 

Now that we know Rye has autism, all we know is that we are so lucky to have two boys who are healthy. 

On this journey it is easy to get caught up in the pity-party of how hard this life is for us.  How hard it is for our boy to communicate, understand and interpret the world he is living in. 

But in reality all we have to do is be thankful that we have two boys who love us unconditionally.  Autism is a journey that we did not ask for but we are thankful to have the experience of raising a boy who is teaching us to look at life from a unique perspective. 

Rye is a blessing.  He is a gift.  We will cherish every moment of his life; the happy times, the hard times, and the meltdowns. 

December 2008, I will never forget the day I opened the Borisenko holiday card.  I opened the card and my heart stopped.  The memory is still so vivid.  I was standing in the kitchen of our Missouri home in disbelief at a card that now had three boys and a beautiful baby girl.  I quickly called Scott at work.  “Scott you won’t believe it, I’m so happy.”  I explained what I was looking at and we were both shocked, full of joy and overwhelmed with the news.  John and Shawn had given birth to a beautiful baby girl.  Lillian (Lilly) Riley Borisenko. 

We are amazed at the strength of the Borisenko family.  We are so lucky.  We are so thankful.  We are so blessed to have two boys who are happy and healthy.  

Right now there is legislation that can help.  Please take a moment to contact your legislator to voice your opinion on the issue.  Sudden Unexpected Death needs more attention.  Please sign the petition and make the necessary contacts that will give SUD the support it needs.

To the Borisenko Family.  We love you.  We support you and there will never be a February 20th that we don't remember Riley.   

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing and helping us remember to be thankful for the joys we have in life and never take them for granted. As always you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.