A friend pointed out that an update is way overdue! I am doing very well! I think I really needed to hit rock bottom to realize I am still ALIVE and need to LIVE everyday to the fullest. It's been pretty surreal that past few weeks though, but I can see so much beauty out of all this pain.
Last Friday my intend was to leave Hopi after a few workshops I presented to attend an 11 year old's Celebration of Life. I was in a complete numb,fog when I realized I couldn't possibly get there in time. I took my time checking out of the hotel and decided to go check out the local artists that were by the Cultural Center. I talked to a few of the artists for a bit and as I was getting ready to leave, one of them asked if I could give him a ride home. Unlike something I would ever do I said I would. While this could be very dangerous in Phoenix, it is an everyday occurrence in this area and I felt completely comfortable with this very nice gentleman. He packed up his art in the back of my pickup and I drove him home. We talked about his culture, Ryder and family. He invited me into his home and said he had something special he wanted to give me. I was beyond overwhelmed when he offered me a Katsina that he had hand carved and painted. It is truly beautiful and something I will treasure forever--- the whole experience! He showed me his workshop and a piece he is working on now. We talked about history, more about Ryder and culture. He invited me and my family to visit and he'll take us on a tour very soon! I have never connected with a complete stranger so fast. I am in awe of this experience and felt a peace in my heart. Arvin (the amazing artist) was meant to come into my life...... and in perfect timing!
When I got home from this trip, Les had another surprise for me! Les had been driving my Pilot to work so I could take his Tundra on my work trips. A co-worker had seen the Mommy of An Angel sticker on the back of my car the day before and it touched her heart. She wrote a beautiful card and gave me a Mommy of An Angel bracelet that I will also cherish forever!
I was so very touched by the kindness of complete strangers! There are some really amazing people in this world!!!! I don't think they will ever really know how much their actions meant to me! I've been heartbroken at the loss of 2 children with Leukodystrophy the past week.
The next day (Valentine's Day) we went to the valley to do some car shopping. I travel so much for work lately and we wanted something that didn't have as many miles. We had been looking around for about a month and I was pretty set on a Toyota Highlander. However, I had an open mind since I didn't think we'd be buying a vehicle that day. I test drove a Rav 4 and really liked it! We also met a very awesome car salesman (Deiter) at the dealership. After going to lunch and talking it over, plus getting a smoking deal, we decided to buy the Rav 4. I became so emotional, something I didn't expect at all! I was extremely attached to that Pilot! It was the last vehicle Ryder was in so it felt like I was moving further away from Bubba.Plus as I cleaned it out I found a spare pair of Ryder's socks I kept in there just in case. It was really hard to part with it... and I'm tearing up now just writing this! On our way home Tyler (our 10 year old) said, "Mom we can make new memories in this car!" He is so sweet... and so right! I want to find someone who can customize a tire cover with an In Memory of Ryder to replace the sticker that was on my Pilot. I went home and slept for the rest of the day pretty much! It was a draining, but memorable weekend. My brothers' long time girlfriend Sammy also told me something that is in the works which is really, really exciting! I'll announce it when more details are figured out :)
Rejoice in Paradise: You both will always be remembered and have a place in my heart <3
PJ Syverson (11 years old)
Madelyn Cooper (5 years old)