Since I began building my little keystroke cabin in this charming corner of blogworld, I’ve met more than a few enlightening, whimsical and talented neighbors. To date, I’ve published 32 posts all written in a light, spontaneous style. I choose this approach for a very simple reason-life is not always light and spontaneous, in fact, it can be quite the opposite for many.
Yesterday I subbed in our local Middle School and there was an early morning assembly. My job was to escort the class to the auditorium then remain with them during the entire program. The assembly’s speaker was John Halligan, a man who’s dedicated his life to sharing a “powerful healing message of forgiveness and unconditional love.” On October 7, 2003, John Halligan’s thirteen-year-old son took his own life. There are many layers to Ryan Halligan’s story-a story of bullying, undiagnosed depression and missteps on all sides, along the way. During the ninety-minute assembly, John Halligan peeled away these layers one-by-one.
Ryan’s beautiful spirit, smiling and sometimes laughing floated by on a large screen behind his father as his sad story unfolded.
Listening to Ryan’s brave father speak on stage, at times choking up on words and images of his son, sent a powerful message. In his brief lifetime, Ryan wished for nothing more than unconditional love.The very thing that would have saved him. The very thing his father and mother gave and continue to give. In this world of excess and jargon, unconditional love remains free and honest. One of John Halligan’s closing remarks, “…if I’ve gotten through to just one student today, just one, this was worth it. Kids know you are loved, know you are loved, you are loved unconditionally…”
John Halligan ended Ryan’s Story with words he himself received from his high school art teacher, “…every inkblot can be turned into a butterfly…”
If you’d like to learn the details of Ryan’s Story: http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/