Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Bonus Month

Ryan Salmons had a dream...watch the Blue Jackets in playoffs. But the doctors said that would not happen. The cancer had relapsed and was moving fast. The Blue Jackets would make the playoffs, but there was no way Ryan could live that long.

But the doctors forgot about "The Bonus Month". Ryan has fought another month, and is still going. He got to see his team in the playoffs. He was signed by the Blue Jackets on a one day contract, and has seen his jersey become one of their top sellers. He saw the Blue Jackets begin the last game with Tony Elliott carrying the flag onto the ice wearing the Ryan Salmons jersey. He meet with Wayne Gretzky in the locker room. He took a private tour of the Corvette plant, and test rode in a newly built ZR1. He had clubs of Corvette drivers from all over come to see him. And, most of all, he had his dad, family, and friends by his side. As his father said, "Ryan made the most of living life. He packed more into our "bonus" month that most people do in a summer."

I believe the greatest gift we receive from these young men and women is the courage they display. Despite being surrounded by unimaginable obstacles, they find a way to laugh, to love, to dream.

Some might look at Ryan and ask why he put up with so much pain. Why didn't he just quit a year ago to avoid all the suffering? Some say he is losing his battle with cancer. But I disagree. I would say he has won. What I see is a young man who has irreversibly changed the lives of an entire hockey team, as well as many others (including me). He has become a symbol of strength and determination to thousands. He has enjoyed deeper relationships with his family and friends, and with God. Who could ever call that losing?

Ryan is part of a unique club. A club that includes Tyler, Mason, Joe, Brett, Kylee, Jake, A.J., Matthew, Jesse, Colyn, Christian, Tristan, Sinjin, and thousands of others. They have all been given a path to greatness that leads them through Hell. Some survive, while others do not. But none of them ever loses.

So here is the question. What would you do with a bonus month? How would you spend your time? The truth is that someday we will all reach our last month. So is it possible to live an entire life with the passion that Ryan shows? I think it is possible. In fact, I think the lives of these kids are screaming at us all, telling us to live a life worth living.

With each day we trade our time for opportunity. And when the day ends, it is gone forever. In its place what we achieved with the opportunity day has given. Was it worth the trade? Was the trade a gain or a loss? In the exchange of time, there are no refunds. The clock never stops moving.

I guess the real challenge is understanding that life is not about the number of days on our calender, or candles on our cake. Rather, life is only about those days that we made use full use of, that we made an impact. Now, as I finish each day, I look back and ask myself, "Was it worth the price, the cost of another day out of my life?" To be honest, most the time I am not happy with my answer. But I guess honesty is the first step in changing.

So live every day as if it were your bonus month. The lives of these kids demand it from us all.

We are embracing our moments- Not dwelling on the past nor being anxious or worrying about the future at this moment. We are giving our full attention to the now and letting go of any outcomes. Rather than seeking quantity of time, we're enjoy and are savoring every single minute.--Dawn Harris, mother of 10 year old Seth Harris, as they wait for the bone marrow transplant.

Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time. --Ephesians 5:15-16

The time I’ve had has been enough—time enough to make the world a better place for having been here.--Miles Levin

Every day is a gift. Everyday holds the hope of changing the world. Everyday is a chance to make life AWESOME!--Jake Silberg

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though everything is a miracle. The other is as if nothing is a miracle. --Albert Einstein


Anonymous said...


Mary said...

Morning Tyler and Family Thank you so much for telling us about Ryan. I hope all is going well with you all. Please know that I am thinking about you and keeping you close in prayer


Char Woods said...

Awesome! Way to go Ryan! You are such an inspiration. Kyle, thanks for your words of wisdom!

Anonymous said...

Wow...very well written.