I came across Jacqui Saldana's blog about 2.5 years ago and soon started to follow her instagram account (@babyboybakery). Her feed was filled with pictures of her sweet little son Ryan making it so easy to smile whenever she posted something new. From the small snippets of her life she shared it was clear that Jacqui was a mother to look up to and Ryan was a fireball filled with nothing but positive energy. Last year, Jacqui's entire world was turned upside down when she tragically lost her three and a half year old son, Ryan. She shares her grief and uses her blog as an outlet to help get her through the darkest of all darkness while helping others who are experiencing grief of their own.
I have never met Jacqui in my life but I think of her strength and her love for Ryan constantly. Jacqui and her husband Dan continue to honour their son with every last bit of energy they have. At the end of Ryan's eulogy written by Jacqui (shared on her blog) it said "Promise that you will Live loud, live wild... Live like our Ryan Cruz.". I'm still not sure how a stranger's story can affect me so much but since that day I catch myself thinking of those very exact words. Live loud, live wild has been permanently sketched into my brain and I think of little Ryan always. Jacqui's wish was that her son would never be forgotten and let me just say that although I have never met Ryan or his family I think of him even when I'm putting on my red chucks. I think of him when I see red balloons, and I think of him when I see Mickey Mouse.
Jacqui's strength and the ways she honours her beautiful little Ry leaves even strangers thinking of him. For my latest DIY project, I knew in my heart that "live loud, live wild" was something I wanted to be reminded of everyday . So, in honour of Ryan Cruz and his beautiful momma I made two prints of my own that I have hung right above my desk.
Rest in Paradise little Ryan. We'll all try a little bit harder to live loud and wild like you. 🎈
A 24 year old Canadian living (& teaching) in Shenzhen, China.