A Mom’s Broken Heart

She called with the most devastating news. Her 15-year-old great nephew, David, had taken his own life. My stomach dropped. I sat down to be able to hear what she was telling me.

Rhonda and I are breast cancer friends. Despite living in the same community, we’d never met until we were both diagnosed with the same kind of breast cancer within a week of each other. We had the same set of doctors,  same insurance, same treatment plan, same prognosis. We met and have clung to each other these past seven years.

At my last radiation treatment, my skin was burned and my fatigue relentless. Rhonda used her old patient key card to get to the radiation waiting area. Because she’d been through it all, she knew I would be there after that last treatment to gather my things, change and leave.

She had pink roses and fudge. Fudge! You bet I’m going to cling to a friend like that who  breaches security to bring flowers and chocolate. I could sob now just thinking about it.

When a friend like that tells you her sweet great nephew, a boy she’s known his whole life, held as an infant, played with as a toddler and a big boy, seen grow into a teen, celebrated birthdays, holidays, family milestones and vacations with has taken his own life at age 15, you listen, you cry, you go to God in prayer for her, his parents, teachers and friends, the whole reeling family.

David’s death was tragically connected to cyberbullying. I hate thinking about bullying. I don’t like visualizing children being cruel to each other. I hate hearing stories about that taking place in our neighborhoods, families, schools, churches, anywhere. It is especially hard to get my mind around cyberbullying because I don’t understand all those dynamics about how people communicate these days. I know when parents figure out one medium, like Facebook or Snapchat, we are already behind because new cyber-ways to communicate pop up daily.

I’ve known several families over the years who have lost children. Some of them, despite their grief, have bravely risen from the loss to make a difference. David’s parents, Maureen and Matt, and his brothers, Cliff and Chris, started speaking out almost immediately against cyberbullying and the responsibility we all have to wake up. They founded David’s Legacy, http://www.davidslegacy.org, a non-profit to end cyber-assisted bullying, promote kindness and change laws. They have made great progress in a short time.

Maureen, David’s mom is coming to our school district, Grapevine Colleyville ISD, on Wednesday, May 16  at 6 p.m. at Dove Elementary in Grapevine to share her story and to raise awareness for how we can help our children and youth and prevent cyber-assisted bullying. Event Flyer

She is flying in from San Antonio just to speak to us and flying home late that night in order to work the next day. Why? Because her broken mom’s heart does not want us to lose one more precious child to this.

May is the fullest of months. We all have so much to do. This event is open to everyone in our community not just the Dove Elementary family, not just to GCISD families, teachers, parents, grandparents but everyone.

I do not like to think about bullying. I do not understand this cyber world our children and youth use to communicate. But, when my friends hurt, I hurt. When moms and dads with broken hearts speak to us through their tears for change, I will listen.

Lets pack to overflowing the cafeteria at Dove Elementary in Grapevine on Wednesday, May 16 at 6 p.m. because David’s voice deserves to be heard and we need to listen.

Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, mother of three, Mimosa to Keller and Pace, breast cancer survivor and co-founder of Connect in GCISD. 

7 thoughts on “A Mom’s Broken Heart”

  1. So tragic. My heart breaks at the hurting of our children. I have no answers. I’m helping another mother whose 14 year old son is suffering from depression and other symptoms, and I’ve wondered if bullying is involved. I just want to love them all and help them see that it will get better. It really will get better, and we just have to lean on God, because… I don’t know what else to do…

  2. Powerful. Positive for such sadness. I don’t know how to post this to share on fb. I see others do that with your blogs and I can share from theirs, but…if there is something I’m missing that is easy for you to instruct me, please do!

    Know your weekend was so special. Ours too. I’m moving slowly today! Skipped Pilates! Late yesterday Lillian finally took a nap and slept 16 hours and Penelope had to be awakened this morning and “was a zombie”. Bob said a 5 hour bday party will wear anyone out! That was Saturday! Getting old! I Loved the sweet patriotic romper you bought! So pretty!


    Sent from my iPad

  3. 💔 I pray the Holy Spirit will FILL that cafeteria, and bless that sweet Mama…

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. This just breaks every parents heart and of course everyone who knew and loved David. Prayers for hearts to heal and change when it comes to any
    kind of bullying. Cyber bullying has made it way to easy to inflict pain on these fragile and vulnerable kids. It is so easy to be kind and can make such
    a difference in each life. It is a conversation that needs to happen in each and every home.

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