As I sat down to write this note to the editor I realized I didn’t even know who to address it to because there would be NO way that I could ever address it to everyone. With that in mind I decided on ‘Dear Friends,’
Our lives were forever changed on July 27, 2014 when we received a phone call saying our son, Ryder Steck, had been involved in a car crash and was being taken to Grant Hospital in Columbus. Ryder passed away on August 2, 2014, but what happened in the 6 days prior to his death and still happening today has been, simply put, overwhelming and amazing.
To everyone who had came to Grant, called or texted or posted on the Ryders Fighters facebook page, brought food, sent flowers, came to my sister’s to visit with us or our family, stood in line at the calling hours or funeral, or even said a prayer for us, we could never say ‘thank you’ enough.
We feel so blessed to live in not just this community, but the surrounding ones as well. We always knew that when times get tough we come together but, up until this point, we had never been on the receiving end of that help. Let me say, the love that we have felt has been like no other, and it probably is what has got us through to this point.
I would like to say a special thank you to everyone involved in the staff at Highland Local schools and the students as well. It isn’t every day that a patient in the trauma ICU gets visits from the Superintendent, a Principal, school board members, teachers, coaches from the boys and girls sports, guidance counselors, and so many students/friends. Ryder’s nurse even said if we were from any schools districts around there, that would never happen. The support for Parker and Ranger is still going on and so appreciated, as the days ahead are going to be tougher than the days behind us.
I also can not go without saying a very heartfelt thank you to the men and woman who saved my son’s life …..when the Chief Neurological surgeon tells us on 3 different times that the first responders saved our son’s life, you tend to sit up and take notice. To the Morrow Co EMS Station 1 & 3, the Big Walnut Joint Fire Firefighters Stations 1 & 2, saying ‘thank you’ seems so small to say, but please believe when us when we say WE KNOW that you guys gave us 6 days with Ryder. 144 hours to watch him sleep, and give us thumbs up to Jeff Sparks and Keith Ernsberger - you two will never know what those 144 hours gave us, and again, having the Fire Chief at the hospital and get on his knees and pray with us and for Ryder was way beyond what is in his job description. Jeff and Emily stayed with us and cried with us and prayed with us and answered questions when they could have been home with their families.
We are forever all of you guys #1 fans - whatever any of you need, call us we will try to help. We know Ryder was in the best possible care from the time the first man stopped until the EMS and Firefighters arrived, all the way to Grant from Chesterville and even still upon arrival at the trauma unit.
We do not know why Ryder didn’t make it. His doctors do not even know what happened. All we know is we had 18 years 1 month and 14 days with a great kid, and we miss him so much already that thinking much past tomorrow seems unbearable, but we also know that we are not the only ones grieving over our son, and we had to take a minute to say thank you to everyone who has touched our lives in this time.
Like we said, saying ‘thank you’ seems so small, but please know we say it with so much love and respect behind it and we truly believe that your prayers and support is what has pushed us forward.
Ron, Kila Parker, Ranger and the family of Ryder W. Steck