04 September 2008

My first chance and many more

Hello all.

Yesterday was my first chance to grab a mic and share my life with willing ears. I never got nervous until the car ride. My Dad and I discussed how my approach to this was going to be. I hadn't written any notes or bullet points on anything, because for some reason it just doesn't sit well with with.

My Dad warned me not to tell the crowd my entire life story, to leave room for them to buy the book after if they wanted too. When we got there, a fire began to burn in my stomach, maybe it was due to the fact that I was hungry or everything that I've been longing and hoping for was about to become real.

As I sat in the car, I examined the amount of cars and people walking in and out. Which there were many. My Dad helped me into my wheel chair an we then went into the conference hall. It was fairly big, and some people were dressed to the nines, and me in a pin stripe shirt and jeans and black shoes.

I wanted to rock the man in black look, but NE is so gosh darn hot, and I really didn't want to die early. Anyhow, when we were inside we were met by my new friend Brian. He is a very cool guy. He seated us at a table at the very front of the room.

Lunch was being served, and while we ate the good food. Brian and I talked about writing. He to is a fellow writer. He is working on his first book and I am honored to help him get his first book published.

While others were still eating, Brian and I talked about life and faith and hope. He to was a believer in Jesus. So that calmed my nerves a bit, in between the small talk. People that would chime in a say: "Hey Brian, what's the program for today?"

Brian would say: "Well we have an author here (Brandon Ryan) who wrote a book on his life". The responses would be "wow" or even a nod of approval. Before I new it, it was time to take my position in front of the podium and share myself with the sixty plus crowd.

Brian, read from a brief Biography that I sent to him as an introduction. The room was so silent, as though they were waiting for some famous musician to strike the first not on a piano, as my Dad wheeled me up there. I knew in my heart that there was no turning back.

I did what I always do. Bring it from the heart and nothing less. I started to talk about my life, what my condition was and the challenge it has made my life. I talked about the pain I've gone through, the scars on my body and the operations they were from.

I then went on to talk about life for others and how painful it can be. Babies who never get a chance to be brought into this world, people who cut, people who suffer from depression and not wanting to get out of bed every morning.

People watched and listened as though nothing else mattered, not getting back to their jobs or anything. Every one was in the moment. I openly talked about suicide and how thoughts of it were sometimes worse than actually going through with it. I even talked about how important it was to start living life.

That it wasn't about the money being made in life, we can't take anything with us when we die. Except how we lived are lives. I told the everyone how important it was to start living life today, for something more. And that if they knew of someone who was hurting or suffering, to please go and try and help them any way they could.

I ended my talk with a quote from Mother Teresa: "We are not called to do great things, only small things with great love."

Then it was time for a small question and answer session. People asked about my life and if I was on any medication. To which I replied yes, but very little, only really an anti depressant to help combat my own fight with an illness. Other questions were somewhat business related, which I didn't mind.

But the past was still yet to come. Several people approached me about how they could buy the book. I had brought a huge box full, as others made their way to my Dad to handle the money side of things. I was approached by a few people that worked in the Millard school district, they told me up front that they wanted to book me to come speak at their schools.

As some of you may or may not know, the Omaha and Millard area have been on the end of school shootings, threats and other life altering events. This clicked in my mind and I said yes to them right away.

Others came to me shook my hand and asked me to sign their books. Which I did with delight. I looked everyone in the eyes and asked them how they were doing in life. People told me that I had such a great voice and that they would help me get more events like this. Which brought me great humility and joy.

While some were talking to my Dad, I spoke with a lady (Who's name I forgot) but we had the most honest conversation in three to four minutes. She told me that she had a friend who's son committed suicide. I told her how sorry I was to hear that, and that it is horrible. She asked me if I had a business card, but I didn't because they were all gone, as always.

But she wanted her friend to contact me, because he runs and organization that deals with coping with the loss of a loved one from Suicide. So without thinking I wrote down my number to give to him. And I hope and pray he calls.

While I was still signing books and shaking hands. My Dad talked to tall man named Mike. I had no clue, what he did at all. So when my Dad and I got back into the car to drive home, he told me that Mike worked for the Millard Board Of Education. Which took me be surprise.

My Dad told how Mike told him that he was very serious about booking me for a large assemble. Which made me smile from ear to ear. I was ready to do it right then and there. Not because if being center stage or having attention, but because of the chance to be a light in the darkness.

This all means so much to me. I know this is only the start of greater things. And I cannot find the words to thank God for granting me the chance to talk about the hope that he gives everyday.

And I thank you so much for all of you who have supported me from the start, without you I wouldn't be this far. But I need all of you to get excited and on fire with me, please. Please tell your churches or venues about my story. Read it if you have not already.

I believe that lives are being changed and great things are in store for our world. So lets believe in recovery and redemption. Because its either we choose one or the other. we either choose to live or we perish. Lets choose to live.

With love,

-Brandon the writer.

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