This is a moving letter of tribute to a very special father, Josh Ryan, written by his loving wife for Father’s Day.
Tracy first met Josh on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, CA in 2007 through mutual friends. They knew immediately they wanted to be together and rarely spent a day apart until they married 5 years later in Beverly Hills, CA at the famed Greystone Mansion.
The couple knew they wanted kids immediately, and on October 12th, 2012 Sophie Isabella Ryan was born at a whopping 9lbs 7.04 oz. She was the picture of health until her brain tumor diagnosis when she was only 8 1/2 months old.
Within weeks of Sophie’s diagnosis the couple met TV & film star Ricki Lake who was filming the Netflix documentary titled Weed the People. After introducing medical cannabis to the pair, and after doing their own research coupled with permission from Soph’s oncology team, the young baby began taking medical cannabis to fight her disease at 9 months old. Camera crews followed the family for 6 years as they relentlessly fought against a difficult to treat low grade tumor.
Now over 7 years later, Sophie has become a globally recognized medical miracle, and the focus of groundbreaking research led by her mom and renowned cancer immunology research scientist, Dr. Anahid Jewett. With passion to find a cure as their drive, the family has been relentless in their fight to end cancer using non-toxic therapeutics, and they’re getting closer by the day.
This is a touching tribute of love from one wife to her husband as their lives begin a new chapter filled with hope and optimism.
The love story begins….
TO MY HUSBAND, MY HERO, MY BEST FRIEND
From Tracy Ryan to Josh Ryan
It’s been over 13 years since the day we locked eyes. I still don’t know if that number is lucky for us or not after the road we just travelled. They call it the roller coaster of life, and for us that has been the understatement of the century.
How do I even put into words what this life of ours has thrown at us. The mountains we have had to climb only to fall off the cliff over and over again. And we weren’t always there to catch each other.
I guess that’s what happens when you’re infant is diagnosed with a brain tumor at 8 ½ months old. Your storybook, picture perfect world just starts to crumble right before your eyes. You know, the one you always dreamt of and worked so hard to make a reality? The company you built together, amazing families, the most beautiful baby girl in a love filled marriage, surrounded by friends who you thought really cared about you.
And now here we are. Eight months off treatment after 6 ½ years of non-stop chemo being pumped into our strawberry-blonde beauty. How did we do it? How is it possible that we stand here today happier than we have ever been after what we have had to watch our child go through? After we have lost so many friends, and have gone broke and recovered more times than we can count.
I’ll tell you why. Because you are the most amazing husband, father and son, and your love for Sophie and I endured through all. You never turned your back on the pain or us no matter how hard unbearable. You were vulnerable in ways that every man should aspire to achieve when the world has otherwise taught them to only be strong. You have become the man I always knew you were, and you have brought out the wife and mother in me that I always hoped I’d be.
We both made a choice together, and we have stuck to it. We chose to leave the past where it was, because we simply cannot change it. We try to be present and not worry so much about the future, despite the difficulty to do so. We forgave each other and ourselves, and recognized all the good we had been able to do in the world despite how hard our lives were. We chose each other. We chose our family. We chose love.
And through that love we are raising this exceptional tiny human. Despite what she has gone through she is most vibrant child with an empathetic heart most only hope to encounter. She loves her daddy and mommy fiercely, and I know she’s why God gave us breath. Our unwavering purpose to be better and do more so she never has to suffer again. So she gets the life she deserves because we love her more than the air in our lungs.
You’ve helped her become a young lady that is so confident in her own skin with the strength and will to overcome all. You are showing her what she should expect when it comes to how a man should treat a woman. You’re teaching her the skills she needs to always understand her own worth, and never settle for anything less than the best. She witnesses this daily in the love, support and affection you so freely bestow upon me.
I hope our daughter will be fortunate enough to find the kind of man you are. The man you continue to teach her she deserves.
The kiss and love of a Father – and so it begins
You have allowed my light to shine with more humility and kindness than most men could ever imagine providing. You are the epitome of a modern man whose heart comes from a masculine strength, and whose confidence inspires me daily. You have stepped back and encouraged Sophie and I to find our own voices in the world. You observe us with this silent pride, and you never leave our sides while supporting us with every step we take. Never judging or complaining if the spotlight is on us while you graciously wait your turn.
When we take on a room together, it’s your arm gently draped across my back that gives me the strength and safety I need to accomplish every goal. Each line on your face, and the kindness in your eyes is the world I know best, and will forever be lost in. You are my handsome man, but the deep love and attraction I have for you has grown beyond what even I could imagine or have prayed for.
When I see other husbands and how they treat their wives I am grateful for the blessing that you are in my life, and will never take you for granted. You ask for so little but you give so much without having to even think about it. The sacrifices you have made so we could have more just confirms the deep passion that drives you to keep your girls high on the pedestal of life.
And when I struggle, and we both know I have, you help me find the words because you understand my suffering without me ever saying a word. After all the years of heartache, you know exactly what to do and say to bring me back from the brink. A talent only you posses that you’ve perfected with each challenging step we’ve taken. You are my rock. You are my life.
The world is a strange new place right now, yet somehow we have invented our own joy filled universe within our four walls for the three of us. A place that is safe and warm, filled with laughter, love and a whole lot of good cooking! It’s us against the world, and there are no two people I’d rather be with than you and Soph. My rocks. My cheerleaders. My favorite people alive.
As a woman, a parent, and a wife I don’t always have all the answers, but the one thing I am secure in is that I have all the love. You are constant and unwavering, steady like a rock even on the rockiest of seas. You’ve worked so hard to provide our family with the safety we so desperately needed to feel after living in fear for so long. And because of that, life doesn’t scare us like it should. The bumps and bruises have healed, and our painful past is now just a story we tell. You are the man I always dreamt up, and I am honored to walk through this life with you. My husband, my hero, my best friend.
Happy Father’s Day My Love!
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