28 days – it seems so short and so long, all at the same time. It’s less than a month, but we all know when you’re waiting for something, it can seem like an eternity.
We spent 28 days in the hospital with Rylie. We spent 28 long days waiting for her to wake up – to see that fantastic smile. At the same time, we only had 28 short days to hold her hand, to stroke her hair, to read The Just So Stories, to whisper in her ear.
On April 29th, it will be one year since the fateful day that changed our lives forever. It altered our lives in unimaginable ways, but not all of them bad. We have learned so much about ourselves, about the power of the human spirit, about the importance of connection. We discovered that our daughter, at a mere twelve and half years old, shook the world in gentle ways. She impacted so many through her kind, fun loving spirit. Many of us never realized just how much impact she had, until she was gone.
While those 28 days were both too long and too short, we know that it’s a magical number. They say it takes 21 days to build a habit – so why not overachieve a little bit and go with 28 days?!?
In honor of Rylie’s memory, we are embarking on a 28 day journey of kindness. Each day, for 28 days, we will find a way to spread an act of kindness no matter how big or small. We will hold the door for a stranger, make eye contact, and make conversation. We will buy the cup of coffee for the person behind us. We will make an extra dinner and leave it on the porch for our neighbor. We will deliver a care package to someone less fortunate than us.
It’s not about the cost in time or money, it’s about creating a ripple effect of kind acts that honor Rylie, her spirit, and her desire to make people happy. It’s about building on that ripple and creating a kindness wave. Imagine the potential… Join us!
Let’s all start on April 29th. Look for a way to touch someone’s heart, to brighten their day. It’s not about the act; it’s about the IMPACT. Let’s commit to 28 days of kindness together. Who knows, we may very well build a habit that goes beyond that time – what an amazing tribute for a very special girl. #28daysofkindness
It's been nearly a year since the accident that altered our lives. Our lives changed in many unfathomable ways, not all of them bad. We have been, and will continue to be tested, but that has made us stronger.
We know that there is a choice in how we react to and accept the loss of Rylie. We have consciously decided to CHOOSE HAPPY! This is the way that Rylie chose to spend her days, and to honor her, it is the way we intend to spend our days.
Rylie's ARK is a labor of love...
It is our chance to spread kindness.
It is our chance to "gently shake the world".
It is our chance to grow.
I am continually amazed when I hear of how Rylie touched so many people's lives in such a short time. She had a knack for making people smile, making them feel loved, and brightening the world around her.
Through Rylie's ARK we will work to spread kindness either through ripples or waves.
Meghann and Ziggy Guentensberger are Rylie's parents. During their time in the hospital with Rylie and after her death, they began writing about their experiences. What started as a way to keep people informed of Rylie's condition, turned into a way for them to process all that was happening. After she died on May 26, 2017 they both continued to write as a way to process and heal themselves and occasionally inspire others. These writings are housed on the Rylie's ARK Facebook page.