On August 29, 1993, we welcomed our second son into the world and named him Ian. Why Ian? To be honest, after gazing onto his newborn face, we made a last-minute decision. We relegated the previously selected first name of “Tyler” to his middle name and went with Ian (a top choice during the selection process). We were ignorant of the meaning of the name Ian, which 23 years later we discovered means “Gift of God.” A God moment 23-years in the making.
Wikipedia: Ian, Iain (/ˈiː.ən/; Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈɪʲən]) is a name of Scottish Gaelic origin, ultimately derived from Hebrew Yohanan and corresponding to English John. Meaning gift of god, god’s gift.
Our son Ian Tyler Coronas lived a full and wonderful life before being diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma at 22 years old. He fought for 8 months and never gave up. Ian faced his cancer battle the way he faced life in general, with a relentless and contagious optimism, love for others, and love for God.
As Ian’s mom, I was beyond blessed with his joy and love in my life. Today, I pay the price with a currency called grief. They say, the deeper the love, the deeper the grief. No doubt, there’s a very steep price to pay for loving so completely. Just ask Ian’s fiance, his wide circles of friends, and, of course, his family. The dark days following Ian’s passing came with many struggles and questions, despite knowing that God is good and Ian is in heaven.
Throughout his life, my job was to impart whatever wisdom I could to Ian. Truth be told, though, Ian was as much a teacher to me as I was to him. He taught me to throw a wider net of love, he taught me to laugh harder and more often, and he taught me what it meant to live life to the fullest.
Ian grew from a young boy who enjoyed staying indoors to play with his action figures to an adrenaline junky who surfed the North Shore of Oahu, skated down Haleakala, and charged dirt bike trails in Kahuku. God gives us all our special character traits. As for Ian, he was LOVING, FUN and…BRAVE.
While growing up, Ian was on fire for the Lord. In the second grade, he declared that one day he’d like to be a pastor! Despite his rascal-nature that could sometimes get him into trouble, this passion continued through his high school years. However, while in college, church attendance was less than consistent and Ian’s once red-hot walk with the Lord cooled a bit. But, he always assured me that God was tucked into his heart.
During his cancer trial, Ian re-centered himself, returning to his childhood passion for the Lord. Ian even considered that God was preparing a testimony in him, which he pledged to share for the rest of his life. Only God knows why he wasn’t given that opportunity.
One thing that keeps me going after our tragic loss is my confidence that Ian’s salvation was secure, thanks to our merciful and gracious God. And, in his short life, I know that our kind-hearted Ian had already done so much to “show” God’s love in real and tangible ways to many around him. And, for his Christ-like kindness, I trust that Ian has earned his share of rewards in heaven.
John 15:12 My commandment is this, love each other in the same way I have loved you.
I invite you to follow us on our journey as we remember Ian’s life, voyage through this journey of grief, and keep our eyes wide open for encouraging God moments along the way.
With great appreciation and love, Sherrie