Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's A New Year!

This picture has nothing to do with New Year's
Aunt Barbara and Bryan's cousin Jenny

I confess that I have not spent a New Year's Eve with my brother for a long time. Our tastes are decidedly too tame for him! However, I did ring in every one of my first 16 or 17 years with my little brother. You know how you always think that whatever you or your family does is normal? Well, it was years before I discovered that Klungreseter New Year's Eve traditions were a bit abnormal (read: illegal!). While other families were twirling sparklers and setting off a few old fireworks or shouting and blowing silly-string into the sky to start off the first moments of a New Year--my daddy and Bryan would get their guns! Yep! You read right! Since we lived in what we affectionately called the "boonies" of rural Escondido, the menfolk in my family were at liberty to fire off a few rounds of their shotguns! My mom and I would bang pots and pans and lids and steel spoons and make a huge racket. Isn't that weird? Just typing it now--all these years later makes me chuckle. The next day, Bryan would go searching in the avocado groves behind our childhood home to find the cases of the bullets. Trophies! My dad always said he was glad we didn't kill any of the migrant workers that lived in these groves with our crazy New Year's tradition!

This year, my family hung out at Beempa (my dad) and Grandma's for New Year's Eve. We borrowed a copy of Kung-Fu Panda and watched it. My brother had been so excited to share the viewing experience with my kids. But we did not watch it with Uncle B--because I was too much of a stick-in-the-mud! We don't watch anything but G-rated family films (I know, I know--I think this is normal. But you know the truth!) and I couldn't preview it at the theater before he wanted to take us all. So we watched it last night without his hilarious commentary and editing ability. We laughed so hard, just watching Po and his big belly and his big heart. I cried over a stupid kid's movie. Bryan had a perfect memory for movie lines and song lyrics. There were a few lines in the movie I remember hearing him adopt. I can see why he identified with the panda--the unlikely hero. SKADOOSH!

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I wept most of the morning despite listening to praise music and reading the cries of other suffering people in the Psalms and begging Jesus for His peace. That is when I got the scathingly brilliant idea to start this blog! And already you have two posts! I guess it was an inspired idea! I will share a secret here: I feigned sleep last night so that I would not have to celebrate 2009 at 12:01 am. I would not willingly welcome the New Year without my brother. I just could not bring myself to kiss and sing and bang pots and pans (yes, we have kept that weird tradition!) and shout and laugh with expectation and hopefulness. I could not do it--not even for my kids. But I was awake, and I heard my mom and my dad and my husband and our four kids (Peter-boy wasn't faking sleep!) run out to the street and welcome the New Year. And when they were done with the loud, rowdy stuff, they all came back inside. Though I could not make out my father's words, I heard my daddy's rich, deep voice praying to God. And in that moment, the first of 2009, I added my own anguished prayer: "Oh God, the maker of Heaven and Earth, please, please, please get me through this year without Bryan. Amen." Not quite as poetic as the writer's of Psalms but I know that the Lord heard my cry and He is faithful. Psalm 121


Kelly (Klungreseter) Fitzpatrick said...

just checking to see if you can post comments. thanks kim! :)

Beanepatch said...

Happy New Year, dear friends. Thanks for the good ideas for New Years celebrations in the "boonies," we hadn't thought of that yet! Sounds like such good memories. We haven't watched Kung Fu Panda, but I guess that will be next on our list. I'm glad it gave so many belly laughs to your family.

Tina said...

Oh Kel, what a beautiful tribute to your brother, he would be blessed and honored for sure. what great memories you have made,so many would long to have the relationship you had with each other and he had your family. I'm sorry for the pain and hole that is left. I'm lifting you up friend.
Well it is clear to see your sweet Reilly has your gift of writing, I was blessed to read her blog. I love you friend!

Lynette said...

I love your blog! I am so proud of you. Keep crying out to Jesus. I love you and will continue to pray for you, sister.

Cousin Jenn said...

David and I read this together & cried....I said the prayer through tears. We will all get through this together and keep his memory alive with all our kids. His constant comment" we need to get together as a family MORE", is constantly in my thoughts. This blog and our efforts as the mom's will help us make BK's wish come true. I love you!

WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!