Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Kelly. Kelly Lee. Kelster. Kel. Babe. Momma. M-OOOOMMMM! Mom. Mommy. I answer to many names. I know by whom I am being addressed when I hear the name they use. I have never been a fan of pet names or shortened names. I like each of my children to be called the entire name their father and I chose for them. We did spend months arguing, I mean agreeing on it. I like their names. I do admit that some nicknames are endearing. Especially if the name's meaning is a shared secret or a charming character trait. Bug, Kate the Skate, Sam-mandoo, BIG Fire, Petey Boy--all names Bryan gave my kids. I get a embarrassed by some pet names though--they feel like too much information. But I do give credence to the idea that names are meaningful--more than just a trendy accessory for life. Bob and I were careful to make certain that each of our children's names had "meanings" we could live with. We intentionally shot down some pretty cool names just because they had meanings like raven-haired (not likely with our genes) and crooked-nosed (very likely with one of our genes but not something one would want to draw attention to), tile layer, warlike, strong-willed. You get the idea. So names are meaningful.

Bryan answered to a bunch of names in his 36 years. BK, Klungie, Son, Brother, Snoos. That last one is the scene-stealer. My dad has called my brother that nick name ever since Bryan was a little guy. I have no idea what it means. Now every time I think of that nickname, a lump forms in the back of my throat and I can't swallow. My dad doesn't have anyone to call "Snoos" anymore. There is no one to call my father and say, "Hey Pops!". That was my brother's special name for my dad. I call him Daddy. Always have. Even though I am a big girl now.

Now I am not trying to diminish the pain I feel as I navigate through the grief of losing my only sibling. It stinks. But Bryan was not my son. I read somewhere that the greatest loss one can ever endure is the death of a child. The parent-child bond is supposed to be the strongest. It makes sense to me, only now that I have children. I guess that is why God chose the parent-child relationship to show His great love for us (John 3:16).

Today I stared intently at my own sons, all three of them, and could not even fathom the agony and despair my mom and dad face in the aftermath of Bryan's death. I am not sure I could survive it. But I know from witnessing my parent's journey this far that they did not believe that they would survive those first hours, days, weeks, and now months. The wailing, the tears, the glazed-over anguished eyes. I remember. But they ARE making it through. They are clinging to each other, their Faith, and their hope of being reunited with their son when it is their turn to go Home. God's ways don't always make sense to me, but I am choosing to trust Him because God has demonstrated His love for me in ways I can never understand. Like giving His perfect Son on my behalf. God the Father had a bunch of names for His boy too. Messiah, Redeemer, Emmanuel, Christ, Savior. I wonder which one was His favorite? Jesus was the one He gave Mary to name her little baby. It means "The Lord Saves". I will have to ask my Daddy what his special name, Snoos, means.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Little Snuss"
Daughter, I am sorry it has taken me so long to answer this one, but I must confess that this one is very, very hard for me as I miss him so much sometimes that I can't think or see straight let alone function in this world, but here goes.........

Many years ago, I played tournament softball with a great bunch of guys and our leader was Danny Gonsalves. We used to spend so many weekends together playing ball that it almost cost us our marriages, but because we serve a awesome God, he didn't allow that to happen. Back to the name. We all loved to chew on sunflower seeds and we were a little bit envious that the guys who chose to chew tobacco had a cool name for their nasty habit, which was chew. We took it upon ourselves to give us a really cool word for our seed habit, which was a three pack a day easily, "snuss". Now my daughter has already pointed out to me that our spelling is not correct, but I say sense we invented the word, then we can also invent the spelling! What then began to happen is that I took to calling Danny "Big Snuss" and I of course became "Snuss". At that time I was dragging my family all over the place to watch me play softball and naturally where I was, Bryan had a habit of being there too. It wasn't very long before I took to calling him my "Little Snuss" and as luck would have it, it stuck! It was my term of endearment for him and when I called him that it could stop him in his tracks even when he grew to the big man he became.He in turn, always called me Pops, very rarely dad and I can't remember the last time he called me daddy,but I can tell you all that I miss hearing him call me Pops and talking about whatever was on his mind and I think that sometimes I won't get through this, but that is when my awesome Lord and all of my family come around me and lift me up again. Little Snuss, you are missed and will be remembered! As for you, my sweet darling, daughter, I hope this answers some of your questions as you too are loved beyond any measure that I can give you.


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