Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pressing Pause

The following post is my eulogy that I wrote on the occasion of Bryan David Klungreseter's Memorial. In it, I vowed that I would keep telling my brother's stories. I have been keeping that promise for my kids and me here in this blog. It has been cathartic. But there were two parts to my pledge and it is time for me to begin on the path to fulfilling the second part.

My neighbor's husband of 20 years left his family and the forlorn wife and teenage daughter have been struggling through these hard times. Like every part of their lives, even their lawn has been affected by their loss. They do not have a man to look after the yard. My other neighbors decided to show love to this family by waiting until the mother and daughter left overnight for a camping trip to give a make-over to their neglected yard. Weeds were pulled, sod installed, colorful flowers planted, sprinklers repaired. Their yard looks lovely this morning. Now when these hurting gals come around the corner into view of their driveway and housefront, this beautiful act of love and service will confront them, not the overgrown dying yard that once reminded them of their loss.

My brother, of his own accord, contacted a home for the families of incarcerated criminals and asked to adopt one at Christmastime. Bryan advertised at his restaurant asking for donations and let my parents and I know, told some of his friends to help collect enough things to make a family without a mom at Christmas feel a little bit less sad. He single-handedly arranged for this family with young kids to be blessed at Christmas time. He bought the feast. He asked for the children's wish list and made sure each item was checked off. Bryan arrived in his Santa hat and joyful heart and made the afternoon sweet and beautiful. It was not awkward or dorky. His sincere and genuine compassion on their hurting family was well-received. It was love in action.

There were other times, like when we had tons of leftovers from our Thanksgiving dinner and Bryan decided that we should pack up plates with all the fixings and deliver them to Grape Day Park. It was a park in Escondido with a large population of homeless folks. We walked all around that park for an hour. You know we did not encounter one person that evening in the park with or without a home! But it was his heart for these unknown (and unmet!) homeless folks that stays with me.

Other times, Bryan organized relief efforts for a battered women shelter near his home. Or for the needy people he heard about. He gave generously to all the causes I solicited money for--Cystic Fibrosis Walks, Youth Camp scholarships, the list goes on and on. Not to mention the countless times he invited along a lonely soul to whatever gathering he was a part of! Bryan had a heart for the down and out. And then there is all the ways he served and loved me and my family. We were the direct recipients of so much of his lavish generosity and love.

I said all that to say this: remembering his life as I wrote Bryan's eulogy made me want to be a better person. A person who loves people and pours out his life for them. So that is the next step in my healing journey today. It is time for me to get up from sitting in front of this computer and live like Bryan did. I committed to that over four months ago. Today, I resolve anew to pursue that promise. I want to make my brother proud. I want to make my Lord proud. Since I have so few resources just now, I need to be selective in how I spend my limited time and energy. And I think my kids have seen me sitting here a little too frequently of late. I want them to remember that I loved HUGE like their Uncle. I promised.

I will finish telling his story. Here. Someday. Maybe sooner rather than later. I did pledge to that. I want to have these words bound in book form so that one day my children can read it to their children. I still have a heartload of stories. But right now I need to begin to look for ways and places to pour out my life into others like my brother did. So I won't have as much time for blogging. Thanks for joining me each post as a tribute to my beloved brother's memory, his short life. It was right and good that I did it. And it is right and good that I stop for awhile. Maybe when I begin again, I will have some stories of love lived out like the ones I shared about my neighbor and my brother. I promised.


Anonymous said...

Mommy-- you are already remembered and being admired by your children who loves HUGE-- like Uncle Bryan.
I love you. Love, Reilly

Anonymous said...


I will miss your blogs. You are an amazing writer and I know our LORD has used this in many ways. Healing for you, wonderful memories for your kiddos & family, and encouragement, laughter, and tears for the rest of us. I will continur to pray for you and your parents when I hear the music of Chris Tomlin & Phil Wickman from Bry's memorial. I love all of you Fitz's and Klung's.
Look forward to seeing you soon Pal!
~ Buh
AKA Becky Askegreen

Anonymous said...

Kelly,I will sure miss my morning blog!!!!!I do understand why you need to take a break.Go climb that mountain woman-maybe our paths will cross from time to time.You have given me and alot of other people some things to think about.You go love HUGE and embrace all that comes your way!!!!!Peace and Love always,Aunty Ingy P.S. Thank you for the CARE package.Talk to you soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to miss your blogging as it was a safe place for me to come and laugh,remember and learn about my son and cry my eyes red as I learn more about Bryan and the people who were affected by him. I know that the time has come for the healing to take place and that sometimes reading and writing on this blog was like tearing a scab of a wound that hadn't quite healed enough and we would start to bleed and hurt all over again. However for me the positives that I took from here and your most admirable writing far out weighed anything negitive that occured. I will treasure these blogs always and please make sure I get my "custom bound" copy too.........

Love you,

dLpressley said...

Hey are making an impact with your written words...they minister deeply to the hearts of those you may never even know that are reading this. You are a girl of action and of conviction with a HUGE heart for God's people, especially the ones that are surrounding you right now as you read this! God is going to continue to do amazing things through you because of your obedience to HIm, your heart for HIs people, and your passion for what is right.
love you! didi

Anonymous said...

Kelly, If your reading this today...Happy late Mother's Day!!!!!Peace and Love-Aunty Ingy

Kelly (Klungreseter) Fitzpatrick said...

I am reading it today Aunt Ingy! And right back at you--Belated Mother's Day love sent to you! I know it is a hard day for you. But I hope your daughter's hugs and your sweet grandbabies' kisses made you smile. Love to you all. Kelly

Anonymous said...

I had a wonderful day!!!!!Hope you did too!!!!!Love to your Mom and everyone else!!!!!Peace and Love-Aunty Ingy

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