Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Four of Us

Hi. It is Kelly--not my Dad. Sorry to disappoint. I hijacked his blog. Just couldn't help myself. I wanted to make sure this photo found its place here. It made me grin. The four of us at my godfather's retirement party in the very early '90s. The bulky shoulder pads on Mom and me give the decade away. At least we don't have the big bang thing going on. AquaNet was my friend in the '80s. And Bryan in a suit--a rare find!
The Four of Us. It makes me sad that we won't have anymore family photos. Our family is getting ready to take our yearly family picture (though it has been more than one year since the last one!) and I was lamenting that Bryan wouldn't be in it. But then again, he only endured them out of courtesty to me and Mom. Lucky bro, you are off the hook this time! And I am so thankful that we have so many of us all together. They are priceless treasures.
How are you all doing? It was nice to see the Klungreseter Klan a few weeks ago. I have some fun photos of our time together. But not of all the marinara sauce slurping down my chin as I devoured a BellyBuster from Busy Bee. That will remain a mental image for you lucky ones!
Miss you!
"Grief is what cultivates the soil for the seeds of joy. " Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Sunday

It was Superbowl Sunday last week and Bryan would have found it special that it was also his birthday weekend. He liked the hoopla surrounding the game and like many of us, found the game to be of secondary interest, that is as long as his beloved Chiefs or his adopted Chargers were not playing.This year we decided to celebrate his big day at home, all together watching the game and doing what we do best, graze.Another big attraction of course are the commercials, but I must say they lacked quite a bit to be desired this year.
When Bryan worked at Hennessey's, they would hold big gala super bowl parties with special foods and prizes. He loved it when he could talk us into coming there for the big game and of the course different years, we would do it. The problem was, he would be crazy busy and could hardly spend any time with us and those hard little chairs are very rough on my big boy rump. We did however manage to win a few raffles and did in fact enjoy the times that we did make it. I'm pretty sure we even did it once or twice with the whole family, but it was definitely not a place to have your children watch people get nuts and out of hand. Still it was the life that he chose and we all wanted to make a effort to be a part of it with him.
This year's game was much better than many and even had the Fitzpatricks rooting for their team, the Aint's, and the Klungrester's pulling for the Inndy boys just so we go have something to cheer about against one another. By half time we pretty much lost all the Fitzpatrick children to a higher calling, with the exception of Samuel, who would bounce in every once in awhile to check out to see if his Saints were ahead. This allowed us to watch the commericals, opps I mean game, without interruption. We all laughed until we almost cried on the Doritos one were the dock put the collar on his master and started to stun him. Funny, very funny....
As for the grazing part, we had food, food and more food and when we got done with that we had more food for dessert. Victoria cooked a ham and although it was a little over done, it was still the best ham and cheese on out of this world rye bread that I've encounter in quite so time. We even had a veggie tray just so we could say we had a little healthy food too. We had way to many other goodies to list here but just suffice to say, we didn't run out at any time.
After the game and before they had to go home, we had the world's smallest birthday cake, as if we needed more, and sang happy birthday to Bryan. I prayed for all of us and although I can't remember all of it, I know that most of all I asked that God would give us all peace with knowing that Bryan was with him and having one of his best birthdays ever. I also continue to pray that all of my loved ones, friends and co-workers come to his amazing grace and that we will all be heaven together when it is our time to be with him. Until next time, keep them cards and comments coming and I'll talk to you all later........

Friday, February 5, 2010

Birthday Blues

Today is Bryan's 38th birthday and I must confess I've been feeling a large dose of the blues coming on all week. February 5th will always be Bryan's birthday and I suspect it will also always be a difficult time for all of us who love him dearly. Victoria and I spoke about our family and birthdays and had a "minor" argument about our views. I stated it wasn't until later in their lives we really went all out for birthdays and when they were young, not so much. She took that as a hit on her and how we handled the kids birthdays, which I think I convinced her, was not my intention. We just didn't do elaborate parties and such and we mostly involved family. Kelly's children, on the other hand, have a totally over the top major production for each and every one of the birthdays and I will give money on the fact they all remember each and every one of them! Were we wrong or is she wrong? Nope, we all do things our own way sometimes, but I know it has always been done in the kids interest, which matters most.

But back to my little Snuss and his birthdays. He loved going up to Big Bear and play in the snow with as many people who wanted to join in on the party. We must have done this 5 or 10 times over the years and they all went great except one. In our pain and anguish over Bryan's death, we tried to keep the memory of those wonderful times alive and decided to go to Big Bear to spread his ashes in the mountains he loved. While it was a noble thought, we were not ready for this just yet. We had gotten two cabins from family friends at a great price and we all set out on our trip. As we approached Big Bear, the weather started to turn and so did some of our moods. We found out the cabins were at two different ends of the mountain and in the pending weather, it would be difficult to travel between the two. In addition, when we walked to the mountain side it was very slippery and it was starting to drizzle with a light snow falling. This made the ash spreading hard to do and Kelly had put together some music and thoughts she wanted to share with all that came. She shared beautifully and I choose to think all of us there that day were moved by what she had to say and how she said it. One moment of humor did arise and I apologize in advance for this might offend some, but as I was throwing Bryan's earthly remains into the wind, I neglected to judge just how strong it was blowing and which direction it was coming from, and promptly covered Victoria in his ashes. I was panic stricken at first, but she was gracious and let me off the hook with a slight laugh at what I had done. Once everyone left from there and went to separate cabins, we did in fact have a good time and learned some great new games, one of which is Farkle, and someday I'll tell you about it! I want to say as I'm writing this, more of the good times we had up there that weekend come to memory, such as the great meal cooked by Beckey and Pete, watching the kids play in the snow and even the scary rides in and out of our cabin, I suddenly realize we did in fact have a good time and we did all get together and celebrate Bryan's birthday in a grand fashion that would have made him proud!

I'm going to end today's blog with this: All of our day's have been numbered by our wonderful Lord and all of us need to start living our lives so we don't waste the very short, precious time we have here among our loved ones and friends. So take advantage of it and let them all know how much they mean to you, but even more importantly, how much they mean to our God. Don't let a moment go or be wasted which can be used to edify and lift one another up as we all live in this same fallen world and are all sinners who need the forgiveness that He along freely gives......

Monday, February 1, 2010

In the beginning....

In order to tell you the stories that I have in my memory bank about Bryan, I have decided it's best to start at the beginning so that's exactly what I shall do. I don't remember the exact details as to when we found out we we're going to have another baby, but I do remember we already had a very small baby and the doctor wanted to know if I understood the term, "Wait awhile". I assured him I did and that I had, but alas, we were on our way for another trip down maternity road.Kelly was only 10 months and a few days old when she was joined in the Klungreseter household by her younger brother, Bryan David. She didn't get to meet her brother for over a week however because he was born with jaundice and was very sick. Victoria's body didn't get enough time to recover from Kelly's birth and the shock of being pregnant again was to much for her to overcome and poor little Bryan paid the price.She was not even allowed to hold her new baby boy and was sent home empty handed. I was going to school full time and working two jobs, so I couldn't take her to visit and she couldn't drive herself so she sat at home crying and missing her new baby boy. When we finally got the okay to bring him home, we were all overjoyed and excited to have him at home with us. Then the very first day he came home to us, Kelly was playing with her baby doll and bent over to pick it up and cracked her head on the coffee table. Back to the hospital we went for eight stitches in our little ones forehead. She still has that scar today and it would prove to be one of many trips for stitches that would mark her life. Once he settled in he was a quiet little guy. who was a Mommy's boy through and through and when upset, she was who he wanted. I decided to start here so everyone can see that Bryan wasn't always that big giant of a man he became and that for his mom and dad, he will always be our little baby boy who we always felt it was our job to protect. The thing is however, that as much as we want to make sure our children are protected and that nothing bad ever happens to them we can't do that. God is who gives our children their protection and his is the only protection that is everlasting and complete. I know that the hardest part of dealing with my sons death has been the letting go and knowing that he is in heaven with Jesus and is waiting for the time we will all be together again. Our God is a great God and it is he who gives us comfort from the grief that has a tendency to overwhelm us at times. That's it for this time so stay tuned and come on back for some of the really great times in the life of Bryan David Klungreseter....

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