1. Liz Gwynn

    This is beautiful! What an amazing way to honor our beloved Bryan.
    I will always remember Bryan’s laugh. Cracking jokes at the family Christmas Eve party and hearing his laugh was always one of my favorite parts of the evening.

    I love you, Christie. Thanks for being such a wonderful aunt! I admire your strength in setting goals and seeing them through. You are a great example of doing what you love.

    • Thank you sweet Liz. I love Bryan’s laugh too–and his big smile.

      I love you, Liz. I’m in awe of your beautiful voice and your kind, gentle nature. And no one gives better hugs than you!

  2. Sheri Kurumada

    Oh, Christie, what a beautiful blog this was! You made me teary. I love you and all my nieces and nephews!

    • I love you too Sheri! Thank you for your thoughtfulness–your kind gifts, book suggestions, and encouraging words. I look forward to your emails each week and those too-rare opportunities to see you in person. We are so fortunate to have such a close-knit family. Hugs and kisses!

  3. Cindy

    Thank you for these beautiful words. I love you Christie. I’m amazed by your desire to always grow and learn new things such as piano, speaking French, running and of course writing. I’m impressed by your career success and devotion to your family. You have a quiet poise about you and you’re beautiful.

    I remember Bryan helping Mark build our swing set. I’m sure he wasn’t comfortable doing it, but he did it anyway. I remember Bryan going to Lagoon with my kids and I. He smiled and laughed a lot. I remember taking him and his dog Burritto to vet appointments. He was a very gentle and loving pet owner. I love you Bryan.

  4. Larry

    As always, the words you write are perfect.
    I always liked to get Bryan to smile at something that normally he wouldn’t hear or think about. That abrupt laugh and smile was the best. A man of few words, his smile said so much.
    I hope you, Christie, and your Family can find peace today, there is no doubt that Bryan loved ALL of you so much.

    • Thank you Larry, and thanks for sharing your memories of Bryan.

      I love you, Larry. I appreciate your support in all my crazy endeavors and your many thoughtful gestures–flowers, notes, holding the door, getting water or coffee, the list goes on… I can’t imagine a more devoted partner. Thank you.

  5. Heidi

    Oh my gosh, I am crying right now. As I read what you wrote about our siblings I kept thinking, oh she nailed it! Then I read mine and I feel like a million bucks. XO Christie, thank you for being the voice of reason in our crazy family. I can always count on you to be fair and equitable, whether it’s dividing the bill for girls dinner or making sure everyone gets a gift at Christmas. You are also the one I lean on for solid advice or just a solid heart to lean on. You are the family’s anchor. I love you.

    • Now I’m crying. I love you so much! It’s amazing how we each fill a different role in this family and together we make a complete unit. I almost said perfect unit, but actually we are a wonderfully imperfect whole.

  6. Connie Devivic

    I love you, Christie. These tributes were all so beautiful and true. You captured each person’s personalities and unique gifts to our family. We are a “wonderfully imperfect whole.” I am humbled and grateful for any inspiration I have given you, because you always inspire me. You set an example of steadiness and follow-through, while taking on huge and varied adventures. I remember as teens hearing you tell some of our friends that you loved me and realizing I wanted to be a better person, to be worthy of your love.
    I miss Bryan very much, and your words about us all gave me greater awareness of the empty space he left that no one else can fill. I’m glad no one can. It is his rightful place in our lives and our hearts, and that empty space means he will never be forgotten. My favorite memories with Bry as an adult was when I would go visit and tell my varied, off-color, snarky irreverent stories and mom would laugh kind of pleased and shocked, but Bryan would lose it. He’d laugh so hard, sometimes no sound coming out for a minute while he held his breath with his big grin lighting his face. Priceless. My favorite memory of him as a child was when I was pregnant with Robynn and he drew a stick figure picture of me with curly hair and a big, pregnant belly, and asked with real confusion why, if I didn’t want a baby, I had prayed for one? Haha! Heidi wondered this too. He spoke the truth, I must have prayed for Robynn, because she was a perfect fit to our “wonderfully imperfect family.” Every one of my kids loved Bryan and knew he loved them. For a man of few words, he said a lot.

    • Thank you Connie for putting into words exactly how I feel about the hole in our family that only Bryan’s memory can fill. And thank you for adding to those memories. I love you sister!

  7. Sheri Kurumada

    I’ve loved reading all of these comments and your response back Christie. I keep thinking about Bry and wanted to share. Of course I didn’t see Bryan as often as all of you – usually it was just once a year. But he always chose to come with your Mom to visit at The Grand America. He always seemed at ease and was involved in the conversation. Your Mom had told me years ago that he didn’t like to be touched, but he would always give me a big hug which of course made me happy. His laugh came often and he seemed very at ease – especially when he was telling family stories. And of course you all know how protective he was of your Mom and the incredible bond he had with Blaine. Love you, Bryan!

  8. what a beautiful tribute to your brother, and the letters to your siblings. Wow. I had to keep wiping the tears from my eyes. Reminds me that I need to call my sister more often who lives on the west coast, I’m on the east coast.

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