Monday, April 6, 2009


I think it's probably fair to say that I had a pretty sad week and weekend.

Let me start though by saying that I have a second family...what I mean by that is that there is another family that has taken me in as their own and I consider all of them to be my family. I went to school with Dave and then later became best friends with his sis Dana. Their little sis Jamie and cousins Angie, Amy and Brittany have all been like little sisters to me. Aunts, Uncles, Grandma and Grandpa...they are all mine too. In fact, they were nice enough to include me in a family trip to Orlando back in 1999...(thanks again Gramps and Gram)

So on Tuesday afternoon, I got a call from Dana. Uncle Bryan had passed away from a massive heart attack. He was only 47. He left his wife of 25 years, Cheryl and 3 girls Angie(23), Amy(18) and Brittany(15), and a whole entire extended family...just like that.

6 years ago, he had been given 3 months to live. Diagnosed with a cancer that surrounded his heart, the prognosis didn't look good at all. It was through this trial that Bryan surrendered his life to Jesus and became a Christian. Shortly thereafter, the Great Physician healed him of all the cancer, leaving doctors stunned. There was only One that could perform such a miracle.
And we had 6 more years with him after he had been given only 3 months.
I have been so thankful for that cancer this week, because if he hadn't had gone through that incredible trial I might not be able to so confidently say that I will see him again in heaven. That gave a silver lining to the sadness that his memorial service brought everyone.
The service started with a beautiful slideshow that Dave and his wife, Carolyn, made. And then his daughters all got up and each of them shared something that they had written about their dad. They displayed such courage to actually come up on the stage at such a heartwrenching time. I was so proud of them. After the girls read theirs, a note was read for Cheryl.
Then the thing that I had been praying for most of all... The pastor shared the gospel and left no room for excuses. I knew that there would be alot of people there that needed to hear that message. And there were. I believe that Bryan is leaving a legacy. He's up in heaven, no doubt fishing, and while he's having the time of his life up there, he's leaving a mark down here.

I'm not one for microphones, they scare me to death. They had an open mic to share memories about Bryan.
There are so many, but most of them involve camping at the Deschutes. Bryan was an avid fisherman and, early in the year, he would always start planning a fishing/camping trip to Deschutes State Park. I don't know exactly how many years they have been doing this, but it's been at least as long as I've known least 16 years. We have so many memories from these camping trips.
One memory that just hit me was when someone caught a big salmon, I don't remember who, maybe me. And he was teasing me that I would have to clean it myself. I know that he didn't really intend on making me clean my own fish, he would have taken care of it for me. But, I'll never forget the look on his face when I got down in the water and cleaned that fish.

Bryan loved those girls and I remember him sincerely asking me to snitch on them if they ever got outta line in life.

He was always the one at family BBQ's getting the volleyball game going.

He always had a smile on his face and a hug for any of us.

When Dana and I would go downtown to cruise for guys, (oh it makes me roll my eyes to type that :) haha) Bryan would always tease us that we were going out "Buck Hunting".
Anyway, the family will just never be the same now without Bryan. Going to the Deschutes will just feel weird.
But I thank God for that cancer, and then for healing him...because we were given an extra 6 years with Bryan.
1998 Deschutes Camping Trip
1999 15th Wedding Anniversary
Aunt Cheryl, Uncle Bryan
Brittany & Amy
1999- Trip to Orlando
At Epcot center Dana & I showed Uncle Bryan where he could
find a cold one. Where else? Germany.

Orlando Trip 1999
Bryan and Angie

Deschutes camping trip 2000
Hanging out at "the island"

Bryan Lewis Hermansen
1961 - 2009


Kelly said...

Oh Em! I'm so sorry! I know how much you love that family!
How encouraging to hear the gospel was presented with "room for excuses". I'm sure God's working in this even now!

Taryn said...

I am so sorry. I love your pictures though- what a great tribute. I am so sorry for you and your loss.

MyOhMy said...

Em, I love how you found the blessing thru the adversity... you are my kind of girl :0) I'm thankful that you can be with him again someday. When K prays to Jesus to say hi to Bumpa, we will have Jesus introduce him to Bryan. {{HUGS}}

April said...

Your uncle looked like an incredible guy ... loving and funny - a family guy. I am so sorry for your pain, but rejoice in knowing that he is with our Lord!

Dana said...

That was beautifully written Em. Oh the wonderful memories we will always have of him. He definitely looked at you as another daughter of his. He will forever be loved and greatly missed. Love ya!

Jay Pong said...

hello Emily,

just saw your comment in my blog
(actually i am not using that often.)
btw nice to meet u:)