Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Missing Bryan

It has been 3 years since Bryan was murdered but it seems just like yesterday. Our family misses Bryan’s smile and hugs. I especially miss him saying, “I love you mom!” From Thanksgiving to the Super Bowl is a sorrowful time for our family. Bryan loved the holidays. Especially since his daughter was born. He also was an avid sports fan and especially football. The last two years he had won the fantasy football contest he was in. His winnings from the 2007 season were given to us at his memorial service and were put in an education fund for his daughter. Bryan’s daughter was only nine years old when he died. She will not have a father for the rest of her life thanks to someone who could not control his anger and was such a coward to come back with a knife. On Super Bowl Sunday 2007, Stoltz viciously murdered our son because he lost a fist fight which he, Stoltz started by sucker punching Bryan.

I have waited to write a response to the person who emailed our memorial site last April telling us our son was a terrible person and that we should just get over it and move on. She also said we just made up the fact Bryan had a daughter. How could someone be so cruel and heartless to write such a thing on someone’s memorial website. She pretty much said our son deserved to die because he was not perfect. I want this person to know we know exactly who you were and you are despicable and should be ashamed. The place you called the next day had caller ID. This is what is wrong with Stoltz. He has never had to take responsibility for what he did and this just reinforces his behavior. I can not believe that Stoltz has never been remorseful. I am thankful Wesley Stoltz is not my son. If this person had actually looked at the whole website she could have read the comments made by people who knew Bryan, and would have learned what a wonderful person he really was. In the picture collection are pictures of him with his daughter.

You have no idea what it was like to arrive at the hospital and be told by the doctor that the injury your son had received is what they call decapitation. No parent should have to see their son receiving CPR and dying. We were in shock at all the injuries he had. We never got to say goodbye to our son who we loved with all our hearts. At the trial, a picture of Stoltz taken the day after the murder showed Stoltz had only a couple abrasions. We learned at the preliminary hearing that Stoltz swung the knife only at our son’s head. That he had knifed Byran three times and that the last strike penetrate our son’s chin bone. What a horrible think for parents to have to live with. Stoltz was covered in our son’s blood.

Parents never get over the horror of having their children murdered. This has changed us forever. We were a close family and tried to see that our children were loving and caring people. Over 300 attended Bryan’s funeral so we know how much he was loved. We still have flashbacks, have a hard time sleeping because we can not forget what Bryan looked like in the hospital bed. I wish you could have been there and then maybe you would know what Stoltz did was horrifying. I am glad I am not a hateful person like you.

We want to thank all of Bryan’s friends for all the support they have give us over the last three years.

Cherri Lusk, proud mother of Bryan

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bryan's Birthday

Tomorrow would have been Bryan’s 34th birthday, however 11 days after his 31st birthday he was killed. His death was a homicide. The finality of that horrible day in 2007 is clear on his birthday. Bryan and I were born ten and a half months apart, growing up we heard the term Irish Twins used to describe us. I am the older brother, and Bryan the younger. For one and a half months Bryan would make sure I knew that we were the same age. My birthday in 2007 was hard, because I knew that that day marked the last time we would be the same age. It may seem like a small thing, but it was a reminder of the fact that my Brother’s life was taken.

Today I am 34, and tomorrow Bryan remains 31. Forever 31. I spoke briefly with my parents this afternoon, my mother called to remind me of something I needed to do, but I sensed there was more to it. She needed to hear my voice. They were headed to the cemetery to lay a wreath on Bryan’s grave. The hard gray granite is a stark contrast to Bryan’s personality. Although Bryan was naturally shy, those that knew him best saw the softness in his heart and the loyalty that made him a great friend. The granite is cold to the touch, but Bryan was not a cold person. He was laid back and accepted as friends many people who had been rejected by society. When you were a friend of Bryan’s you always had a person who would stand in your corner and support you. When I go to the cemetery I always pat the gravestone in a loving brotherly manner, and I tell him that I love him. The coldness and hardness of the stone is unmistakable, and one day I hope I will be able to replace that stone with my brother. That will not happen until I am gone as well.

The hope comes from my faith which has been renewed in the wake of this tragedy. Although I would trade in everything I have learned to have my brother back, the lessons are not insignificant. Spiritually, I have learned that Our Heavenly father has a plan in which we have agency to choose. He does not want or “will” us to hurt one another, but it is a byproduct of that choice. However, He is there to comfort us and carry us through the difficulty that results. He is there for the offender, to lead him to remorse and repentance if the offender would only listen. He is there for the family of the victim, he sends others to bring comfort and sends the Holy Spirit in the quiet times to comfort further. He was there literally for my brother, when his spirit left his body, and he “'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'” 1 God is there, and it is in those instances when we see His hand touching our lives.

Tomorrow my brother would have celebrated, but instead today we all remember. We remember a man named Bryan, who loved his daughter, his family, his friends, and the pure powder of the Rocky Mountains. In one swing of a weapon he was silenced forever, but one thing that could not be taken from us was his love and the memories we share. God Bless.

1. From a speech given by President Ronald Reagan - January 28, 1986