Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bryan John Prairie

I fell in love with Bryan way back in the first grade. His beautiful blue eyes and fun personality were irresistible, even to a six year old little girl. After many years of having a crush and drawing hearts next to his name in my yearbooks, I finally got the courage to ask him out to sno-daze, our sophomore year of high school, with a puzzle. After freaking out all day long about what his response would be, I received a hand delivered envelope from one of his friends. Inside the envelope Bryan had created a puzzle out of notebook paper in one of his classes that said "YES". It was on that day that Bryan and I became good friends and started on our path through life together.

After three years of wishing and hoping that Bryan would ask me out, Bryan and I went on our first date, the summer before our senior year began, to a movie and dinner. On September 23rd, 2002 Bryan asked me out and we officially became a couple. After praying that we could be together for almost 10 years I finally could call him my boyfriend. I was dating BRYAN PRAIRIE, my life-long crush.

After a couple months of dating Bryan was driving me home in his Chevelle and I fell asleep on his lap. He said that in my sleep I looked up at him and said "Bryan, I love you". Bryan woke me up right away and told me that he loved me too. I can honestly say that we had a love that most people never get the pleasure of having. We loved so deeply and honestly. I knew when we started dating that he was going to be my husband someday. And low and behold on July 17th, 2004 Bryan asked me to marry him at Lake Calhoon. We both knew that our lives were going to be filled with so much love and happiness. We were so excited for the future.

On September 22nd, 2007 Bryan and I got married at Holy Nativity Lutheran Church. It was the best day of my life. Bryan and I were so happy and excited to start our family. And on July 27th, 2008, after 4 positive pee sticks, we found out that we were having a baby. Bryan danced around the house singing various Beatles songs, while I freaked out. Bryan was so excited to be a father and could not wait to see his little baby. He prepared the house, washed the baby clothes, joined the parenting websites, read up on all the latest baby books, and took really good care of me. Bryan would leave me little love letters and cds to tell me how proud he was of me and how excited he was to be a daddy. Not only was he very thoughtful and romantic but he would drive me to work and pack me lunches everyday so that he would not have to worry about me and the baby. He is the worlds best husband.

On March 19th, 2009 our son Owen was born at 11:04am. He was so healthy and beautiful. When Owen was born Bryan took him from the doctor and handed him right to me. He kissed my forehead, kissed Owen, and said "I love my little family". From the moment Bryan held Owen he was deeply in love with him. Bryan was born to be a father. He was so natural at it and seemed to know exactly what to do. Bryan would rush home after school and work just to see Owen and would cry when he held him in his arms
. He was his little boy and Bryan could not wait to help raise him and make him an amazing person.

After Bryan graduated at the end of May with his nursing and biology degree from Augustana College, we decided to move home to be closer to our family. Since Bryan could not find a job in the nursing field yet he decided to work for his friends window washing company to try to get enough money to pay our bills. On September 3rd we received a call that Bryan had fallen off Methodist hospital while trying to save his friend/co-workers life. After we arrived at the hospital they informed us that Bryan had passed away. It was at that moment that my life stopped. I was sitting in a room trying to process the fact that the love of my life and best friend was dead all while looking across the room into my 5 month old sons eyes. He would never get to know his father. The father that loved him more than life it self and was looking so forward to watching him grow. I went from the perfect life, with the perfect man and the perfect son... to an unemployed widow and single mother, all within a couple of hours. My life was turned upside down and I have no idea how to make it any better. How do you know who you are when you don't have the other person that completes you anymore. I have always been Ashleybryan (also known as bryley) and now I have to try to find Ashley somewhere. It was a very scary and surreal day. I thought that they were lying to me and it another womens husband that died and not mime.

I would give anything to have Bryan here with me today. I miss his sense of humor and the wrinkles he would get by his eyes every time he smiled or coughed. I miss how he would kiss my back when we were asleep and how he would giggle while he dreamt. I miss his monkey feet and the way his hand fit perfectly in mine. I miss how he would tell me how much he loved me and how we would slow dance sometimes in our pajamas just before we would go to sleep. He was the worlds greatest husband and father. He was and still is my everything.


  1. You are an incredible and strong woman. Bryan is still with you in your heart, memories and family, it's not the same, but an important thing to remember! You will find your way, listen to your heart, follow your dreams and love will guide you. Owen is a very very lucky young boy to be born to such a wonderful and loving family! You are in my prayers!

  2. You are a good mom...I can only hope to someday have the kind of love with someone that you and Bryan had together.

  3. You don't know me, but I'm a friend of Jen's and I heard of your little family last month through her. I just want you to know that perfect strangers have thought and prayed for you often. I can't imagine the road you're on, but I have no doubt that having Owen will help you navigate it. You are an inspiration.

  4. I remember sitting in your bedroom when we were in middle school and you telling me how much you loved Bryan Prairie, and you seriously did put hearts next to his pictures!! When you finally realized you had a chance to "catch Bryan" I remember brainstorming with you on how to ask him to snodaze. When you decided on the puzzle you were so nervous, you kept saying, "what if he says no". I responded with: "what's the worst thing that can happen? he says no, then you know and you will never wonder! Or he will say yes and you will get what you want!". The night before your first date, I remember you freaking out and how excited you were. You didn't know what to wear...hahahaahha! (at least it wasn't the zebra shirt....). After your engagement, I remember seeing your ring for the very first time and Bryan smiling ear to ear because he knew he picked a winner (both you and the ring!). The week after I read the letter you wrote me asking me to be a bridesmaid, Bryan and I briefly talked. He said how excited that he was that I will be with YOU (and Him) on the most important day... your wedding! I must say, it was an amazingly beautiful day..... I was so happy and proud of you both. Then, a few months later, I remember you calling me and telling me to sit down... and I heard Bryan in the back freaking out. I knew right away what you were going to tell me. You said something along the lines of, Kati I haven't been feeling well Lately, and before you could finish I responded... yeah cause you are pregnant.... and you said HOW DID YOU KNOW?! Well here's the truth ash... i could totally tell with how giddy Bryan was in the background. When I visited you both on Halloween last year, Penny greeted me at the door in her halloween custome. That whole weekend Bryan would constantly make you eat and drink those gross ensures. He would lecture you on how you need to eat for the baby. He kept telling me he had a deer in the garage and he somehow convinenced me to go and see it. Sure enough there was a dead deer hanging in your garage....I should have taken your advice and not listened to him. The day O was born Bryan sent me a text. I could tell he was completely glowing with just what he said. I will never forget that text. "Kati, we had our baby! Both ashley and Owen are doing great. 10 little fingers and 10 little toes. I'm so proud of her." I remember him coming to pick you and Owen up at our house the week before Roger's and my wedding. he would come down at 1am to get you... he didn't care about the time. The way he would hold Owen during those times was amazing, he could get him to stop crying by just looking at him! My last Memory of you and Bryan together was the day of Owen's baptism. I am honored to have had the opportunity to stand up there with you both for that moment, and I am still honored to say Owen is my godson.

    Ash, I love you....let's remember the good times...because we all know that when Bryan was around... everytime was a good time!!