January 15, 2010

In loving memory of Russel Swanson


Russel SwansonRussel Swanson

September 24, 1980 – January 10, 2010

My brother, Russ, was 7 years younger than me. I can remember being so excited when he was born. It was like having a living baby doll that I could carry around and help take care of. Growing up, my 3 brothers and I were a team. Sure, we had our share of spats, but if one of us were trouble, the others came to their defense. “Mess with one of us and you mess with all of us” was our motto.

As an adult, Russel was fun-loving, witty, kind and compassionate. He was a great adventurer and wouldn’t think twice about diving off a cliff into a cenote or surfing in waves that were strong enough to crack a board in half. He was also very competitive. When he and I lived together, there was a daily race to the morning newspaper to get ahold of the crossword puzzle. We were a good team and could complete almost any puzzle together. He loved to challenge himself physically. A few years ago, he decided to run the LA Marathon. With just 2 months of training and a knee injury, he completed the 26 mile race in just under 5 hours. Later, he told me that as he ran the course, people were lining the streets cheering. Being the funny guy he was, he would shout out, “How far ahead are the Kenyans? Do I have a shot at winning?” In 2008, he encouraged me to participate in a local triathlon. I did the 5K run portion, he did the bike portion. We both ended up winning silver medals!

Russel was great with kids. He was the kind of uncle that would get down on the floor and play with his nieces and nephews. At pool parties, there would be a long line of kids waiting for Russ to throw them into the water. And he would just keep on going for hours.

For the past 5 years, Russ worked with troubled kids at a group home in Temecula. He found this work to be very rewarding. He would tell me the horror stories of what these kids had endured and I could see in his eyes that he felt deeply for each and every one of them. He did his best to provide these kids with a sense of normalcy that they had probably never felt before. He would take them to ball games, to the beach, go on camping trips or just toss a football with them. He would make them smile and laugh. They trusted him. He wasn’t like the other adults they knew. He was one of them.

Russel was very quick-witted and funny. No one could top him in a verbal sparring match. He wouldn’t one-up you, he would ten-up you! Try as I might, he would always throw out a zinger that left me speechless. Most recently, Russ and I were having dinner at an Italian restaurant. He ordered a glass of wine and was surprised that the waitress didn’t ask for his ID. Being 7 years older than him, he would always tease me about my age. Seeing a great opportunity to get back at him, I said, “Guess you’re starting to look your age. Did you forget you were turning 30 this year?” His response, “Naw, the waitress just figured that since my mom didn’t object to me ordering wine, then it was ok with her, too.” OUCH! Once again, Russ wins!

I miss Russel so much. There will be an empty place in my heart forever. He was one-of-a-kind and his journey ended way to soon. Although his time here was brief, it brings me some comfort knowing that he touched many people, young and old, and made their lives a little more bearable, a little more humorous and a little more fun. We all love you, Russ. Rest in peace, little brother. We will all be together again someday.



  • LuAnn Anderson

    So sorry for your loss!!! Your brother sounds like a pretty special guy!!

  • Sarah Burch

    How wonderful to be remembered in such glowing terms, I am so sad for your loss but Jesus often calls home early his best and brightest…Russell is surely in Heaven right now waiting for you to join him someday.

  • Sandra

    I remember you mentioning him in your newsletters. I’m so sorry for your great loss. Prays are sent your way.

  • Linda Slayton

    What a gift we are given in our memories. Hold Russ close and those of us out here send prayers to you and yours. I am sorry for your loss and want you to know that as you grieve I’ll ask God to hold you up in comfort and healing.

  • Candace

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Jan

    I am so sorry … I know this is so painful for you and your family … I pray that in time the pain will be replaced by only happy memories … you are in my thoughts and prayers. Jan

  • Maryann

    Please know you and your family are in my prayers as you go through this difficult time of loss.

  • Cathy W.

    I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. I don’t even have enough words to express my sorrow for you family during this difficult time.

  • Jackie

    Karen,
    We are sorry for your loss. Your brother will be missed by many!

  • Liz

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It is tragic when we lose someone so young. May your memories comfort you. Sending huge hugs your way. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Anne

    I have been a subscriber for a long time and have never written or posted. However, I wanted to let you know that you have my deepest condolences on your loss. When my brother died, my sisters and I often felt that the loss of a sibling was some how considered less than the loss of a spouse or child. Its been 8 years and we still miss him deeply…may your memories of him help to carry you forward. God bless and prayers to all of you.

  • Allison Gillette

    My sympathies to you and your family. What a loss at such a young age.

  • Leslie

    Karen,

    Your brother sounds like just the type of person we need more of in this world. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I hope the wonderful memories of his life will comfort you during this most difficult time. My heart is with you.

    £eslie

  • Doris

    So sorry for your loss. You have lots of supporters to help you through this terrible time in your life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Edie Thiem

    God has given you a brother to love for 30 years. You are lucky, you can always hold this
    in your heart and remember those good times. Take one day at a time and the healing
    will begin. God bless you

  • Melissa Thomson

    So sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine losing my little brother. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless.

  • Rosalind

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my mother 18months ago but the belief that we will see all our loved ones again someday gives us all hope. God Bless.

  • Nancy

    My thoughts are prayers are with you. Thank The Lord that we have wonderful memories to keep our hearts and minds alive with remembered blessings.

  • Sandi Jones

    Karen,
    I was so very sorry to hear about your huge loss. Your tribute to him was so beautiful and you have so many wonderful memories of the times you enjoyed together, Keep the faith and know that someday you’ll see him again. Holding onto all the memories is the way to keep him close to your heart. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  • Toni

    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my oldest brother to cancer almost 11 years ago. I feel your pain, but promise the pain does ease. Life will never be the same, but it will be good again. I pray for peace for you and your family.

  • Mary Barnes

    Our condolences and sincere sympathy are sent to you. Positive thoughts and prayers are there for you and your family.

  • Joan Smith

    i AM SO SORRY FOR THE LOSS OF YOUR BROTHER. IT SEEMS ESPECIALLY HARD WHEN THE PASSING IS OF ONE SO YOUNG. WE HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON AND YOU WILL REUNITED IN HEAVEN. iWILL CERTAINLY KEEP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IN MY PRAYERS.

  • Laura

    So sorry for your loss. He seemed like a wonderful young man. What a great tribute you wrote, very moving.

  • patti

    Im so sorry for your loss, you and your family will be in my prayers. your brother sounds like a great guy and i know the lord has provided a special place for him.

  • Kelly

    It sounds like the world has lost an incredible person. I’m so sorry you lost your brother.

  • Kelly Reich

    I so sorry for your loss. I hope that in time, the memories you have of him will soothe your heart. You have an extra angel looking out for you now and forever.

  • kim

    Didnt know your brother Karen but it brought a tear to my eyes. What a loss. God Bless

  • Connie

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Try to take comfort in knowing he is in a better place. My prayers are with you.

  • Val Pearson

    Please know that nothing I could ever say would be enough to make the hurt go away. Your family is in my prayers and on my mind. If you ever need to vent, I am one email away. He will forever be with you, watching over you and in your heart.

  • Leah

    I always love reading your posts and blogs. I am extremely sadden by your loss but wish you a very bright memory of all those events. I wish you warmth and happiness with all those memories and keeping them close to your heart! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. Keep smiling and the love bright! You have all my deepest condolences on your loss!

  • Ivy

    Hugs & prayers to you and your family in this sad time. May Russ & his beautiful soul R.I.P.

  • Diane Andersen

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. May God comfort you and your family at this difficult time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Patti

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Mary Kilgore

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Naomi

    So sorry for your loss :-(

  • Pam

    May all the wonderful memories you have of your brother comfort you today & always. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family at this extremely difficult time.

  • cheryl

    Karen-

    I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. I wish you and your family the very best at this difficult time.

  • Karen

    I am so very sorry for your loss. No words could take away what you’re feeling. May God bless and be with your family at this time of sorrow. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Kathy

    Tender thoughts and prayers in your great loss. I have heard it said that we are more kin to our siblings than anyone else in the world. Your brother sounds like such a great guy and so much fun. Hold onto each other in the pain.

  • Geri Armstrong

    Karen I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family must be in shock… I will be praying for all of you. God bless you dear…

  • Frances Loussararian

    I am truly sorry for your loss. I know personally how hard it is, I lost my son Michael to cancer in 2006, he was only 24. He blessed me with a beautiful grandson, Andrew who is just like his father. My son was his sisters best friend and she has found it hard to deal with his passing. Your brother has gone home and you will met him again as we will met Michael again in the glory of our Lord. Your faith will see you through this trying time, remember all the happy times as he will always be in your heart.

  • Marcia L

    Oh Karen, what can I say except Iam so, so sorry to hear about the death of your brother. I never had a brother, but yours sounds like he was alot of fun to be around and compassionate, a wonderful combination.

    Please e-mail me if you want to, and please take good care of yourself.

    Marcia

  • Lexi

    Your brother sounds like an amazing person who was taken from our world far too soon. However, the impact he made on others was more than most of us will make in a lifetime. Thank you for sharing your story about your brother. You clearly had a special relationship. I hope that the memories you hold in your heart will help you get through this sudden and tragic loss. Take life one day at a time and be good to yourself. Someone once told me that there is no cookbook for grieving, no right or wrong way.Do whatever you have to do for YOU!

  • Tonya Gean

    So sorry to hear the sad news about your brother. I remember you writing about the triathlon. It’s obvious you two were very close. My heart goes out to you, and I’m saying a prayer for you and your family as I write this.

  • Kathy

    From your tribute it’s obvious that your brother really LIVED. We should all live so well. I’m glad you had the chance to enjoy life with him, but sorry that he left this world too soon. My heart is filled with sadness for you. I’ll pray for comfort for you and your family.

  • Hiwot

    Karen,

    Russ has touched so many lives and I hope you find comfort knowing that his life here was cherished by so many. Most importantly, he is with the Lord! I’ll keep your family in my prayers. I have sisters about Russ’s age and I can’t imagine losing them. God be with you and your family in this difficult time.

  • Gail Higgins

    Sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Autumn

    Dear Karen,

    Sorry for your lost. What you worte about your brother was beautiful and touching. I pray that you and your family fine comforter and peace. God bless you all.

  • Maria

    Dear Karen, please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers are this extremely difficult time. Your brother was a young vibrant man with so much life left to live.
    We will never know why God takes some so young. He will always be with you….
    May God Bless you and may his memory be eternal.

  • Julie

    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother, such a shock at such a young age !May memories of your time together help you in your healing. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Kat Diaz

    May God bless & keep you & your family in his hands. I am so very sorry for your loss & pray that you all will be reunited in heaven.

  • Sondra

    Karen,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the sadness and emptiness you must feel.
    My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Renee

    Russ has earned his wings and now spends his time with the other angels that have touched all of our hearts, whom earned their wings to watch over us. You & your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Karen Schutt

    I so wish I had the right words to ease your pain – at least for a little while. You were lucky to have such a compassionate and giving brother and he is lucky to have had a family that loves him so much. May you find comfort in Gods love and in the many happy memories you have of times with your brother. God bless.

  • Gayle

    Karen, I am so sorry for your loss! Prayers to you and your family.

  • T

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Mark

    Karen,

    Sorry for your loss, 29 is way too early!!! Your brother sounds like a great guy!

  • Liz

    I am sorry for your terrible loss. Give your grief to Him, our Father above. God will hold you and he has the best shoulder for us to cry on. Nothing can take his place, and only time will help heal your wounds.

  • Judy

    What a shock to read this! I echo Sarah B.’s sentiment. Russ has been rewarded by being called home early. Surely God is saying, “Well done, son”. What a blessing to have had such a brother. There are no words that I can think of to ease the pain you and your family feeling. Remember all the wonderful times. Heaven gained a shining star!

  • Victoria

    Wow..No one could ever dream of receiving a more poignant tribute than what you’ve given your brother here. It is so obvious that this was painstakingly written from the heart and it is one of the most touching things I’ve ever read. I feel certain your brother is looking down on you from heaven with so much love and gratitude for what you’ve done for him and shared about him here. May God bless you and surround you and your family with His enduring, remarkable peace throughout the coming weeks.
    Victoria

  • Lisa

    My thoughts and many prayers are with you and your family.

  • Rosemary Simm

    Karen,
    Russ was one of those shining stars that reaches out and touches everyone. Your memories of him will bring a lifetime of fulfillment and smiles, knowing that he loved life.
    Know that my prayers for you and your family are deep and sincere.

  • Gail

    Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. We will definitely pray for you and your family.

  • jill

    I am so moved by your words and in such sorrow for your loss. It’s so tragic, I find myself all choked up here, writing this to you. You poor thing, what a sad, sad time for you and your family. Sending you much love. Rest in Peace, Russ. You will be missed.

  • Heather

    Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute to him is lovely, your love for him certainly was shown. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • Sharon H

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like the kind of guy that will be remembered by many. I will hold thoughts in my heart for you and your family.

  • Linda

    I am so very sorry for you loss. You and your family are in my prayers….

  • Kim

    I am so sorry for your loss I can’t imagine your pain. My prayers are with you.

  • Melissa Miller

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Jo

    I am sorry for your loss. The world lost a great man. I wish I had known him.

    My heart goes out to you and your family.

  • William G.

    Karen: my deepest condolences. We as Christians never know why terrible things happen to good people but you’re sure to know that something good will come out of this. Christ is your comfort; cast your cares on Him for He cares for you!

  • Rachel

    Dear Karen: I wanted to write and tell you how sorry I am..I lost my younger brother my only brother in 1998..He was 18..He would have been the same age as your brother…Chris was a thoughtful young man with hopes and dreams and a wonderful sense of humor and wonder..He loved travel and was able to go to London and Paris..He was a hard worker at Wegmans in the customer service area..Sadly he lost his 2 year battle with leukemia on 6/19/98…My heart goes out to you!!! I hope my words can help you a little…Remember the good times and keep his memory alive in whatever way you can to honor Russ.. God Bless you and your family…
    Sincerely,
    Rachel Ewing

  • Shirley

    Karen, I too remembered you mentioning Russel in your newsletters; words can not convey
    how sorry I feel for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers and Russel is looking down on all of you from heaven.

  • Julia

    Karen I am so sorry for your loss. Your brother was handsome and sounds like a great guy. It is hard to lose someone so dear and I know it will take time for the pain to ease, but it will ease and you will remember Russ with the joy and happiness that he brought to you and your family as well as those people that he helped so much. God’s blessings on you and yours.

  • Carol Webber

    My deepest sympathy and condolences go out to you in this time of your big loss. It sounds like you have many wonderful memories of him. I know how hard it is to lose a brother. I lost one of mine a few years ago. He had been sick so we were expecting it but it didn’t make it any easier. To lose one at such a young age and unexpectedly has got to be horrible. My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family. Just know that he is in a better place and one day you will be reunited.

  • Lizann

    I am so sorry to hear your sad news. I will be thinking of and praying for you and your family. I have been a longtime reader and remember you mentioning funny things about your brother. It sounds like he was such a blessing in your life.

    Stay strong.

  • Cami

    His magnificent energy comes through the computer. Heaven just got another star. Deepest condolences to you and yours.

  • zann

    Dear Karen and family – sending love and Light to you and your family during this most difficult time. May the Angels wrap you all in their arms and bring comfort and hope to all of your family and friends. God Bless zann

  • Elaine

    I have enjoyed the emails from My Bargain Buddy for quite a while now and when I’ve had a question or comment on something and I’ve emailed you; every time I heard back from you, your kind nature came through somehow. I feel like you’re a friend, and when I read about your brother’s passing, I just started crying. God Bless you and your family.

  • Isaac

    My prayers and condolences are with you and your family during this mourning period. When death comes it is never easy to take. He is now in better hands than anything down here on earth can ever offer. Karen, Russ is just temporarily sleeping and one day Jesus when say come forth, and he will awaken unto eternal life. May God’s blessings rest, rule, and abide upon the entire family.

  • gayle

    I lost my brother (34) unexpectadly also going on 4 years ago and my heart still aches. He will be with you always. I know what you are going thru and just take one day at a time. He will always be loved and missed. I am sorry you have to go thru this terrible time, it is no fun at all. You think you will never be the same but time does heal. Never lets you forget but the heart does heal a little at a time. God Bless you and your family and prayers are heading your way.

  • Monica

    So sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful person. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. It sounds like he was a guardian angel on earth and will continue to be one in heaven.

  • Dawn

    Karen, Truly Sorry For Your Loss
    May God Comfort You and Your Family
    In This Time Of Need….God Bless You!

  • Lori Ursomarso

    My sincere heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

  • Kimber

    My deepest sympathy on such a tragic loss.

  • Bob and Sandee

    We are sincerely sorry to hear about your brother and may our prayers be with you and all family members

  • Cynthia Ludwig

    Karen, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. He sounds like the kind of brother everyone would love to have. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Take care.

  • Lyza

    May God bless you and your family through your sudden and tragic loss.

  • Janet

    I am soooooo sorry to hear of your loss! hugs to you and your family and to everyone who knew him, he sounded like a gem. and I am sure that is why he going to heaven. I will be thinking of you in this time of your greatest sorrow. all your fans will !! take care

  • silvana moscato

    Karen, my heart breaks for you and your family. I’m sure your brother was very proudof you, as we all are. Remember, you add so much to many lives with your wonderful website.

  • Jan

    Karen – My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Jan

  • Cathy Zecchin

    Dear Friend,
    No words can epress how truly sorry I am. Just know that God has made an angel of your brother, Russ, and you have gained an angel to watch over you and yours.

  • Judy

    Karen, my thoughts and prayers are with you and the family at this difficult time. Cherish the good times and memories. God bless.

  • Helen

    Dear Karen, I was so touched by your loving tribute to your wonderful brother. May you and your family feel God’s comfort and nearness. In Him you will find the courage to go on.

  • Hannah

    My condolences to you and your family. Your brother was a very special guy and will be missed by many.

  • Marie

    Dear Karen, Words cannot express the sadness I feel for you and your family during this difficult time. Your tribute to Russ is glowing and so well deserved-he was such an important person to so many. May fond memories help to sustain you, which I am sure you will keep in your heart forever. Please know that thoughts, Prayers and warmest sympathy are with you and yours.

  • Karen

    I am so sorry for your loss, there are no words to ease what you are feeling. As time passes the pain lessens the tears become memories and the warn breeze felt on your face will be your brothers touch, that suprise rainbow his smile and with that you will smile.

  • Kathy Cozort

    so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers

  • Amanda A

    Karen, I am very saddened to hear of your loss. Russel sounds like an amazing man and I know the world was a better place with him in it. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. *hugs*

  • dori arnold

    Karen, I don’t even know what to say – I am sorry doesn’t seem to even begin – I know you will get through this horrible time and smile again some day – even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. I will pray for you and your family. I know you will miss him everyday and think of him every minute.

  • Denise DiFalco

    No words can bring you the comfort you need at this difficult time but please know We are praying that God hold you in His Loving arms to give you the strength to continue on. Your brother sounds like such a wonderful and giving individual and keep in mind that He would want you to endure. I believe that God calls home those who have earned their reward to be with him in Heaven and I have no doubt that Russell mastered this honor. We love you and all you do for us each day. Big Hugs to You and your’re sweet family!

  • Kimberly Brown

    Karen, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother, may God guide and comfort your family through this tradgedy.

  • Cheryl

    Karen,

    So sorry to hear about losing Russ. These things are God’s plan, but impossible to understand. I was 8 & 9 years when my little brother & sister were born, and I, like you thought of them like live dolls and loved helping.

    The memories and God will sustain. And our prayers.

  • Mary Essenpreis

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother. It sounds like he was a very special person. To give of himself for troubled kids is a very unselfish thing to do and Im sure you are very proud of him. I will keep you and your family in my prayers

  • Liz @TheHaltonMom

    My prayers are with you and yours.

  • Sandy

    Karen,
    So sorry to hear about your brother. He sounds like an awesome guy. I’m sure he is watching over you now.

  • Wendy Lukas

    Karen,

    So sorry to read about the loss of Russ. Thank you for sharing as much as you did. He was clearly very special to you and your family. I wish you as much strength as possible during this huge loss in you and your family’s life. May he rest in peace.

  • Billy Martinez

    I am very sorry to hear about your brother. You asked to be lifted up in prayer and I will do so right now for you and your family. may you all be kept in His hands right now..

  • michelle

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like an amazing person.

  • Anna

    Such tragic news Karen! You bring so much joy every day to readers and it looks like your brother did the same to those in his life. My heart goes out to you and your family. I know there’s not much we can do to help, but hopefully our words provide comfort. You are a very positive and sweet bit to my day and I hope knowing that helps you through that.
    Take care.

  • Linda

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family at this difficult time.

  • Nan

    I am so saddened by the news of your brother’s passing. I sounds as though his life was full and happy.What a beautiful legacy he leaves in the hearts of his family and and the young people that he cared for so deeply. I know he will be greatly missed. May God bless you with a heart full of the beauty that was his life.

  • Diane

    Anything that I write seems too little but nothing that I feel for you and your family seems too much – my sincerely sympathy. Diane

  • Linda Peck

    Words are always so inadequate. I am so sorry for your loss, Karen. May your memories and the fact that so many care about you and your family give you comfort. I am grieving with you.

  • magieperdu

    Karen, I am so sorry to hear of your brother’s sudden passing. I know how proud of him you were (several years ago you posted some pictures he’d taken and a couple of years ago I know he inspired you to run that marathon and you told a great family story about him running while carrying you). Let those lovely photographs and those memories, and more, keep Russ close to you always. We never really “lose” those that we love because we hold them close in our hearts and memories. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Patti

  • Sherry

    So sorry to read about the loss of your brother. He was a very special person. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May you take peace in knowing he is watching over you now.

  • Deborah

    so sorry for your loss

  • Kimberly Ripley

    I am so sorry for your loss and the subsequent pain you are enduring. May precious memories fill your heart at this difficult time.

    Kimberly Ripley

  • Angela

    I am sorry for your loss. My prayers and thought are with you and your family.

  • Elizabeth Floyd

    My heart goes out to you and your family….To lose some one so close is so hard to deal with may god be with you I know how much pain you are in just know he is in a better place now….

  • Andrea

    So very sorry to hear of your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family. Hugs to you all.

  • janet toland

    So sorry for your loss. You and your family should not have to face this. He was so young and such a special person. My prayers are with you.

  • Kathy

    “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

    While he may not have lived long, it sounds like Russell’s years were full of life. How blessed this world is to have been graced with his presence for 30 years. I can’t imagine how deeply you miss him. I hope it is of some comfort to know that I am praying for you and your family at this difficult time.

    With sincere sympathy,
    Kathy Miller

  • Sheri

    Sorry seems so inadequate for such a loss. I hope that knowing thoughts & prayers are sent your way provides you some comfort. May God bless you and your family.

  • Kim

    Karen, I am sorry to hear about your brother, you and yours are in my prayers!!!

  • Laurie

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your brother. That was a very moving tribute that you wrote. I’m sure that he would be so proud. He sounds like he was a wonderful person. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Roberta

    I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time. Your tribute to your brother was very nice. Sounds like you were truly blessed to have him in your life for the time he was here.

  • Janet

    Russell rests in Gods heavenly home. He will always be with you .Know that he will walk beside you and remain in your life forever and ever, till you shall meet again. God bless you and your family. Share your memories, with each other, remember his smile, remember his laughfter.He’d like that!
    Janet

  • Kelly

    My thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this time of need. God Bless

  • Susan Gaglione

    Karen,
    I am so sorry to hear about Russel’s death. Too young, too soon. But, remember how blessed you were to have him in your life. He must have been an amazing person and lucky for you to have him as your brother. It is so hard to lose a loved one, especially when they leave so young. Your entire family is in my prayers. Take what he has taught you and pass it onto your children in honor of your brother.

  • Linda Hatton

    Oh my gosh, Karen, I’m so sorry and sad for you and your family. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

    –Linda

  • Debbie

    i am so very sorry for your loss. no words can ease the pain at this time but the wonderful memories you shared will always be with you. you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

  • Mary

    Karen, so sorry to hear of your loss.My prayers and thoughts are with you.So sad to lose a brother.We are truly blessed to have brothers.I know I love mine.

  • Anne

    What a loving tribute to your brother. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Dalia

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. he was only 2 years older than my son. I can’t begin to imagine the suffering you and your family are going thru, I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Mary Harris

    Karen, though I don’t know you personally–you relate to so many of us on your newsletter that we feel like friends. I am so sorry for your loss. I worked in a group home for boys for 2 years right out of college and I certainly understand what would motivate your brother to do this type of work. Thank you for sharing his memory with all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Amy

    I am so sorry to hear this Karen, god only knows why he brings us home at such an early age, but find comfort in knowing that one day you will all be seeing him again, and running the marathons through the pearly gates!

  • Kathy

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I read your emails everyday and I’ve never posted anything before but I had to just reach out and let you know that you are in my prayers. May God Bless your family through this difficult time.

  • Roisin

    Karen,

    I was shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden loss of your brother. I know how devastated you and your family must feel right now…wish I had words I thought might help. After losing my little sister 12 years ago–she was 20 years old–my family and I searched for answers to WHY? Some of us are still searching. But we all took comfort in the outpouring of love and kindness that surrounded us after her death. From the notes above it is clear that you are not lacking that.

    Thinking of you,

    Roisin

  • Elaine Beard

    I am so sorry for your loss. It seems like he had a beautiful life. There are no words at this point, only prayers. I will keep you in mine.

  • Alice

    What a tragic loss for you and your family. May he watch over you always until you meet again.

  • Rita Pawly

    Your memories of Russel are all you have now. His kindness and goodness are reflected in you every day. Hold those memories close. Love him as he loved you.

  • Teressa

    Karen,
    Your brother was, no doubt, a very special guy. I, too, lost a younger sibling a few years ago. I wish you God’s peace and comfort as you work through this and for the undeniable ‘knowing’ that you WILL be together again in heaven one day.

  • Karen

    I was so terribly sorry to read about the loss of your younger brother, Russ. It sounds as though he was very special to so many people. Having lost my younger sister a little over a year ago, I know what you and your family must be going through. May your wonderful memories of him help sustain you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Betty

    Remebered you speaking of you and your brothers along the way in the newsletters. Was shocked to hear of the loss of Russel. You and the family will be in my prayers. Only time will heal and the memories will live on in our hearts. Wonderful wordings of Russel.

  • CJ

    So sorry to hear about your brother. He is now your personal angel to guide and care for you until you can be together again. God bless you and you are in my prayers.

  • Carri

    I am so sorry for your loss. TIme softens the pain. I lost my father unexpectedly. It is hard. I wish your family a special closeness during this sad time.

  • joann downie

    Im so sorry for your loss, I have a brother who is 7 yrs younger than me also, and couldnt imagine what your going through. My thoughts are with you.

  • Judith

    Dear Karen,

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother.
    You and your family are in my prayers.
    I hope you will find comfort in knowing your family on this site is thinking of you and praying for you and offering a collective hug.
    God bless you,
    Judith

  • Kimberly K.

    Karen,
    I have been getting your newsletter for some time now, and I really appreciate the work you put into maintaining and posting these great bargains. Your website is the first place I go to when I am searching for an online coupon or discount.

    I was saddened to hear about your brother Russel dying at such a young age. It sounds like you were very close. He sounds like he was a wonderful man and that he touched a lot of young people’s live in such a positive way. I have not lost a sibling myself, but I have lost family members (my father when I was 6 yrs. old and my paternal grandparents as a young adult) so I know how horrible it feels and how lost you feel without him. The pain never really goes away, but it does fade in time and hurts less and less and one day you will be able to remember him fondly without breaking down. Reach out to your loved ones, they will help you get through it all.
    My prayers are with you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • kathy pease

    I am so sorry for your loss but feel your pain i lost my brother oct 27th,2009 also he was only 39 years young. I really miss him. I just want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and your brother sounds like a super special person.

  • Judy

    Karen,

    So very sorry for your loss. May peace be with you and your family.

  • Gail

    Please know that whatever comfort you might receive from the others who have posted here and who wish to help you deal with your grief, is also counterbalanced by the awe and respect that is felt when we read your loving words about your brother. You show such emotional strength by reaching out to others. You have courage and wisdom, Karen. May you grow from strength to strength as you confront your life with conviction and hope.

  • Julie

    Karen,

    We all love your emails and newsletter and coupons, but too us you became our friend, and to hear about your brother it sadness me and know that we are thinking about you and believe that he is at peace.

    R.I.P.

  • Maria

    I am so sorry to read of the loss of your brother. Your words were touching and brought tears to my eyes. They could have been written about my own brother who we lost suddenly and unexpededly last November. I say my brother lived a big life in a short time. A mountain of a man with a heart even bigger. He was also younger than me and the relationship between you two sounds so much like our own. I understand the hurt your family is going through and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I am praying that eventually the hurt will find a small corner of my heart to nestle in and the memories will be what sustain us and keep us smiling and laughing when remembering him. This is what I pray for you too. God Bless.

  • Susan

    Karen, I have been reading your newsletters for years now and have often heard you talk about Russel. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my older brother last May and still miss him daily. Cherish your memories. I will keep you and your family all in my prayers.
    Hugs!!!

  • Jodi

    You and your family are in my prayers, praying God will comfort you and give you peace during this time. He sounds like such a wonderful man.

  • Kaylee S.

    I will be praying for you and your family for this terrible loss. Mainly that God’s peace will surround your hearts and even though you do not understand the “why’s”…You will have peace to help you through this tough time. Thank you for all you do with mybargainbuddy!

    Kaylee

  • Faye Norman

    Karen,
    I’m sorry for your loss. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Mariah

    I am so sorry about your family’s loss. He sounds like a wonderful man.

  • Maureen

    So sorry to hear of your brother. God love you and your family.

  • Cindy

    Karen, I have been subscribing to your email right at 10 years and really appreciate at the things you have put forth. So sorry for your loss. They say time heals all wounds but one questions how long before one can deal with the hurt and loss. May God be with you during the time and in all things to come. God Bless.

  • Patsy Wilson

    I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your brother. Your lovely tribute made me shed some tears. I hope knowing that myself and others really do care will bring you some peace. Time will never erase the wonderful memories you have in your heart of the moments you shared. My thoughts are with you and the rest of your family at this difficult time.

  • Tamara B.

    I am a so sorry to hear about your wonderful brother and my rpayers are with you and your family :(

  • Marianne

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I will pray for you and your family. Your brother was a great guy who was an inspiration and will be missed by many. Take care. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Pam

    My sincere sympathy. Cherish your memories of a wonderful brother!

  • Voice w/out Faces

    I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers :-(

  • Ellen Shullaw

    Always remember the good times and don’t forget the good that he did in his too short life time.
    You and your entire family will be in our prayers.

  • Scott

    I hope you find some comfort in the fact that so many in cyberspace are thinking of you at this time. It makes one aware of how precious every single day is.

  • Judy M

    I’m so very sorry for your loss Karen. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. I pray God’s peace in the midst of such difficulty. Remember, not one tear will drop from your face that God won’t keep in a bottle and show you one day to prove He was there and every tear mattered…you mean that much to Him. He knows better than any person – grief. He aches with you. I pray you will feel His nearness and give your unanswered questions and confusion to Him – because He understands. Trust Him (with whatever capacity you have), to make even this tragedy into something amazing that your brother would be so proud to be a part of…your brother has gone on ahead for now…his address has changed but because of the mercy and grace of God – this separation though unbearably painful – will not be forever. God bless – Judy

  • Elizabeth

    God bless and be with you and your family at this very diffucult time for you all.

  • Laurie Irish

    Dear Karen, I know its hard right now, just remember your brother is with Jesus in paradise. He is loved.

  • camille

    We are so sorry for your great loss…you are in our thoughts and prayers!

  • Dominie

    Oh Karen, what a horrible shock you and your family must be in. No doubt that your brother was a great guy from reading your beautiful tribute. Know that many are thinking of you and keeping the family in their prayers. Bless you.

  • Aimee

    So sorry for your loss.

  • Peggy Shelton

    I’m so sorry to hear about your brother. I hope and pray that you and your family will get through this. I haven’t a clue what you’re going through, as I’ve never been through that. But I know that loosing anyone is hard and to be a sibling is even harder. My prayers are with you Karen. Hugs.

  • Tom Bellamy

    Karen, I am so sorry! I can’t imagine the pain and loss you are going through. My prayers are definitely with you!

  • Debbie Case

    What a great-sounding brother! I am sorry about his untimely death and have just prayed for comfort and strength for you and your family. I am glad you had such a fine relationship with your brother–good memories.

  • Clara

    Karen,

    May God Bless and Comfort you in this,dark time of your life.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you,just remember that you God is watching over you ,along with your brother .

  • pat Rainey

    Karen,
    No one can experience your pain until they have been there. I HAVE been there through the loss of a Brother(only 31 years old) and a Husband (only 30 years old). You and your family have my deepest sympathy in your loss. I feel every ache and pain with you. It got easier with time, as time does heal all wounds. But, still today, I have a lot of turmoil getting through the special occasions through the year. May God Bless you and give you the strength to get through this.
    Pat

  • Keith Dugas

    Karen,
    I am so saddened to hear the news of your brother. Your tribute to your brother was eloquent and I have no words better than your own. Your brother was taken much too young. You and your family will be remembered in prayers.

  • gina patnaude

    karen,
    i have been coming to your site for so long i feel i know you as a friend, i am so so sorry for your loss. when someone so close passes there are never the right words to say. i will pray for you and your family! sending love and hugs your way and if you need to vent that is what all your friends here are for! your brother will live on in your heart and memories of him, he sounds like he was a great brother, uncle and son! may god let him rest in peace
    sincerely,

  • jannie

    Karen I remember you posted something about you and your brother competing. I am sooo sorry for your loss he sounds like he was an awsome brother. I have a younger brother too I know it hurts right now but just remember the good times. I lost a brother in law back in june of 2009 and that still hurts. it was my brother in laws heart. We’re all here for you if you need to talk.

    Jannie

  • Deb

    Karen I can not even begin to imagine the pain that you and your family are going through right now. I realize that words can not ease the pain anytime soon, but know that many prayers are being said in my little corner of the world, that God holds you close and gives you even the littlest bit of comfort.

    Deb

  • Rex

    Karen, I am so sorry. I too lost my brother, the only sibling I had. I don’t know the details, but it is definitely a shock to the whole family. God bless you and your family. I share your pain and for your mom.

  • Donna

    I’m so sorry for your loss, he sounds like a wonderful,fun and thoughtful brother, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Donna

  • Laurie

    Karen,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts at this time. He sounds like a great guy who will live every day you remember him- Families are Forever and you’ll be with him again.

    We’re all here for you from Massachusetts!

    Laurie and family

  • Joyce Brady

    What a sad time for you and your family and all of the people that love you. May the wonderful memories help you to get through this hard time. Prayers are sent to you!!

  • susan

    karen,

    so sorry for your loss. your brother sounds like a really special guy. your tribute to him was beautiful.

    with deepest sympathy,
    susan

  • Seasongs

    My heart aches for you. May you find strength and hope during this difficult time. Your brother is only one heartbeat away from those who love him.

  • Nickie

    karen,

    i am so very sorry for your loss. having a little brother too (well, he’s 35 now), i can’t even imagine the loss you feel.

    i hope you are comforted in the hundreds of sympathy comments you have received and know that your brother will live on in your memories.

    my thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

    be well.

    nickie

  • patricia

    I am so sorry to hear such shocking news, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, life is so unfair sometimes.

  • Lori Cosgrove

    Oh Karen….my heart aches for you. Russ sounds like a unique and awesome person, who was obviously very dear to you. I lost my little brother, Mark in 2001, yet it feels like yesterday. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you.

  • Renee

    Our condolences on the loss of your brother. Our hearts go out to you. You & your family are in our prayers.

  • Lisa

    So sorry to hear about your brother.

  • Marie

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this most difficult time. I understand what its like to lose a brother as I lost my younger brother in 2004 and another brother in 2009. All I can say is hold on to the memories you both shared as it helps to get through each day.Take care.

  • Shari Salazar

    Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. You will be in our prayers.

  • Carrie

    I too am sorry for your loss. I was 18 when my brother passed away he was 17. We ended up getting into a car accident that took his life it was a difficult time in my life but what I do know is time heals all but leaves the scars. I still think about him everyday and how I wish I could see him again and like you I believe we will someday. So until we meet again you have the memories

  • Saunya Bishop

    Karen,
    I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like God used Russ in a mighty way. You may never know how much he touched the kids in need but some will never forget. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Leslie

    My condolences to you and your family. You are in our prayers. May you have many happy memories of him and your times together.

  • Kathy

    So sorry to hear of your loss. He will live on in your hearts.

  • June

    Karen,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss of your beloved brother Russ. Please know that you and your family will be in our prayers.

  • sande

    Karen.. my heart goes out to you. I lost my sweet husband in May of ’09. Prayers & angels surround you
    Sande

  • Shandee

    Karen, what a tragedy, I’m so sorry. But what an amazing person he was! You’ve gotta assume he’s up there helping God and being his great self. Our prayers are with you . . .

  • Jennifer

    Karen,
    Brothers will always have such a special place in our hearts. They are tough and strong but they are also sensitive, caring and always there to help others. You and your brother Russ had such a strong bond that shows through your words and tears. Please remember that the special bond will be with you always whether you are thinking about the snow fight or the running you both did or even just at a very quiet moment when you feel someone touching your shoulder or your face. Russ will always be with you and watching over his sister. I will say a very special prayer for you, Russ and all of your family.
    Jennifer

  • Margaret

    I’m sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like a wonderful man, and the world will be a much poorer place without him. I also lost a sibling at a relatively young age, and while I won’t tell you it never quits hurting (because that would be a lie), time and distance make the pain fade. It helps to remember the good things about the person and what they did for others.

    Again, I’m sorry for your loss, and I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

  • Lisa

    Karen, You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Take one day at a time!!

  • Carolyn

    Sometimes things here on earth are incomprehensible. May it bring you comfort to know that your brother led a worthwhile and full life, that he obviously cherished his relationship with you, as you have with him, and that you WILL be together again.
    May God bring comfort and peace to you and your family.

  • nellie diaz

    im sorry to hear about your lost , i know you will keep hearing that he,s in a better place ,but the lord neeed him more,to be your garden angle to watch over his family and how blessed he was to be so loved and touch so many lives ,,but he will always be in your heart and menory, god bless you all and my prayers are with you and her family.nellie diaz

  • Frank B

    Sorry for your loss. Losing a family member always hurts.
    I am sure you will remember him always.
    GOD BLESS YOU!

  • Renee

    so so sorry for your loss, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Casey

    Karen, you and your family will be in my prayers. Words cannot take away the pain, but I know God will lift you up and carry you thru.
    Casey

  • Toni S

    My thoughts and prayers are with you I am so sorry for your loss He was too young to go but god must have needed him .

  • Trina

    Karen,

    Your brother did a lot of living in such a short time on earth. We may never know all the ways he touched the lives of those that knew him, but you can be sure he will live on through all of you, and especially through the hurting kids he helped to heal. I wish you and your family God’s Blessings and peace.

  • janice

    Karen. May Blessings of Love & Peace comfort you at this time..

  • Debbie

    Very sorry for your loss. May God bless you and your family!!!

  • Cristin

    My heartfelt sympathies to you and your family. Losing a brother at any age is hard, never mind one so young. I hope you will find comfort in the many memories that you have shared together and that those memories will help you to get through each day ahead.

  • Dianna

    Karen,and family-I know how much this must be overwhelming and your sadness.Things will happen in the days to come that will rush into your memories that will make you smile and cry at the same time. These books of memories are only yours,and yours alone,charish them,this is Gods healing. They bring joy later. I am so very sorry for you and your family. Peace be with you and yours. You are in my prayers.Dianna

  • Linne Dodds

    So very sorry for your Loss . Don’t ket anybody tell you not to cry or get angry he was taken from you at such an early age . Let it out .Just do it safely of course .& I too am only an email away fro venting purposes .Lost my Mom to Cancers just over 2 years ago .It aint easy but we get through because we are needed & because it would be a stinkin’ way to remember those we lost if we Joined Them .

  • Sue

    Dear Karen and family–You have my deepest condolences. I lost my husband 5 years ago, my sister 4 years ago, and my brother 3 years ago. Aslo, 2 good friends in between there. My prayers are with you, Sue

  • Cheri

    Karen,

    I wish you and your family peace and comfort in this time of great sadness. Russ sounds like a wonderful guy and I’m sure he touched many, many lives. Thank you for sharing with us. Sending our prayers.
    Cheri

  • Carol Solze

    Very sorry for your loss, My prayers are with you and your family

  • Sharon Taylor

    Karen, I will put you and your family in my prayer journal to remember all of you in this time of loss. I remember how compassionate you were toward me when I emailed you about my surgery last year so the least I can do is ask God to touch the hearts of each of you as you deal with this burden. Sharon

  • DIANE

    Karen, so sorry for your loss, remember all the good times together and cherish them.

  • Jen C

    Karen, I am so truly sorry about your brother.
    From what you’ve spoken about him I can see him now running a marathon with 500 children on his shoulders making everyone laugh. No pain. He has left you and many others the wonderful gift of memories and he wants you to hold on to those dearly. They meant as much to him as they did to you. What a blessing you’ve had in your life. I know no words will ever take away the pain, but I know from experience that with time comes the easing of pain. I pray for strength for all of his loved ones. I will leave you with this quote I came across…

    “I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three.” ~Author Unknown

  • Joey Pulley

    My heart breaks for you and your family. I can’t imagine the grief that you are feeling. I said a special prayer for you this evening. Although, we/I only know you from afar with your emails, you seem like such a warm, kind, smart, loving person. I’m sorry for your loss and pain.

  • Helen Parody

    My prayers are with you and your family in this time of sorrow. It is never easy to lose a loved one.You have many keeping yous in prayer .

  • Elaine Winchester

    So sorry for your loss of your brother. Try to remember the good times you spent with your wonderful brother. Sometimes that helps–I know–I lost a younger sister many years ago. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • D

    Very sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like a wonderful man.

  • PAUL SELLERS

    IT IS SO HARD TO LOSE SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND CARE FOR SO VERY VERY MUCH. IM POSITIVE HE IS LOOKING DOWN THINKING HOW LUCKY HE WAS TO HAVE A GREAT SISTER LIKE YOU. JUST REMEMBER ALL THE GOOD TIMES , SORROW WILL PASS AND ONLY FOND MEMORIES WILL LINGER. GOD BLESS

  • Corey Cavin

    I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. It sound like you where very close. My prayers go out you you and your family. It was wonderful to have had him this long then to have never had him at all. It sound like you have a great family and a very stong family. My family will keep you in our prayers.

  • Diane Sienkiewicz

    Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of your brother. To lose someone that young is very hard to understand and accept. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Christine Parker

    Karen: I am so saddened to hear of your loss. I know what that is like. I lost my baby brother in Nov. 1984 at the same age as your brother, Russ. He was much younger than I; but then in Feb. of 1985, I lost another brother, this one just younger than I. We had always been close. Then on April 2, 2009, I lost my oldest brother. They are all still missed so much; but God never leaves us or forsakes us. Keep looking to Him and enjoy the great memories you and Russ shared.

  • Felicity K

    I hope that you celebrate his Homecoming to our Lord and Savior and look froward to being with him in the next life.

  • Cheryl

    What a beautiful tribute to your brother. I’m sure he was just as proud of you also.

  • Jan

    Dear Karen,

    My heart grieves for you and your family. You will be in my prayers. I am thankful that you have so many wonderful memories to sustain you and your family.

  • Ruth Bedard

    Dear Karen,

    Please know that my deepest sympathies are with you at this very sad and trying time in your life. You and your family and your brother Russell will be in my thoughts and prayers. It is so very hard to lose someone that you love so much and when it comes to someone like your brother Russ it is even more difficult because he certainly sounds like he touched the lives of everyone around him whether family, friend or somebody needing a friend and somebody to care about them.

    Karen, your brother sounds like a spectacular person that has done so very much in the brief period that he was on this earth. It really does not surprise me that God took him so young because although he did so much good here for everyone in his life God must have decided that he needed him for an even greater purpose, one that you will probably never know or at least not until you and your brother meet once again. I hope that it will comfort you somewhat to know that God only takes the very best and when he takes someone as young as Russ try to understand and remember that God has a purpose when selecting his youngest Angels!

    Even though us here on earth that are left behind to grieve and question the wherefore and the why try to take some comfort with the knowledge that God selected him because of the great person that he is and needs him to help with someone/something that we cannot understand!

    The tribute that you wrote about your brother was absolutely fantastic and shows just how much you loved your brother and remember that because of this love and because of your close relationship that you will always be able to keep Russell in your heart and it will be you that keeps him alive forever and ever…………………God bless you Karen and may he comfort you in your time of greatest need.

    Remember also that over the years you have made many, many, many friends especially through your website and although we may never have met in person you have touched every one of our lives in a positive way and we will all be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers and hopefully this will somehow bring some solace to you in your darkest hours of grief.

    Ruth Bedard & family

  • Patty Genova

    What a terriffic guy he was and your an amazing person as well for writing such a wonderful tribute about your brother. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. May god bless you all and help you through these hard times

  • Diana Lynch & family

    Karen and Family – our deepest sympathy on the loss of your brother Russ. You have been such a wonderful and kind person sharing with so many bringing happiness daily to others. Your newsletter today brought such saddness to my heart for you during this difficult time. Though we have never met your emails are a joy. I am sure I speak for so many when I say we are like a family and your saddness was felt throughout the United States. We all care and hope you will find comfort in knowing that Russ will be remembered fondly and you and your family will be kept in our thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. Thinking of you across these United States… Diana

  • Sue

    May you find peace and comfort in all the wonderful memories you have of your brother. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Pat

    I lost my own brother seven years ago at the age of 47. Our relationship sounds a lot like the one you had with your brother. There are still days when I would like to grab the phone and “cry on his shoulder”. My deepest sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Jodi

    So very sorry for your loss. Prayers are being said for you and your family.

  • Barbara Walrath

    So sorry for your loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Mary Ann

    I am so sorry to learn about the loss of your brother. You and your family are in our prayers. God will give you and your family the strength to see you thru the days to come.

  • Donna

    May your many happy memories bring you comfort.

  • Debbie Chambliss

    I was so shocked to read ‘My Bargain Buddy’ and find this news of your family loss.
    I remember times that you mentioned Russel in your newsletter.
    Please know your family is in my prayers, and that I am so very sorry for you and your family’s loss.
    Your writing of him is so heartwarming and loving. I agree with another blogger that ‘sometimes God does call upon his greatest and brightest’ for bigger things.
    My deepest sympathy,
    Deb

  • Barb Van

    Karen,

    I am in shock, and can’t imagine the shock you and your family are in. I remember all the times you wrote about Russ and feel I knew him. My heart goes out to you and your family. Lean on each other as you struggle to make sense of all this. He is looking down on you, I’m sure, and will help you as you grieve. My love and prayers to you and yours.

    Barb

  • Cassi Jensen

    I am so sorry for your loss. I too, lost my brother at a young age, and I hope God will grant you peace.

  • Sharon

    Just remember that he is with Jesus and that there was some reason that this happened. He lead a good life and did alot for others and that is something that you need to look back on and feel good about the time that you had with him. You and your family will be in our prayers.

  • Claudia Williams

    I am so sorry for your loss baby. Keep your spirits up. Unknown to us, there is a reason for everything. I know it is impossible to see now, but some how, there is a reason in Gods plan. My heart goes out to you in this sad time. I know he will be missed. He seemed like a great guy. What a sad loss.

  • Ruth

    Karen, I will be in prayer for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Ruth

  • Pam

    I’m so sorry for your loss! I actually know how you feel-May 2nd my brother passed away unexpectly. It’s been 8 months & I’m still trying to cope with it. The hardest part is living without him! What gets me thru the day is knowing I had no control over it! I will keep you in my prayers & know his memories are your treasure forever! As someone told me it get’s easier but you never forget! I now live each day as if it was my last!

  • Bernie

    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Pam

    Karen, I can’t begin to imagine how it feels to suddenly lose a treasured baby brother. It reminds me to be thankful that I still have mine and to appreciate him as he deserves. It’s so good that you have strong faith and such a wealth of memories to sustain you.

    Pam

  • Leah

    I am so sorry for your loss, you are all in our prayers. God Bless you.

  • JAKI

    KAREN MY DEAR,WHEN THE LORD CALLS OUR LOVED ONES HOME,HE LEAVES THE GIFT OF MEMORIES IN EXCHANGE.HOLD ON TO THEM AND LET THEM GUIDE YOU DURING THIS TIME OF SADNESS AND TREMENDOUS LOSS FOR YOUR FAMILY.MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL OF YOU THAT ARE NOW STRUGGLING TO COME TO TERMS WITH THIS SO UNFORTUNATE LOSS OF SUCH A WONDERFUL BROTHER AND HUMAN BEING.BLESS YOU MY FRIEND!!!

  • joan

    SO SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR LOSS. KEEP HIM IN YOUR MEMORIES AND OUR PRAYERS ALWAYS.. JOAN

  • Donna

    Karen, my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Your brother sounds as though he was an outstanding man in every way and I can only imagine the heartbreak you must feel. Please remember all the prayers and thoughts everyone is sending your way. I truly believe in angels and believe Russell is among them watching over you. May peace be with you.

  • Shauna

    Very sorry to hear about your brother. You and your families are in my prayers. Thank you so much for sharing his heartwarming story.

  • Sherrie B. Lopez

    Dear Karen,
    I do understand your pain. In May of 2006, at age 21, my daughter stopped breathing one evening. We waited 6 weeks for autopsy results and they came back inconclusive. Two coroners found nothing wrong and no reason for my daughters death. I lost mine and my parents homes to Oklahoma wildfires Dec. 27, 2005 and drove to my older sons home with only my purse, my Chihuahua, the clothes on my back and my truck. With wind pushing the wildfires everyone was evacuated by police without a chance to get anything from their homes. By Febuary I had an apartment not far from my son and grandchildren. Then I recieved a call from an aunt that my Dad was very ill. He had cancer and chose not to fight it. He wouldn’t let anyone tell me because I cared for my Mom from 1993 till her death from cancer in 1997. He knew I would expect him to fight it and would care for him as I had my Mom. But he had not been happy since her death, even though he had remarried. All of this happened in a space of 6 months time but my daughters death was the worst of it. For a time I didn’t know if I could make it from one day to the next – all I knew was that I wanted my baby back, my only girl and my youngest child. What helped me most was time, prayer and my grandkids. A priest once told me that God never gives us more than we can handle and I guess that is true. I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in all our prayers. And considering how many people you touch in some way everyday – you know that’s a lot of prayers. God bless you and your family.

  • Adrianne

    And you will see him again. There are many more adventures to come for you and him together. Be comforted in knowing this.

    I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I can’t imagine how much you must miss him.

  • Nancy Carney

    Karen

    So sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and know that you will one day be reunited together in Heaven. He sounds like he was a wonderful and caring person and one who enjoyed living life to the fullest. May God bless you and your family.

  • Anne Gardner Bleicher

    My dear Karen,
    Please accept my deepest heartfelt prayers to you & yours on the loss of your now angel brother!
    Words simply can’t fill all my caring! you will always treasure all your beautiful memories!
    Abundant prayers always,& blessings,
    Anne
    xo

  • Melanie Collier

    Karen

    How hard it is for your family right now. While nothing I say can make it better for you, I pray for you and your family to be able to come to grips with this loss. Know that, as others have told you, your brother is now with our Lord and you will be reunited with him one day. I am very sorry for your pain and will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • T

    Karen, I am so sorry to hear about Russ. I felt like i knew him by your post. What great memories you have. You are blessed to have had all that time with him. I hope this makes people appreciate family. You never know how much time you have with them. I will pray for you and your family. Hang in there! {HUGS}

  • Martha Mantel

    Oh Karen, I am so sorry. I can’t even imagine the pain your family must be in. It sounds like the world has lost a wonderful person. You will be in my thoughts.

  • Mary P.

    Karen,
    So sorry for your loss. What you wrote about him in the post was wonderful. He would be proud how you felt. Our thoughts & prayers go out to you & your family.

  • Darlene Taylor

    Dear karen,
    I am so sorry for your loss. having just met you I am saddened to hear of this tragity.this is a shock I am sure for your entire familty.
    Many times i think why God? Only he knows the number of our days. It sounds like your brother was a giver and shared his gifts and talents with others in a special way.God is faithful, God is kind and he is compassionate. May you all feel His peace and comfort during this difficult time.
    My prayers are with you!
    Love Darlene

  • Jean

    Karen. I feel your pain. I lost my brother 12 years ago. Tragically, it was at his own hand. We wonder why? God only know’s, and He is the great healer. Trust in Him, that’s the only way to get through this. Perhaps God needed a special Angel to help Him in Heaven.’
    My Thoughts and Prayers go out to you and your family.
    God Bless

    Jean

  • Patty T

    I am so very sorry to hear about your brother. He was so young! I lost my parents in 2006 and 1996 and that was so very, very difficult but to lose a sibling in the prime of his or her life would destroy me. I have a brother and two sisters and nearly lost one sister to a brain aneurysm and a slight stroke. I was freaked out. Couldn’t function. She came through but the thought of her being gone crushed me and I know you much be devastated.

    The good really do die young. Youir brother will be forever in your heart and watching from above.

    –Patty

  • Nancy (Momnick8)

    Karen, I was so sorry to read of your loss. My prayers go with you and your family.

    Nancy

  • olivia

    karen,
    what a handsome young man. reading your words about him made me cry. how wonderful to have had such a relationship.. so young.. i can’t imagine the overwhelming grief. i have no words, i’d just give you a hug if i could

  • Tammye

    So sorry Karen! I can tell he was a unique and special man. He will be missed terribly I know. You know he will be running around with all the kiddo’s in Heaven now.

  • katydidnt4815

    When someone you love becomes a memory – the memory becomes a treasure!
    So sorry for your loss Karen – we know from your letters how very much you love
    your family. You will all treasure his memory forever.

  • Barbara

    Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a sister at a young age over 20 years ago. I still think of her everyday and wish she had not left us. Be strong and remember the good times.

  • Art LaMotte

    Karen,

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. I will include him and your family in my daily rosary. We must remember that our plans are not God’s plans. Your brother just completed his tasks on earth sooner than the rest of us. You are blessed for the time that you had him.

  • Diane

    Karen, I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. I am praying for you and your family.

  • Sandy

    Karen,
    I`m so sorry for your loss. I will pray for you and your family. hugs to you.

  • Irish

    Karen, sending thoughts and prayers your way. So sorry for your loss. Blessings

  • thelma

    I lost my brother very unexpectedly in 2001. He was only 11 months younger than myself. Cannot imagine how hard it would be to lose a brother 6 years younger. All I can say is, there is always a hole in your heart but it becomes easier to live with. The good memories & knowing that he touched so many people , are the things you will remember the most. He will always be a part of you & alive in your own memories & the memories of others. I truly believe that someday you two will be reunited in a better place & that somewhere, right now he is keeping an eye on you. Take care of yourself. he would want that.

  • Connie

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I know that God promises never to forsake us or leave us. Hold on to that. God Bless.

  • Suzy

    Karen — Carry memories of him in your heart forever and he will always be with you in spirit. My prayers for God’s strength.

  • Marie

    Dear Karen,

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like he earned his reward in heaven while here on earth. I know it must be very difficult for you and your family, but your brother will always be with you in spirit. Sounds like you have your very own angel watching over you.
    Prayers being sent your way.
    Marie

  • Lyn

    My deepest sympathy to you, Karen, and your family. Your brother sounds like he was a wonderful person. It is our loss as a society as well. Stay strong.

  • Cindy

    Karen – I am so sorry about the loss of your brother. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Carla

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Thank you for sharing part of his life with us. Only the good go first, so remember your brother was taken early because he was a wonderful person and god needed another angel, so god picked Russel.

  • Judy Webber

    Karen, please accept my sympathy, prayers, and meditations. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve read your posts about your brothers, and other family members, for so many years, I almost feel I’ve lost a member of my own family.
    You wrote a beautiful tribute to him on your blog. I hope you can grieve while also remembering the good, happy, fun, and beautiful times you had together. It seems you are already able to do that. He will not come back, but he will live on forever in your heart and mind, and the hearts and minds of all of those who love him.

    Rest in peace, Russel.

  • Tina

    It is always hard to lose someone and nothing anyone can say can take the hurt away.I pray for you and your family !

  • Fred

    Karen I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family must be in shock… I will be praying for all of you. God bless you & your Family in this time of sorry

    Fred

  • Blythe

    Karen,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you at this difficult time. As time passes the pain eases a bit but the memories you have of Russell will never leave you. Hold onto those memories and treasure them. Rest in peace, Russell.

  • Kathy Conner

    I’m so sorry to hear a fine young person like your brother is now gone. I’m hoping the prayers of your friends, family and your blog family will help you through this very sad time. I can tell you from experience that time will help. You will remember all the best times and always have his warm smile in your heart. It’s always been said that the lord works in mysterious ways. Understanding why someone so vital is taken so suddenly from you is hard to take. You and your family have my thoughts and prayers and remember to try to take it one day at a time one small step to happy rememberance.

  • Barbara Fettue

    I am sorry about your loss. You were so blessed to have a brother like that.
    I know that God loves him so much to call him to heaven at such a young age.
    You will be reunited with him one day.
    God bless you and your entire family.

  • barb hite

    So sorry for your loss, the obvious love will carry you, your family and friends through. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

  • Kristen

    oh Karen and family-
    How sad to hear that you lost your little brother unexpectedly. I can’t imagine the pain you must feel and hope that you realize that all of the posts are people sending positive energy to your mind and your heart and your soul. Through the words you used to tell us about your brother I can feel how proud you are of him and how is humor and spirit were very positive. Hold his truths close to your heart and find blessings in the memories that you shared with him while he was here. Warmly- Kris

  • Jennifer Randle

    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I cried while I read the touching tribute you gave to your brother. People such as your brother glow so brightly while they are with us, their light never goes out. Yet I, too, struggle to understand why wonderful people like your brother are taken from us so young. Consider this a big “virtual” hug to let you know we all care.
    Jennifer

  • kathy Triplett

    Karen
    i am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.
    God Bless and comfort you at this time of your loss.

    Kathy

  • Sue

    Dear Karen and Family,
    Just letting you know my heart goes out to all of you at this time of sadness. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Nancy Mejia

    Dear Karen,
    I have never written in to you before but I feel compelled to extend my sympathies
    on the loss of your brother. What wonderful memories you and your family have of him.
    Your reflections on his life were beautiful, and he truly will live on in the hearts of you and
    your family. God Bless you.

  • Lorin

    Words are truly inadequate at times like these. While I may have a similar experience from which to draw compassion, no one can fully experience the depths of sorrow you now experience. So, since I know you are hurting (you have shared that) let the sufficicency of prayer somehow bring what you need at this time as words of sympahty would somehow, though perhaps comforting, be ultimately insufficient. God is good, even when the goodness in life may seem or feel diminished.

  • Janet Monk

    Karen and family;
    I share your sorrow and know the comfort you will get, will be from all your loving family and friends. We always question “WHY” , but God had a reason to take such a young vital young man.
    Our love goes to you and your family, In God we trust !!!! Janet

  • Teri Jordan

    Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. my you find strength and love in your family and friends at this time. I have been a member for so long you feel like a friend and my heart truly goes out to you during this hard time. God bless you and your family.

  • dave miller

    so sorry about your brother i know what you are going thru i lost 2 younger brothers in the past 3 years time will heal a broken heart but memories live on dave

  • JR

    Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. I am profoundly shocked. You have talked about your brother so much. What a standup guy! Please accept my sincere sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Donna C

    Dear Karen,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Paula

    Dear Karen,

    So sorry for the unexpected loss of your brother. It sounds as if he was a truly extraordinary person. This world could use more like him, but it is nice that he was able to touch so many in the short time he was here. I’m sure he was an inspiration to you and many, many others. All of your extended family here share in your loss and pray for you and your family.

  • Laurie Chilcot

    KAREN I AM REALLY SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR BROTHER . IT IS ALWAYS SAD TO LOSE SOMEOME AND WONDER WHY .THEY SAY THERE IS A REASON FOR ALL THOSE WHO DIE .WE DONT ALWAYS UNDERSTAND WHY BUT IN TIME YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WILL HEAL. BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THOSE WONDERFUL MEMORIES AND GOOD TIMES.
    ONCE AGAIN IM REALLY SORRY FOR YOUR LOST . I WILL PRAY FOR THE STRENGTH THAT YOU WILL NEED THROUGH THIS TIME. GOD BLESS

  • Rita

    Sorry for your loss, maybe he is doing BIG WORK, and I know he is watching you and keeping you and yours safe. My prays are with you. You will have him with you in your heart.

  • Nina

    May you be comforted to know prayers are lifted up for you and your family. And find hope in Jesus and that we will see our loved ones in Heaven.

  • Jackie

    Karen,

    You and your family are in my thought….take care and please know you have many buddies that are praying for you.

  • Annette

    Dear Karen,
    Mere words cannot express my feelings for your loss. Having lost my brother too soon and without warning is perhaps the most hardest thing to comprehend. Please know that you and your family will be in my prayers.

  • Kim Presny

    So sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man.

  • Jim

    Love and beautiful memories will get you through this sorrowful time. Please accept my condolences. Thank you so much for sharing some of the highlights of your brother’s life with us.

  • Dorita Jones

    Karen, So sorry for your lost, Tjis would be so hard for me also. My baby brother means so much to me. I know no words can help right now but our prayers are with you and your family.

  • Tiffany

    so sorry for your loss!

  • Rhonda Martin

    What young tragedy. This is heart breaking. Sorry for the pain and loss you must be feeling. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Alexandria Johnson

    I am so very sorry for your loss. As a way to honor the memory of your beloved brother I have joined your Facebook page and have invited my Facebook friends to do the same.
    I hope others join me and your increasing numbers can be a nice tribute to your brothers memory!

  • Susan Pesek

    Karen, my heart feels your pain. I have experienced that loss, too, just a month ago. The gravity and the hurt is almost like an unrelenting ache that won’t go away. In primal terms, it’s loss that divides the family. But…
    Undo the division with multiplication, a math term for equations. Think of even more wonderful things and precious memories as you did in your announcement. Let them multiply.
    He sounds like a wonderful human being. I know you are thankful for every moment you had with him. As often as you can, think good memories. They can strengthen your resolve and help to push the saddest longings aside. May God bless you and your family.

  • Susan Ward

    I am so sad for your loss. You are in my prayers.

  • quizme

    I can not imagine the loss you and your family are feeling! My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Just know that he is now at peace and his memories will live on forever. ♥

  • Susan Pfanebecker

    I am sorry to hear about your brother, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I heard this morning that my own brother was hospitalized late lastnight and is in critical condition. Dr’s are not sure what attack he has sufferedand are keeping him sedated until they find out. Im glad to know that you and your brother shared so many fond memories. God Bless!!!

  • Tami

    I was really touched about your story about your realationship with your brother.He sounded like a really great guy! Take care and take one day at a time.

  • Audrey

    Funny, loving, and compassionate. He will be missed by everyone whose life he touched.
    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • Yvette

    Karen: you don’t know me, but I pray for you and your family that the Lord’s peace be with all of you. We can’t really understand God’s purpose in all that He allows to happen, we can only grieve and look to our hope of being re-united with our loved ones in heaven. I can tell from your website you are a caring person; this experience will grow your compassion to others. Every day will get better bit by bit until you can remember him with love, without your heart being so heavy. Ask Jesus to help you get through it all, he will never leave you or forsake you. Take care.

  • charles yount

    so sorry,i sat with my brother for weeks while he was dying from a lung disease,so hard to give up someone you really love,especially in your family,i do not know your beliefs,but i believe we will see our love ones again.
    my prayers go out to you and your family.
    charles yount

  • MARY

    Karen, I pray you find comfort and peace in this very difficult time. You are a very loving sister to write such a lovely tribute to your brother. You and your family are in our prayers.

  • MARIE DENOVI

    KAREN,
    I AM SO VERY SORRY FOR YOOOOOOUR LOSSOF YOUR BROTHER
    YOUR WHOLE FAMILY IS IN MYTHOGHTTTS AND PRAYERS

    ((HUGS)) MARIE

  • Sally

    Dear Karen,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother, Russel. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Sharon

    Sending strength,tissues,hugs and love to get through this for your family.

  • Theresa

    Oh my gosh, Karen … I just can’t believe it, and I am just so sorry to hear about your loss. I’m sorry that I didn’t responded earlier but I’m just getting back online after my computer took a dump. I remember reading about Russel in your newsletters. 26 years ago (this March), my sister died when she was 28 (I was 23) .. it’s just too young. Speaking from personal experience, all I can say is that time will soften the hurting you feel. You’ll never forget, but time lessens the hurt. Acknowledge your grief and give yourselve as much time as you need to heal. One thing that caught me offguard was just how powerful losing a sibling was. It’s OK to cry, you need to, and boy do those moments come from out of nowhere! Rejoice, however, in the wonderful things they brought to your lives. One way to keep them alive in your heart is to recount all the memories you have … your blog is a true testimonial of what a wonderful person that Heaven has assuredly gained. I don’t know, but Russel may meet his match in Heaven when he runs into my dad and my sister .. they were very quick and eloquent with words. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please email me if you ever need to talk. Please pass along my condolensces to your family. Hugs and prayers – Theresa

  • Irene

    I am so sorry for your lost your brother sounds so much like my brother we are a family of 9 as you say you mess with one you mess with all we were like a team, We lost my Brother of lung cancer in 11. 27/08 and he never smoked it was a great loss to us he was all the kids favorite uncle we played with the kids joked to the day he fell in to the coma and died the next day he was a good man on this earth as your brother was now they are even Greater men on the other side & we will see them again god bless you & your Family .

  • PEGGY COTTON

    What a wonderful tribute to your brother. It was one of the toughest time in my life when I lost my brother. Our prayer are with you and your family. Hold each other close. Peggy

  • Pam Diedrich

    Karen I am very sorry to hear about Russel. He was an very caring , loving and compassionate young man. You are in my prayers.

  • Pam Barbee

    My deepest sympathy to you & your family at this time.

  • Tanya Guthrie

    I’m so sorry for your loss!! You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Ann

    Karen, there are no words to describe how my heart aches for you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Carol McDonald

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Diann Rice

    Dear Karen,

    Your brother Russ sounds like a great adventurer with a wonderful sense of humor. Thank you for sharing so much of your life here on your web site, I feel that I can call you friend. I want to share with you that I still talk to, sing to and do things to honor my dad who passed on more than 20 years ago. I believe in God and the love and blessings that He gives to each of us. I do not feel that people we love ever go away. It is the body that goes but the beautiful spirit remains. We are with the ones we love forever, that is what I believe. So talk to your brother or do something that has always been a part of what you two shared…don’t be surprised if he finds a way to communicate back to you. May God bless you, your brother and your entire family. And may God comfort and guide you on your path. Hugs and love.

  • Barb

    Karen,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my brother 7 years ago, also very suddenly, and it is a feeling that is hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t gone through it.

    Just know he will always be with you in your heart.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    Barb

  • Beverly

    So sorry for you. I lost my brother last summer and know the hollow feeling that is in your heart. It sounds as if He was really loved by alot of people – that’s a blessing for your family.

  • Deb

    Karen,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless and keep you all.

  • jen

    i am sorry for your loss .

  • Michele

    What a beautiful memorial to your brother. It’s obvious that he was a great man and meant the world to you. You have my condolences and prayers.

  • Karin

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.I lost my mother last March and know the empty feeling that is in your heart.

  • Grace Nyiri

    dear Karen,
    Karen, please accept my sympathy for your loss;you and your family are in my prayers;
    God bless you and your family in this trying times!

  • Judi

    My heart aches for you every time I see this – I just want to extend more prayers to you and your family. There are no words to heal you so I will just say may God Bless You and keep you all close.

  • Lois

    Dear Karen,
    I hope the words of comfort that you’ve received have been a bandaid for the sorrow and pain you feel for the loss of your sweet brother. Time will dull the sharpness of the pain that you feel but the ache will always be there as will the love you’ve had for your brother. After my dearest, closest friend passed away a few years ago, his sister sent me a poem someone had given her. In essence, it said that when you see a coin on the ground, you know your loved one wants you to know how much you are loved and that he wants to remind you that he is still with you. It may sound silly, but every time I see a coin, I remember those thoughts and it makes me smile a little. May God keep you and your family especially close during this very difficult time, Karen.

  • Peggy Gorman

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother. You are in my thoughts and prayers

  • Colleen

    My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your brother. You wrote a wonderful tribute to him on this web site.

  • CARLA

    so sorry for your loss, your family will be in our prayers.

  • Bonnie

    Dear karen,

    It’s so hard to lose a loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Elaine

    Dear Karen,

    I just read about your brother..I am so terribly sorry. I know how much you loved him and how much he was loved by others..because you so often spoke of him. Please accept mine and my families condolences at this terrible time. All that I can offer for support is my love and prayers..to you and to your entire family..and the knowledge that a beautiful person was here and for some reason we dont know, is in Heaven now..God Bless you and your Family..please know that God loves you all..Jesus is with you..and HE can see he bigger picture that we cant!!
    With Love,
    Elaine

  • Kathy Linklater

    I’m so sorry about your brother! (I have 3 brothers, no sisters, too.) I didn’t know about it until your 1/19/10 post. I’m sitting here trying to type with tears in my eyes.

  • Phyllis

    Karen, I just read about your loss of your dear brother. I am so very sorry you have had to suffer this tragedy. You have my deepest sympathy, but even more, my prayers that the Holy Spirit will come and comfort you. That is his work here on earth. And as he comforts you, may he remind you that you and your brother will see one another again in that mansion that Jesus has prepared for all true believers.
    God bless you and your family, ie, brothers, parents, other extended family. Just try to rest in the everlasting arms of our Lord and Savior.
    Love in Jesus,
    Phyllis

  • Tom Bellamy

    Karen, what a tribute to your brother! I know there will be an emptiness in your heart until you see him again. I am continuing to pray for you. I am in my early 50′s and I still miss my dad very much and he died 22 years ago. Losing a dad is one thing but losing a brother at such a young age is extremely difficult. I am so sorry! My heart breaks for you. I hope to hear from you in your newsletter soon!

  • Sandy Martin

    I feel the deep ache of your lost in my heart.
    I lost my mother just a few months ago. Your
    wonderful memories of the past years with him
    will help. My prayers are with you and your
    family during this time of grieving.

  • Kelly

    I knew Russ. I am sad that I did not have a chance to get to know him better. He was an incredible person. He did so much for so many. He will be greatly missed.

  • Melissa

    Karen,
    I had the pleasure of working with Russ. He was exactly as you described him. I remember how competative he was, we were always competing at one game or another, he especially loved scrabble but thats only cause he would always win that game, i could never win him at that game! One time we were playing a soft ball game at work and we ended up on the same team, before the game even started he said to me ” welcome to the winning team” He was very quick witted just as you said as well. I loved this about him, i must admit that he met his match in me when it came to that, we always had a war of the wits or better said war of being a smart mouth! We would go back and forth all day long to see who could out wit the other. We had alot of fun working together, he made a sometimes hard and daungnting job fun. my favorite memory of him was that him and i had this silly game that we used to play with this little “action figure” and we would leave it for each other to find in places around the job with silly notes attached, we would always try to “up one” eachother on the places and notes that we left. after a while the game died off but on my last day of wroking at the group home wouldnt you know i found that little action figure taped to the right side rear view mirror of my car! funny thing is i didnt even see it till i was well on my way home! he got the last laugh on that one! Thats how i will always remember your brother as the fun loving person that he was and as someone who always made my day at work a good one. He will be missed and i pray that you and your family will find comfort and peace during this difficult time

  • Michele

    Karen — I am sorry for this tremendous loss. Your brother sounds like he was a super special man. Now he’s watching over you all and peaceful. Hugs are what I’d like to give you along with peace in your heart.

  • Zory

    So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

  • Isabel Jaramillo

    I’m so sorry for your loss and the loss of your family’s. He was my staff member at Rancho Damacitas but not just a staff member but a positive male figure in our lives. He was a wonderful guy and I’m so thankful to have to had met a human begin who had such a big heart. He was there no matter what. I remember when i had a seizure and who was the first to arrive wasn’t the paramedics it was Russ and one night when i ran away he was there in his truck and big spot light driving up and down the streets till he spotted me. He was there to play games with, cooked us dinner, and just to talk about life. He always gave us the positive out look on life. I was so scared to turn 18 years old because i thought that it was the end for me and the night of my b-day Russ was off work but he showed up anyways with some flowers and said joking “i had to see if you were going to melt or disappear”. The kids at Rancho Damacitas are so thankful to have the wonderful memories that will live on.
    i send my love out to you and your family.
    Love izzy

  • Matt Solorio

    Karen, I wish to tell you how sorry I am about the loss of Russ. He was a great man who helped me change my life. I knew him when he was an on-call staff working at the ranch house, and when he became CCWS for my house, C2. I just want to let you know that it is because of Russ that I changed from being a little punk with no future to being someone who has dreams and ambitions.

  • http://www.mybargainbuddy.com/about.shtml Karen

    Today is my birthday. I was getting gas this morning and, like usual, I put the nozzle in the tank and went back inside my car to listen to the radio. When the tank was full and the pump stopped, I was shocked to see that the total came to $37 even. I am 37 years old today. I couldn’t help but think that somehow, this was Russel, continuing his relentless joking about my age. He never missed an opportunity to let me know that I was 7 years older.

    http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm193/mybargainbuddy/mail-1.jpg

  • Rachel Leal

    My husband and I were blessed to have known and worked with Russ for 3 years at Rancho Damacitas. I can honestly say that he made a lasting impact on many people’s lives, including ours. Here we are are, 4 years after losing him, and we still miss him terribly. He truly was a once-in-a-lifetime individual who everybody loved. He always filled the room with happiness and laughter. Every time I watch an episode of The Twilight Zone, it reminds me of him, because he would always watch that show with us and the kids there at the group home. The last time I saw him, he was outside our cottage, sitting at a table and playing his guitar (like he often did for the kids) as some of the boys shot some hoops. I waved to him and quickly said hi as I was rushing from the main office, back to our cottage. He smiled and waved back. My biggest regret is that I didn’t slow down and take a moment to have a conversation with him and give him a hug. I just assumed I would see him again at the beginning of my next shift a few days later. I’ll never forgive myself for being in such a hurry that day. I’ve learned from that experience to cherish every moment with the people we care about. Our son Geremiah loved Russ as well and still has memories of Russ swinging him and carrying him, and us all sitting outside together by the fire pit while he played his guitar…and also playing baseball with him. We truly cherish the memories we have of Russ and we will hold onto them dearly, forever. His funeral was beautiful and I thought it was fitting how it was standing room only because of how many people were blessed to have known him. ♡

    • http://www.mybargainbuddy.com Karen Hoxmeier

      Rachel – Thank you so much for sharing! Reading this really brightened my day and my family enjoyed reading it as well. It means so much to hear stuff like this. Honestly, it really helps keep his spirit alive and I couldn’t thank you more! <3


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