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Happy "Special Day" Harmony Art
My brother, Christian, never liked birthdays. In fact in his presence they were always referred to as "special days" not birthdays. Yes, we have been known to publicly sing "Happy Special Day" to the Happy Birthday tune. Harmony Art turns 9 this month!
Nine years ago this week, I was in Michigan with my father-in-law as he was released of his body. That event was the bitter sweet beginning of the Harmony Art journey. Just over two weeks ago I was with my brother, Christian (pictured above) as he was released from his body. It's hard to be happy and celebrate right now. I miss him terribly.
Someone told me when my father died that losing someone you love is like having a permanent hole in your heart. Lately I have been trying to imagine the hole as being a hug so when I reach for it I feel his presence and love rather than his absence. I can't say I am always succeeding but I am trying.
Christian was selfless, dedicated, and quirky. When Wendy (his wife) found the bathroom extra dirty and asked Christian about it he confessed to letting a homeless man in to take a shower and to pick out clothes from his own closet. Yes, Christian was THAT guy -- the one who would truly give a stranger the shirt off his back. He did these acts never begrudgingly but with a full and open heart.
Christian was dedicated.. . . to his job, his family, his friends, his church, his CAL Bears and all of us lucky enough to have inhabited this world with him.
If you EVER attended a Northgate girl's volleyball game you knew Christian or at least heard him. His cheers were legendarily loud. I'll personally never forget his Bronco whinny. When it came to cheering on his team (and daughter) there was no such thing as self-consciousness just utter dedication to having his support heard and felt.
A family story goes that Christian got in to one fight as a child. The reason? Someone was bullying his little brother, Merit. If you had Christian on your team he would go that extra mile. He cared about what he did and who he did it for more intensely and selflessly than anyone I have ever known.
Christian was quirky. One of his nicknames was BananaMan - he made it a point to bring bananas with him when he went on family outings or vacations. Why? To give them to people who were working that he encountered of course! It started with the sleigh driver and became standard operating procedure from there.
I for one will miss his big hugs, calling him my little brother despite his size and age advantage, our philosophical conversations - usually in cars, and just his unwavering loyalty and love.
I challenge all of us to keep Christian with us by being a little more selfless and loving when it comes to helping others, to acknowledge those things we are dedicated to -- to go that extra mile with a smile, and maybe even quietly perform a random act of kindness.
Christian, I don't know what to say but I LOVE YOU. This year's "special day" is dedicated to you.
Stacy Iest Hsu
1/16/2014 12:46:41 am
Oh Harmony...I am so sorry for your loss. I am giving you lots of hugs and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. What a wonderful person and inspiration. Wishing you all the comfort in the world! Love Stacy
1/16/2014 02:54:53 am
Harmony, Christian sounds like the best brother for you to have! I understand you more having met him through your words. I loved your idea of envisioning a hug where others might feel a hole in their heart. Good work. I do not know if it helps you, but it has helped me to think of my departed loved one as closer than ever. To think that freed of his body he is now in the very air you breath - closer to you than every before. He is not gone; he has only changed to be closer to you and all those he loved.
1/16/2014 03:11:40 am
Happy "Special Day" Harmony.
1/16/2014 03:37:43 am
Christian was an amazing guy. He had a great, silly sense of humor. He was also incredibly intelligent. Although he never made you feel dumb. He was humble and kind, and utterly selfless. He did for everyone. It never occurred to him to think that a gesture might be too small to be noticed. He did it anyway. And it was ALWAYS notice, even if never commented on. I loved that he treated me the way he treated his little sister. He never made me feel younger than him, except when I understood that he always cared about our (Harmony, me, the rest of her friends) welfare. We should be so fortunate to know another guy like Chris in our lives, and I'm so glad that I have . . . because Mattman is just like him! The world is a better place for having had Christian sit in its waiting room . . . big love and hugs to the extended Herman clan.
1/16/2014 06:32:41 pm
Thank you all for your sweet words. I do feel very blessed and grateful for all the wonderful memories of Christian. In response to the outpour of love for my brother's family, a college fund has been opened for his two children. http://www.gradsave.com/matthewandemmaherman
1/17/2014 05:30:07 am
1/20/2014 05:18:03 am
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