Another birthday came and went

Lynn | Honor and Remember | Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Another birthday celebration came and went.  Rhys would have been 26 years old.  I have no idea how his face would have changed.  He is stuck at 20.  The day passed by like any other day except we went out to dinner at Chili’s.  Rhys liked to go there and we’ve continued the tradition for his birthday.

Understand that generally, Michael and I go through our days pretty normally, with occasional bouts of sadness thrown in.  But generally after 5 years, we think we’re doing okay.  Occasionally however, we get surprised.  That’s what happened to me this time.

We sat down, ordered our meal, and chatted.  When the meal came and we were going to pray, Michael asked me to say grace.  I started and all of a sudden I could barely finish.  I started to cry and even Michael asked me where that was all coming from.  “I don’t know,” I blubbered.

It came and it went away just as suddenly.  We finished our meal and we went home without any further incident.

I am still trying to analyze this, although I am not sure why.  I know where Rhys is.  I know he is safe and happy.  How could he not be when he is with his heavenly Father?  We remember him here.  His friends remember him.  Time marches forward, sometimes more quickly than we anticipate.  I think that we will always miss our son with that same longing and sadness.  The times when we break down in our sadness are fewer and much further apart but when they come, it is just like the day we were notified of Rhys’ death.  Our broken hearts are mended but still sensitive to pain. In that pain comes longing but also sensitivity to others who have traveled the same path.

If Rhys were here with us, I like to think he would be an “old” 26. He would understand other people’s pain and be able to empathize with it.  He would encourage us to “be that guy” that helps others.  He would want us to quit celebrating his birthday! And he would want us to focus on others.  Ok Rhys…we have our orders!

Happy Birthday, Son.



Account Executive at Sika Sarnafil
Lynn is an accomplished writer and business professional with a BA in English, an MBA, and JD degrees from prestigious Universities. Lynn has worked in the construction industry for 35 years.

She is also the mother of an American Hero. Her only child, Sgt. Rhys W. Klasno was killed in action on "Mother's Day," 13 May 2007 in Haditha, Iraq. Read her American Hero Tribute Blog and check out her Roofing Solutions Wonderkid Blog

Latest posts by Lynn (see all)


  1. Has it really been five years? i guess it was five years ago that I bought that first American flag and decided that it would be flown always in front of my house in honor of him. I am on my fourth flag in five years and whenever i see it flying wild and free i say hello to him. My family just heard the news that a nephew of my brother’s was killed in Afghanistan yesterday. He was 22. He leaves behind a wife and a one year old little boy. The sadness continues for so many moms and dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents and friends.

    Comment by Libby Boykin — October 26, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

  2. Libby: thank you for always thinking of Rhys. It really means so much to us. Our deepest condolences to your family for your recent loss. You are right; the sadness continues. But we are always reminded that with the Lord, no one can take away our joy. For us that joy is the memory of a life well lived. Many blessings to you.
    Lynn and Michael

    Comment by Lynn Klasno — October 27, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  3. I was driving to work one morning and was behind you for several miles. I felt as though I needed to write down what you had on the back window. I was so touched and so moved I had tears rolling down my face. I have carried that note in my bible since that day and keep your family in prayer, and I will continue to keep you in prayer.

    I thank your son for keeping us safe, in our country where he and all the other young men and women that have lost their lives are the true hero’s.

    God’s Blessings

    Comment by Ellen Ramshaw — April 27, 2013 @ 5:22 am

  4. I served with Rhys in this tour of Iraq in 2006-07 and its sad to lose a family member. God bless Stephanie and the Klasno family.

    Comment by Steve M. — May 25, 2013 @ 7:13 am

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