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Grieving family asks for Christmas cards this holiday season

MARYVILLE, Mo. --  In August, Ryen Browning was killed after being struck by lightning while fishing and now, his wife is seeking assistance in making the holiday season a little brighter for their four young children.

Ryen Browning was the father of four children: Lindsey 11, Issac 9, Maverick 4, and Altreyue 3. He loved to fish.

"He was an avid fisherman," Miranda Browning said to KQTV in St. Joseph.  "If he was anywhere, other than home, he was right here."

Ryen Browning was fishing on a pond in Maryville near the city's water treatment center on August 28 when he was struck by lightning, just six days after his 35th birthday.

"When we got back here, we found him lying on the ground," Miranda Browning said.

Emergency officials were called to the scene and Ryen Browning was pronounced dead on the scene.

Now four months later, the family is preparing for their first holiday season without dad.

"This is going to be their first year without dad, " she said. "Dad was all about Christmas and I think he was more excited about Christmas than the kids were."

To get through this year, Miranda Browning thought about asking for people's help, so she turned to Facebook. And asked for people to send Christmas cards to the four kids.

"It's just, it's going to be a tough year this year," she said. "So I want to see, you know, the cards possibly make them smile. "

As of Tuesday, the family has received 150 cards from as far away as New Jersey.

"The cards we have received, their ecstatic about," she said.

The cards are already being hung up on a wall in their home. Eventually, all of the cards will be put away and kept so that the kids can look back and remember the support they have received.

Most of the cards received so far are from people who have also lost someone as well, which is helping the kids get by.

"They see that they are not the only one's who go through it," she said.

And as time goes on, Miranda Browning is hopeful that the family will continue to heal.

"They might be going through a rough spot now but they'll get through it," she said.

If you would like to send a card to the family, you can do so by sending it to P.O. Box 154 Maryville, MO 64468.

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