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     I wasn’t sure I would write a blog post this month.  On October 26th my young nephew, Cody, lost his long, hard battle with cancer and my husband, Barry and I gathered with family and friends in Fargo, ND to honor his passing and celebrate his life.  After a loss of this magnitude, I haven’t felt like writing much of anything.  There hasn’t been a lot of time to fill the huge void that Cody’s passing has left in my heart.  The questions keep replaying in my mind alongside lingering feelings of pain and loss.  Why?  What is all of this supposed to mean?   I know that there are no straight answers to questions like these.  Some things in life are not meant to be understood.  There are times when we are forced to accept what has been laid in our path, and it is beyond our control to change the circumstances or the situation.


     What I have found helpful is to try and let go, to turn the heartache and pain over to a higher power.  Our faith may be tested in trying times, but it is also during these times when believing in something much larger than ourselves turns out to be our greatest comfort.  Add in of all the people who have come forth with hugs, kisses, kind words and prayers and it is a welcomed recipe for a whole lot of healing.  In spite of such unspeakable loss, there is also great communion and … reunion.  I couldn’t get enough of the love in Fargo … deep arms around immediate family and extended, old friends and beloved cousins, second cousins and many new faces I didn’t know at all, but will always remember.  What a gift!  Cody’s passing made me realize more than ever how important it is to return to our hometown, to the spot where we threw the fishing line into the stream or climbed the big oak tree  – the place where it all began for us – wherever that is.  It is in these places and with “our people” that the unspoken bonds run deepest and it is here that we can harvest the greatest of treasures:  unending love, laughter, emotional support, the healing strength of togetherness, the ties of family.     


     Cody showed all of us how to be happy in life.  He never lost his sense of humor.  He laughed often and played hard.  He knew friendship and love.  He had his own rules for being human.  Here is what he wrote: 


                                      “Rules for Being Human”


 “Some time in life something will strike hard, but you just get back up and try harder.  Everything in life as we perceive it, is really not how it is; look beyond and see how it really is.  Be happy and enjoy everyday life.  Treat people with respect and do what is right.  Share our thoughts and feelings with people.  They will be more fair.  We are who we are.  Just a human.” 

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