Why? Because. 

The past month has been turbulent. There have been tears and laughter. Good memories and feelings of guilt and frustration. And asking God why.

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Why was Nathan not the same as other little brothers? Why do people really care if the popsicle got on his face and made dirt stick to it?

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Why did I have to lose the only one I could tell all my secrets to and be guaranteed that he wouldn’t share them, have to be called home so soon? Who but Nathan would have Spaghettios and toast by candlelight with a bossy older sister? With a smile on his face?

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Maybe because it was time I was reminded how special my upbringing was. Our parents knew it was more important to take the time to uproot a tree in tandem than getting it done fast with the 4-wheel drive Oliver tractor.

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And that fireworks were better before the sun went down if it meant that Nathan got to light them himself.

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Maybe it is because I needed to be reminded that our relationships are more important than the next project.

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That our friends/family are what really matter.

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I’m not sure that if I hadn’t just lost Nathan I would have made the time to go to the celebration of life of our good friend Clarence Kitzan this week. But we did go. And what a celebration it was!

Clarence was 83. He and Aggie had been married 63 years. That in and of itself doesn’t mean a lot to me. I know other couples who have been married longer than that, but not successfully. But Clarence and Aggie got it right. I’m sure there were plenty of trials in those 63 years. Clarence was stubborn. (I think Aggie is, too!) They had 3 children. There was a time they only had a dime to live on. But through faith and devotion, they made a good marriage, not just a marriage. Clarence loved horses and knew how to handle the young ones. He had a dispersal sale when he was 70 and did a head-stand on a gelding in the sales barn during the sale. At 70 years of age! Clarence rocked!

And the service was very fitting. There was a Western Swing-type group who did the music. His dog’s ashes were buried with him. And the recessional was “Happy Trails to You!” The priest did a great job of balancing the rough exterior with his soft side.

And on the way home we took the time to make a (frigid) side-trip and visit an old (sorry Jodie) college friend and get a tour of her horses.

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So with loss comes the reminders that life is good and to treasure my memories, both of Nathan and Clarence.

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And that the miracle of life is ever-present! Can you smell the basil? Spring is coming!

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