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  • by Kay Kuehn, Executive Director

Enjoy because you just never know

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

Another day of life is not guaranteed to us no matter who we are. I was very sad to learn of the passing of two people I dearly enjoyed spending time with. I met Roger Davidson when I first started working at Open Hands back in 2014. To say we mutually liked one another is an understatement. At least for me I loved Roger. He always had a smile on his face when he saw me. The last time I was with him we attended church service together at Bethlehem Lutheran. I sat by him for service and after service as the music played we were exiting the sanctuary, he grabbed my arm and we danced down the aisle. That's the man I will remember.

I also lost a second friend, Gary Michel. Gary was really special because we shared a love for the Green Bay Packers, the Wisconsin Badgers and many other sports. We were excited when Lyndsay Whalen became the coach of the University of Minnesota Women's basketball team. I last saw and spoke to Gary on Monday, June 3 at our Monday meal. We talked about Lyndsay's number being retired at an upcoming Lynx game. On Monday, June 10 I was told of his tragic death and it was as if someone hit me in the chest with a 2x4, I was shocked and saddened.

The news of these two friends left me thinking about how I have to enjoy each day and moment I have, to make the most of it, tell people I love them, mend broken relationships and live as if today were my last day. It is best not to have any regrets.

Turning to things that will cheer us up, I am excited about the upcoming 4th Annual Golf & Dinner Fundraiser - Chip in Against Hunger event on Sunday, July 28. I hope you join us as it is a really fun time and a beautiful golf course too. Dinner is always delicious and the cost is reasonable, just sayin'...

I feel compelled to share with you that Open Hands is facing some challenging times ahead. We are seeing the impact of Allianz Field being built in our neighborhood and how many families with children have moved out of the area. Kids' Club has seen little or no attendance in the first two weeks. Financially we are struggling so we are taking time to discern what this all means and how it will impact us moving forward. We simply ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers, continue to share the story of the good work being done here and continue to know we are truly blessed by all who care to support us in any way possible.

That leads me to tell you of a really heartwarming story. As a diehard fan of the National Hockey League, I was inspired by a story shared during the recent run to the Stanley Cup Championship by the St. Louis Blues. They have a fan in 11 year old Laila Anderson. Laila has an incredibly rare immunodeficiency disease. Because of the disease called HLH, she's had bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy; that has meant some pretty significant hospital stays. Well she LOVES hockey (to me you are crazy if you don't, just sayin'...) and the St. Louis Blues. She was interviewed during games, shown on tv and when the Blues won the Stanley Cup on June 12, Laila was there and on the ice with her boys in blue to be a part of the celebration. This my friends is what is great about humanity, for the caring and support the Blues gave Laila and her family. How can we doubt there is good in this world? Way to go Laila and St. Louis Blues for making a difference, just sayin'...

With summer now officially upon us it is so great to once again be able to get out and ride my bike. I typically take about a 16 mile ride a every other day and there is just nothing more relaxing and gratifying. I call this my place of peace and tranquility as I ride by lakes, among nature and see places that bring me joy. Plus I get some good exercise and it is great for my health and well being, just sayin'...

Well friends, I hope you will join us at our Golf and Dinner Fundraiser event on Sunday, July 28. I hope you will remember Roger Davidson and Gary Michel for the gift of life they shared with those who knew them. And I hope you will keep Open Hands in your prayers as we discern what the future holds for us. Live today with gusto, passion and joy as if it was your last day because you just never know, just sayin'...

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