It wasn’t a big thing. Many people may not have even noticed it. They might have just turned their heads, stared through the dusty, bus windows and gotten lost in the Peruvian mountainside and the music playing in the one earbud.
To Andrés, though, it was a lasting, meaningful impression that would stay with him throughout his life.
And Eva had just made it.
The Meysembourgs came into 2018 on a high note.
Their daughter, Mila, was born 3 months earlier, in October, and Nick just became partner in a sales company he’d worked at for over 11 years.
They were on a roll.
Tom Scott: Giving all he had and finding all that matters most.
A lot has changed for Tom in the past 3 years.
Three years ago, his wife, Dani, was diagnosed with breast cancer and given 3 years to put her ‘affairs in order.'
Early in the spring of this year, two and a half years after her diagnosis, Dani passed away.
Logan Greene: Talking a lot and saying more.
In a year of monumental, global upheaval, where COVID-19 grips the world, and calls for social justice tear at the fabric of our society, people want to get out, but they’re told to stay in. They want to speak, but they’re told to cover their mouths.
The world of certainty is no more, and nobody can tell you for certain when it will be back.
Amid this chaos, the Greene's world was flipped upside down too.
Erik Therwanger: caregiving, one goal at a time. Building on the momentum of hope.
Erik Therwanger is all about setting goals and meeting them, then building on that momentum to do even greater things.
He’s all about giving back, serving others, and looking forward, with hope, toward the future.
Brian Zahn: From real love to real loss, to learning to live again - for their son and because that’s what she would want!
Somewhere between classes, tests, parties, and everything else that goes on when young people go off to college, Brian and Melissa met.
It was 2005 on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
They had their whole lives ahead of them.
Mark Mattson: Looking back with fondness and love. Looking forward with courage and resolution, knowing that she will always be with them!
High school sweethearts
They met in high school through mutual friends. Soon after, they started dating and continued dating through college.
“We just hit it off and dated through high school, without all the drama of breakups and getting back together. We just got along well and were a great fit together.”
Ishmael Israel: Dreams interrupted by parent’s worst nightmare. Waking up every day now, thinking: ‘it’s the first day of the rest of my life.'
Ishmael Israel has spent much of his life helping others.
Over the past 2 decades, he has advocated for people in his community and around the country through his work with the Northside Residents Redevelopment Council (NRRC) and the Umoja Community Development Corporation (UCDC).
At NRRC, he first volunteered for years and later answered the call to serve as Interim Executive Director. It was in this role that he met his wife, Julia.
NRRC is a nonprofit organization that serves Near North and Willard-Hay neighborhoods in Minneapolis, encouraging economic development projects for residents in those neighborhoods.
“NRRC allowed us to represent our community when dealing with the city of Minneapolis, but we founded another nonprofit called Umoja Community Development Corporation that was not bound to a certain geographic area so it allowed me to advocate for policy change nationwide.”
Rich Anderson: Breaking down, reaching out, living each moment to its most, every day.
It was 2017, two years into their cancer journey, and Rich was feeling the weight of it all. He was struggling, trying to parent their daughter, Brielle, run a successful and growing business, take care of ‘business’ at home, and be the sole caregiver for his wife, Ali, who had colorectal cancer. Ali had undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation over the years and had just completed major surgery that had failed to cure her cancer.
He was starting to lose it.
That’s when a friend suggested he get in touch with a guy who ran a local nonprofit that supports men who are caring for a loved one with cancer. That’s when he met Kyle Woody, founder of Jack’s Caregiver Coalition. It was a meeting that changed his caregiving outlook.
He couldn’t do it all. He began to accept help.
He wasn’t alone. He found others out there who ‘got it’ and who he could talk to.
The weight became a little bit lighter.
Last time I saw Bob, he was sharpening an axe and practicing trick throws at an axe-throwing event hosted by Jack’s.
Here I was, several years later, in the Dunn Brothers across town in Eagan, just waiting and wondering if there was more to Bob than what I'd seen of him that day.
Then he stepped into the place, and the entire table of people next to me yelled: “Bob!”
I did too. Why wouldn’t I?
I wondered: is this an Eagan thing or does Bob just command this type of excitement wherever he goes?
Bob Hinkle: dodging darkness, finding light in an enduring love.
He met her at the Renaissance Fair in 2002. She was working in a shop, and he was hanging out with some friends, waiting for one of them to buy something, and talking to everyone who would listen. He was getting impatient, though, and just as he was ready to throw his friend out of the shop, she walked in.
“I was awestruck,” Bob says. “Wow!”
She was Jan, the manager of the shop, and, of course, he talked to her, too. They talked for a short time and eventually exchanged numbers, Bob telling her he’d call her.