When Tragedy Strikes, We Come Together . . .  It’s Who We Are

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise . . . 

sun harvest-1

There are things in life that are just so unfair. Events like the tragic death of a young man. Our small rural community was hit with a tragedy a couple of weeks ago that no family should ever have to live through. A deadly car accident took the life of a 34-year-old son, husband and father. 

Even though I did not know this man personally, my daughter and son-in-law were good friends with him and I know his wife and her family. When I received the dreadful news, I was in the combine harvesting corn in a nearby field. In complete shock and disbelief, all I could do was pray through my tears. Not only was his family grieving . . .  

but we were ALL grieving. And we hurt. 

Let me tell you a bit about this young man. He loved the farm! It was harvest season and his corn was ready to harvest. And he was so excited about harvesting his first crop!

But that dream abruptly came to an end. 

(But) Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise . . . 

And the “sun that will rise” is our farming community. When tragedies strike, farming communities step up to the plate and help. They are not asked, they just show up ready to get their hands dirty. 

It’s who we are. Period.

Our family also had the opportunity to see firsthand how neighbors and friends help each other. A number of years ago, during harvest season, my father-in-law suffered a heart attack and went through bypass surgery. At the time, there was no way we could finish harvest ourselves. We never asked for help. It just arrived. Combines showed up and helped us finish the harvest. It literally takes your breath away when you see the generosity of others. The Lord is good. 

Sometimes I complain that I have to travel an hour to the closest Target store or Best Buy store. But I would not trade the convenience with the values and morals we live and see every single day here in our small rural community. Life is about what is important. And we are important to each other. 

And sometimes I become frustrated when outsiders like to categorize us as “Big Ag” or “factory farms.” No. We are people. We are families. We are friends. We are neighbors. Helping each other. Hugging and crying together. Praying together. That’s who we are . . . 

Praying in the field

Please take the time and watch this video. His family put this video together showing pictures of friends and neighbors coming together as they helped harvest his cornfield. Be sure to have a tissue nearby. His wife and daughter are also in the video.


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”   Matthew 5:4


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  1. This act of kindness doesn’t surprise me, it’s helping some grieving people heel just a bit, I’m sure Ryan was watching down smiling.

  2. Thank you so much for the very nice and so true article. We have so much to be thankful for. He truly loved farming. It was his dream and he was so proud of his crop.

  3. We pray this never happens, but when it does the farming community is there to help. Thank you for sharing this touching tribute.

  4. We are a people who have always survived and held each other up in the midst of tragedy. Our morals and values and faith are what built these farming communities. They can call us hicks, Big Show, and complain about GMOs but at the end of the day – we are the ones who smile and are blessed. Praying for healing for you all!

  5. This is so very true! When my family lost our husband and Dad it was the friends and family that helped us get through it… It has been over 38 years ago, but like yesturday to all of us. God’s Grace is awesome!!! Bless this family too.

  6. It really makes us slow down and appreciate what we have each day. Lives change in a moment. What a blessing your community has to have the strength of your faith & each other.

  7. Hello Wanda, old at blogging but just newly returning to regular. I came over from Grandma’s Briefs. I so live in a small rural community. Do not farm these days but have in the past. I so understand the affect of such an occasion. Just recently a well know senior at one of our high schools was killed in a car accident on her way to school. Yes it takes a community to raise a child and we all mourn when we lose one. Blessings to you and your community.

  8. What a lovely thing they did. That’s what makes small towns so special. I’m stopping by from the Grand Social even though I didn’t post anything this week. Have a great week thanks so much for sharing this.

  9. As a friend of the sister Heather, knowing her grief at this loss, it makes me pleased to know there is a community out there who loves their own and takes care of each other. Know that it is in those acts that his family finds comfort and as people you will never meet, know that we thank you. It is your acts of kindness that makes my precious friends grief just a bit less.

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