Dear Editor,

Last week, my father-In-law, Pete, suddenly lost his second wife, Twila. She was a blessing to our entire family.

Both Pete and Twila had lost their first spouses to cancer.  As their friendship grew, they found they could celebrate the lives of their first spouses and still be very good friends together.

Their relationship was formed, and they took care of each other for the past 11 years.

Twila’s sons do not live in North Dakota. Wade and his wife, Trish, live in Florida and Chad and his wife, Melissa, live in Idaho.

Trish has a few roots to Minnesota, but neither Trish or Melissa know North Dakota or Minnesota culture extremely well.

Our whole family, including Wade and Trish, Melissa and Chad, Pete and the rest of us were blessed with great neighbors and friends and their love and support during this difficult time.

Melissa and Trish described it as, “I love you. Here’s a hotdish.”

I have never thought of it that way before, but it is so true. During these difficult times, a hotdish or bars or salads are simply a sign a love and support.

As Melissa said, “It’s beautiful if you think about it.”  

She’s right. The hotdishes were appreciated more than you know. Wade and Chad and Pete and families had a lot of work to do this week. 

Having food prepared and ready was a big weight off our shoulders. 

But “hotdish” came in other forms as well. Neighbors opened their homes for our relatives to stay. We borrowed chairs from the neighbors, and there were many visitations with old friends.

Wade and Trish’s son, Jake came to North Dakota for the week too.

 In our neighborhood, the kids usually all play together. I let a couple of the mothers in the neighborhood know that Jake would be coming.

Before they even arrived, more than a few neighborhood boys kept asking, “Is he here yet?”

Or, “When will he get here?”  At 9:30 p.m. on the day of Jake’s arrival, Eddie knocked on the door, “Hey is that kid here yet? Can he come out and play?” Last I heard, Jake likes North Dakota so well, he would like to move here.

It’s been a difficult week. But it’s been a beautiful week too. Thank you to this community for being part of our family’s journey.

Your hotdish is delicious and the love you have surrounded us with is even more beautiful.

Sarah Lovas