Well, it's finally arrived in time for Memorial Day... the long-awaited (slightly) warm weather!   Winter in Lakes Country held on almost too long this year.   We were volunteering for our friends at Smile Again Ministries during their annual work day last weekend.   The forest hardwoods around their retreat center (near Crosslake, MN) were still leafless.    As you can see from the photograph above, delicate little flowers were just peaking out from under the leaves on the forest floor. I don't know about you, but I'll cling to any sign of hope that I'm given.

Coincidentally, that's what Smile Again is all about: helping hurting parents and siblings cope with the loss of a child, finding hope in the seemingly unending winter of grief.   It's a special ministry of Pat and Judy Misener, who personally experienced this tragedy over 25 years ago.  They have big hearts and can touch the hurting in ways that most of us can't.  We filmed their story and aired it in our second season, two years ago.  You can watch the story here: http://youtu.be/M3rviKD4K7g.  

Perhaps you know someone who has recently experienced the loss of a child?   I encourage you to refer them to Smile Again.   We all look forward to the return of spring... and for some of us the biggest need is a sign to give us hope.

 Fiddlehead ferns starting to appear in the woods surrounding Whitetail Lodge, at Smile Again Ministries.

Fiddlehead ferns starting to appear in the woods surrounding Whitetail Lodge, at Smile Again Ministries.

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