From: Heidi Guenther Ryan
During this season, most people look back at a year of individual accomplishment, family vacations, and children’s activities. If you will permit me, dear friends, I look back at this year passed and am surprised by joy, astounded by love, and humbled by gratitude, for out of deep personal sorrow, I have discovered all around me a city with greatness of soul.
Many of you may recall that one year ago this week I lost my Kevin, my children their treasured father. Reflecting over the memories and decisions we made in 27 years of marriage, I am just so simply grateful that Kevin and I chose to live in Winona. You, dear friends, not only in your initial outpouring of affection and concern, but also in your sustained gestures of warmth and comfort have, indeed, proven our conviction to live here. You seem to have anticipated every moment I most needed reassurance, and every card and letter, every Mass said, every hug at the post office, library, or Midtown, every kind word were precisely timed to lift me through one more day; your prayers continue to provide for me the source of courage and strength.
You have been faithful in love. All I can say is I would not have wanted to have been anywhere else this year but in Winona and with you all. You are truly remarkable.
May God bless each of you abundantly.