A young couple showed up on our porch in June with a gift. “We have something we’d like to give you,” they said in a phone call earlier that day.
Their business is Twisted Farmers Fab, which specializes in custom metal art — commercial signs, personalized wall hangings, fire pits and, their latest, hanging wind spinners.
On this warm summer evening they handed us a heavy metal circular wind spinner that they had created in memory of our Carson.
I held it up by its swivel hook to take in the full effect. The metal concentric rings circled a cutout silhouette of Carson riding a wheelie on his four-wheeler. Tears welled over when I recognized its meaning.
It was fashioned from an image captured by his girlfriend, Gracie, ahead of their 2020 Luverne High School graduation. They staged the photo at sunset on County Road 5 at the crosswalk of our rural Palisade Lutheran Church.
Wearing his red-and-white graduation cap and gown and riding his red Honda four-wheeler, Carson idled across the parking lot into the highway crosswalk and popped up the front end while trailing his mortarboard cap on the ground behind him.
It was a striking image against a colorful sky that appeared on his graduation announcements and framed photo gifts.
Who knew it would anchor the back page of his funeral program only two years later?
The image on social media apparently caught the attention of Jacob and Amanda Hartz who turned it into art for Carson’s grieving loved ones.
They’d heard of our heartache and decided to pour their time and talent into lovingly and artfully crafting a gift that might keep his memory alive.
Words escaped me as the tears spilled over.
Why would they do this for us? They barely know us. “We just wanted to,” was their simple reply.
They left us with their gift and a Twisted Farmers business card … and an overwhelming sense that there is good in the world.
People are good.
In the days and months since Carson died last fall, people have been very good to us, and their sincere acts of kindness brought us comfort.
We recently found the right size eyelit screw and set Carson’s wind spinner in motion from a beam atop the porch railing.
Through tears, I watched a gentle breeze send the metal circles whirling, with Carson on his ATV in the center, turning 360s in the sky.
While mourning doves added a soundtrack for the memories, I considered again the significance of the gift.
Truly, kindnesses like these have been bright spots along our dark journey through grief, and they serve as reminders of goodness in a world of hurt.