When the corn has to come out

Photo: Bob Collins/Minnesota Public Radio News/ File.

Your daily dose of sweetness comes today from Sam Cook, the columnist for the Duluth News Tribune.

His friend has taken time off from his job in Duluth to head for southwest Minnesota in order to help his brother bring in the harvest. His brother is dying.

My buddy doesn’t take time away from work lightly. His services are needed here in Duluth, too, and I’m sure he is missed at the office, as well as at home. But after helping out at the farm a couple of weekends ago, he knew that’s where he had to be. He stayed.

This is life. No doubt nearly all of us would have made the same decision my friend did. You show up. You pitch in. You put the rest of your life on hold.

He’s right, of course. Most people would put their lives on hold and lend a hand, a fact we don’t consider near often enough.

What’s difficult to imagine is how all of this goes on against the backdrop of a person — a husband, a father, a brother — dying. What does his son think about while watching corn churn out the end of an auger? What does his brother think about under the heavens in the combine at night? What does his wife think about while trying to get another meal to the field?

People will say later, as they always do, “I don’t know how you did it.”

The answer will be the same as it always is. There was no choice.

The corn had to come out.