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Saying goodbye
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Saying “good bye” to a loved one is always hard so when Margaret Krug lost her fight with cancer on New Year’s Day we felt so sad. Yet on Sunday and Monday when her family and friends gathered to celebrate her life we felt strength and healing return to our hearts. Our mother, grandmother, great grandma, mother-in-law, sister and friend was known affectionately as a bag lady in the Hoisington community. For twenty plus years she had walked the streets of town picking up aluminum cans to donate to the Kans for Kids cause. Five hundred cans per month was her goal, so as you can see she was passionate about giving to charity. As we begin a new year, we can look to the example that Margaret gave us, and find something we are passionate about. And then do it!
The last few weeks of Margarets’ life found many of our family members taking on the role of caregiver. Most people do not grow up thinking they would some day be a caregiver assisting a loved one. Many in our society view family caregiving as that “other thing” you do at home. Caregiving can be overwhelming – even on a good day with your loved one.  
As I am writing this column as a tribute to my wonderful mother-in-law, (who let me call her mom) I also want to share information about some of the great resources we have at Barton County Extension. We have an excellent series of publications designed to help guide caregivers through a difficult time. The Tenderhearts series bulletins I am referring to are titled, “I am a Caregiver. What Next?” and “Caregiver Resilience & Vitality.” The materials are free so just call me or stop by the office if you would like a copy. There is also some excellent material about family caregiving available at this web site:
Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent for K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. You may reach her at (620)793-1910 or