WLM Fall and Holiday 2015 - Page 5

I received a call from a woman in Arizona this summer. She shared that her brother, up in Cody, was dying from terminal cancer and had a birthday approaching. He loved pictures of Wyoming, and she wanted to send him back copies of WLM to look at while going through the challenges he was presented with at this time. I was so thankful she called – that I had the opportunity to help, in some small way. Perhaps I could help bring this person, who was a stranger to me, some comfort. I received a follow up message that I greatly appreciated from this very caring woman a few weeks later. Her brother had passed recently, and she shared that the magazines were of great help to him before he passed. It was wonderful to have that cap on the story for me, and I hope that his family and friends are finding peace at this time. This is a wonderful story about love and the kindness of people and how families can love each other. It also touched me that in this moment of his life, Wyoming’s beauty was a comfort to him. In his years as a resident of Wyoming, I bet he made plenty of wise cracks about the snow, the wind, the cold, the difficulties we have every day living in Wyoming that we all make wise cracks about, and grumble about (especially come March/April). But for him, in the end it was pictures of the beautiful place that he lived that helped him find comfort. That’s pretty powerful. I’ve discovered, throughout my life but especially since we began WLM in January 2010, that Wyoming is a powerful place to many people. Go on a trip to the East Coast and tell someone you’re from Wyoming – the reactions are always interesting. Usually there’s some comment such as, “I knew someone from there once!” or “I visited there in ___, how I’d love to go back!” or “I have always wanted to visit there someday!” Or if none of the above apply, I would be willing to bet that they would say “Wow, no kidding!” I have never once ran into someone that didn’t find my status as a Wyomingite worth stopping and exclaiming over in some fashion. That’s also pretty powerful. When you live in a state with such a low population, people from Wyoming tend to become a rare breed. But that’s okay, because we live in a place that is so rare itself. Travel from the eastern end of the state to the other (and you must venture off I-80 too!) and you’ll see how varied our landscape is. Look around you in each town, and you’ll see the unique economic engines that vary widely. Talk to the people in each town and you’ll see the differences that make our state such an interesting place to live. We are a variety of rare breeds, all calling this beautiful square state home. For those who have visited and are reading this, we hope you’ll come see us again – and until then, $