I have learned so much about friendship over the past few years since moving to Muscatine.

I know it gets said a lot, but the people in this community are good. With the job that I have, I get to experience this firsthand on a semi-regular basis. We support each other in times of need and are there to lend a hand.

On March 24, I had to drop something off for Cory and Kendra Daufeldt at their home here in Muscatine. Upon arriving I was greeted by their son, Hayden, who was sitting on the couch. It may have taken Hayden a few minutes to remember me, but before long, we were playing and he was asking me to chase him around the house. I was so happy that Hayden was in a good mood since this young man had just completed his fifth day of radiation at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. That took place earlier in the morning, and for him to be playful and up moving around like that was so great.

Hayden is only four years old and has been through so much in his young life, but that evening he was just a boy having fun. They say that laughter is contagious; well, my friend Hayden’s is absolutely the best! We played catch briefly in the kitchen and I was impressed with his arm—wow!

Hayden, you have been such an inspiration to so many people in your courageous fight. Your parents are terrific people, and I thank you for letting me borrow your dad for a few hours to see a movie or grab a beverage. The Daufeldt family is strong and they are extremely proud people, which I respect immensely. I just hope to be a friend who’s there for whatever they need without hesitation.

Here’s what I know: I’m always looking for ways that I can improve myself. I am far from perfect, but know I can be a better friend, and that’s something that really has been on my mind lately. My hope is that you can do the same. Maybe you haven’t spoken to a friend in a few weeks, or something small pushed you away from a family member. We have all certainly been there. It’s how we choose to respond that shows the strength of our character.

respond that shows the strength of our character.