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I photographed this missing person sign along a Northfield city street in August. Daryl “Dice” Budenski remains missing. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo August 2022)

If you've ever experienced the panic of a loved one temporarily gone missing, then you hold insight into a loss that extends beyond minutes to hours to days, then weeks, months, years. That is reality for too many families across this country, including right here in Minnesota and right here in my county of Rice.

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Photographed in the window of a downtown Northfield business several months after Daryl Budenski disappeared. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo February 2022)

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I photographed this missing person bulletin posted in a Redwood Falls convenience store in 2018. Mato Dow was last seen on October 13, 2017, in Redwood Falls. If you know of his whereabouts or have any information related to his disappearance, contact the Redwood Falls Police Department. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2018)

As we celebrate the holidays and 2022 comes to a close, Faribault photographer and writer Audrey Kletscher Helbling reflects on hope. You can find more of her inspiring and creative work on her blog, mnprairieroots.com.

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