BARRON, Wis. - Government shutdown, political discord, Allen Klingelhoet’s diabetes. On Friday – if only for one day - whatever ailed Barron was cured.
“It was almost like walking on air,” said Klingelhoet during a stroll down Barron’s main street – a medical boot on one foot, crutches under both arms.
With no TV at his home, Klingelhoet awoke Friday morning to see a church sign welcoming home Jayme Closs. “I absolutely started to cry,” he said. “It’s almost like a miracle
Klingelhoet was part of Jayme’s church congregation. “We prayed for her every week, and no one ever gave up hope.”
For nearly three months, Barron maintained hope - through vigils, signage and green ribbons on the masthead of the local paper.
“Our society is in desperate need of hope,” said Rev. Floyd Lunde, pastor at Barron’s First Baptist Church.
The past few weeks, Lunde has seen plenty.
“Wednesday night, two days ago, we had a ten-year-old girl at our children’s program, she reminded everybody, we need to keep praying for Jayme,” Lunde said.
Weekly he visits the inmates at the county jail. “We take time for prayer and many of them ask, “Can we pray for Jayme?”
By sunrise Friday, “Welcome Home Jayme” signs were going up around Barron – including one in front of city hall.
“It’s almost surreal, you know,” said Bob Kazmierski, Barron’s city administrator.
Tom Jackson paused on his daily walk to reflect on the events of the past few hours.
“My wife almost broke down and cried she was so happy,” Jackson said.
When nothing made sense, hope became Barron’s prescription.
“Just a gut feeling a lot people had, that she was still within reach of us,” said pharmacist Kari Seelig.
Now, everyone knows Jayme was within reach, of a hometown that kept on for her a light.