Hi friends. Sorry to have left you hanging! Like I said, when it rains, it pours! There has been so much happening in the past couple of weeks, I’m going to try to catch up in the next couple of posts. Why? Because Zachary is coming home from the hospital soon! I want to move on, to start fresh and help him with his recovery!
It’s interesting how certain events in our lives truly leave an impression in our minds. The sights, the sounds, sometimes the smells all linked to the chain of events. Like a photo, only more. Certainly the emotions. Click.
Saturday after Zachary’s surgery I was at my son’s baseball practice when we noticed a little smoke coming from the foothills. That image is still pretty clear in my head. It looked like just a little puff. We contemplated calling 911 but figured someone had already done so. By the end of practice, the smoke cloud had grown exponentially. Everyone seemed to be looking towards the mountains. There was a man on his motorcycle stopped in the middle of the road using his phone… probably calling 911. Click.
After practice I went to register for the Greeley triathlon, which was the next day. Due to the previous week’s events I just I didn’t know what sort of emotional state I would be in and I hadn’t trained much… I had almost talked myself out of it, but once I heard Zachary had made it through his surgery I had a renewed motivation! I would do it – for him! I repeatedly told myself that practice will make me stronger (especially while swimming)!
From Greeley I watched the smoke cloud grow. By that evening it was so thick it covered the sun, making it appear that the sky was on fire. Click.
Sunday morning at 3:00 A.M. – loud, loud, crazy loud wind woke me up. I looked to the west and could see fire on a not-so-distant ridge. Andrew was awake too, and called his brother, who lives in the foothills. He had been told to evacuate. Guess who else’s home is in the foothills – Zachary’s family’s home! Oh man. It’s 3:30 A.M. and I’m worried about my friends and the fire, I’m worried about getting sleep for the race and worried about everything! Click.
Well, I managed to get a couple hours of sleep before I dragged myself out of bed and drove to Greeley for the race. The smoke was so thick at my house it felt like it was burning my sinuses! On the way I called Dennis to confirm that Zachary’s family was okay. They were at the hospital with Zachary when they received their evacuation notice. How scary for them! I’m so grateful that they were out of harm’s way! Mike had to drive back from the hospital to evacuate their animals while Sandy stayed with Zachary. I can’t even fathom the stress.
Despite getting little sleep, I focused on my friend and had a pretty decent race! I earned another finisher’s metal for Zachary and sent a photo of it to Sandy along with a message for him. I hope it made him smile!
On the way home I stopped by the evacuation center just in case Mike was there and I could offer my assistance. I didn’t find him, but I witnessed so many locals there to help. People dropping off supplies, people offering to help with the animals, and the Red Cross folks there to handle it all. Click.
The next few days were more of a blur to me… Wednesday’s swim/run event was canceled due to the fire, smoke and more evacuations in the area. The smoke was terrible – it still is! But that’s a minor detail compared to all of the people whose lives have been directly impacted. Friends and coworkers were evacuated. Some lost their homes. I won’t give you all of the details on the fire, but you can check it out at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/ . At the time of publishing this post it’s over 83,000 acres and 45 percent containment. So sad.
That Friday, through my work I was able to I volunteer at the fire information hotline. All I can say is WOW. So many people wondering about their homes, a young girl looking for her horse, someone who only knew the lot number for her cabin. It really brought perspective to the magnitude of the situation and in my three-hour shift I was able to help eleven people. There was a lot of information to learn, but luckily there were several of us answering phones. As I studied the details written on white boards covering nearly every wall in the room and answered questions, I couldn’t stop thinking about my friends. Overwhelming! Click.
I had been checking my email frequently for updates. To my surprise, Kathleen sent me a picture that really cheered me up!
This made me so happy! I know I’m probably missing important details (besides the “click” moments) but the most important thing is that the family’s home survived and Zachary is out of the ICU and will be coming home soon!
It hasn’t rained in a long time. And there are even more fires now in Colorado. But we can focus on the important things, the people, and show our love and support in whatever ways make sense.