It started with the horrible fires which impacted so many in my close circle, and so many in their close circles, and on and on....
We were so thankful to be able to host my mother and father-in-law when they were evacuated from their home in the midst of the worst day of the Walden Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We watched the TV in horror as their part of Colorado Springs went up in flame. We worried ourselves sick about our dear friends, as we watched their street burn and heard the name of their subdivision over and over again in the media.
Colorado is a place of wildfires. We are safe from most natural disasters here in our front range location in a landlocked state. But wildfires are our danger. It's something my parents have to worry about every summer. But they live in the mountains. It's a risk they took when they decided to settle there. But this one was a little too close to home. I won't ever forget the images of a cookie-cutter subdivision, just like mine, with a Walgreens and a Starbucks just down the road, burning to the ground. Terrifying and heartbreaking. I'm just so thankful that no one I know was hurt or lost in these fires.
Those dear friends of ours are still displaced from their home as major repairs are made to the interior of their house, and while their neighborhood, much of which didn't survive the fire, is a construction zone. They've lost most of their posessions. But they're fine. They're together, and they are resilient. But still, to nearly lose your home....
And on top of that, this same friend of mine, the bravest woman I know, is fighting another battle. A big one. Earlier this year, Marjorie tested positive for a BRCA2 genetic mutation which makes her risk of developing cancer scary-high. She has subsequently made the heart-wrenching, but educated, informed, important decision to undergo a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. She has faced her risk head-on. She followed the advice of several trusted medical professionals who had evaluated her specific situation. Please check out her blog, and support this great organization if you can. This is something that is not well understood, and if future generations are to have other options than what Marjorie's were...more support is needed.
And while Marjorie was forefront in my mind while I was out of town (as she danced the night away before her surgeries and prepared mentally and logistically for her surgeries and the subsequent long recovery), I heard more bad news. A lovely ray of sunshine, my sister-in-law's cousin Wendy, lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 41. She leaves behind two beautiful daughters (both under the age of 10) and a loving husband. Not to mention the many, many people who were touched by her beautiful spirit. A woman who I admired so so much for the dedicated nurse, loving wife, and absolutely inspiring mother that she was, is gone way too soon. I am floored by the sadness associated with this loss. My heart hurts so deeply for her family and close friends.
On top of this, the horrible, evil news of the shooting in Aurora, a town less than 30 miles from my home. The news that a young man I know, a lifelong friend of my brother's, has for some reason suffered a stroke. Meeting a woman who not only is recovering from her own cancer treatment, but is somehow handling the horror of her youngest child, a 2-year-old, recently being diagnosed with cancer.
And what does an innocent bystander do in the midst of all this? Give lots of hugs. Tell people I LOVE YOU any chance I can. Smile. Smile more. Send loving thoughts and wishes and prayers to those in pain. Help in any way I can think to. And hug my own loved ones and close circle a little more tightly. Appreciate all the good in the world. Love what is beautiful.