Life is Short

We hear about the brevity of life and sometimes, when we've experienced the death of someone close and/or unexpected, we're more aware. But I think that in addition to human life, we can forget that even our surroundings might not always be the same. But we live like they will be.

I imagine that every day I'm blessed to wake up alive here on earth that Pike's Peak will still be a part of the Rocky Mountains and a part of my landscape toward the west. I don't concern myself whether or not the Rockies will be there each and every day. Even on a smaller scale, I assume that my yard will look the way it does (barring some landscape work on our part), that the neighborhood will look relatively the same, and that the roads will be intact.

Yet that's not always true. Yes, for them most part, that's how life works. Major thoroughfares typically don't just go away or become altered. But they can.

The fires burn uncontrollably.

The rains gush down relentlessly.

And the landscape changes.

I got an update today on my great uncle who lives on the Big Thompson River in the canyon between Loveland and Estes Park. I knew he had to have been evacuated given all the information on the news. I believe he's 86 years old and still lives alone in that house where he's been for over 30 years. He and his wife bought it in 1977-78. The Big Thompson Flood happened in 1976 - a "100 year flood" - so they figured they wouldn't live long enough to see another flood of such proportions. My great aunt didn't. Surprise, surprise - my great uncle is still alive and kicking. In the same house. And the next 100 year flood did not wait 100 years to arrive.

It's one of the most peaceful places I've ever had the opportunity to visit. It's only a few hours from here and I haven't been there all that often (though I wish I had been). But when my aunt and my cousin's kids came to visit this summer, we did get the chance - no, we made the time to go visit him. My boys came along, too, for which I'm now even more grateful. It was a perfect day. Of course, I had my camera and took numerous pictures. While my pictures always are valuable to me, they are an even great treasure to me now.

My great uncle is in red. Probably pretty easy to figure that out. That's the Big Thompson River behind us.
norman and us-fb

The river runs off to the right just outside the picture and you can see it a tiny bit in the center background. This place is just so wonderful. At least it was prior to last week.

the river

Zach, relaxing and enjoying the water flowing past.
zach - river

My cousin's lovely daughter, taking in the fresh mountain air.


My uncle was helicoptered out last week during the rain and flooding. They took him to a shelter and one of his kids drove in from Kansas to get him. I'm not sure if he'll be coming back. I'm not sure what he'll have to come back to. While his house is elevated from the river a bit, we've had a ridiculous amount of water in Colorado this past week.

My heart just breaks for him and the thousands of other people impacted by this devastating weather. My heart breaks even selfishly for myself, not knowing if I'll have the chance to go back to that amazing place. But I'm so grateful I was there this summer.

None of us knows what life will look like tomorrow. Appreciate and savor the life you have, the people in it, and the places that you go while you have the opportunity to do so.


Anonymous said...

Yes...Rainbow Ranch was/is such a beautiful, special place. Uncle N. has done so much to it and it's a wonderful place to relax and enjoy God's beauty.

Kristal said...

What a beautiful place... so sorry to hear that it was damaged by the rain.

kayerj said...

that was a very well written post and a good reminder for all of us. A couple of years ago a canyon that we camp in all the time was burned by wildfires. The results were devastating. I felt like I'd lost an old friend. The subsequent years have experienced heavier than usual snows and rains and the devastation continues with flooding and mudslides. Despite the damage in many places the grasses are returning and new You are right, life is always changing.

The dB family said...

Thank you for the reminder.Praying that things are going well.


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