|Long's Peak and the Colorado Front Range|
This is the majestic view that captivates us daily
From our windows and deck.
Pristine beauty so exquisite and breathtaking--
And as author James Michener wrote,
"I went to Colorado and the Rockies got into my soul."
Yes I agree--
But all was different on September 12th, 2013--
When the storm of "Biblical proportions"
(as stated by the National Weather Service)
Sat over the Rocky Mountains and
Pummeled the life out of Colorado
With torrential rains and devastating floods.
All were traumatized as
People watched their homes, loved ones and
Businesses wash away.
18,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
Some families lost everything but
The clothes they were wearing.
When the monstrous storm roared off
We were high and dry on our little knoll.
Standing on the deck, we looked at Long’s Peak
And those mountains we love.
They were stately and unmoved
By there was shocking destruction and heartbreak below.
Often during that horrific aftermath
We stood on our deck and prayed--
For all whose homes and lives were a shambles.
|Big Thompson Canyon|
There was devastation on our street too and
Some neighbors suffered great loss.
One had spent $50k to remodel his basement
And it was gone.
Another, months earlier completed a dream remodeling
But all was a pile of tangled debris and mud.
Then another neighbor had a different story:
At 1:00a.m. Steve was awakened by his brother's phone call.
He rushed to the basement where his three angelic
Little girls were sleeping and all was well.
But he kept checking on them.
Finally a third time a nagging thought pressed him
To rush back to the basement
And he saw water building up in the window well.
He awakened the girls and rushed them upstairs.
Moments later he was startled by a loud noise
And found that a powerful wall of water
Had crashed through the basement window and
Flooded the entire basement almost to the ceiling.
Had the girls been there,
They'd have surely drowned.
And even though Steve and his family lost much materially
All he can do is "Praise God for helping me save the Girls."
A fireman shared his story of a near death miracle:
Many weeks later one of many fragmented roads was repaired
And we drove into our beloved mountains.
Over and over we gasped in shock at the horrific devastation.
Cabins and gorgeous homes flattened,
And some were totally washed away.
Tearfully we prayed for those who had lost so much
And some whose lives would ever be changed.
Then we rounded a curve where an impressive business and
Lovely home once stood.
There were piles of rubble everywhere and
The home and business were partially washed away.
Where the concrete bridge to their property once stood was
A footbridge of new boards stretched across the water.
The house was darkened without electricity
And some of the doors had washed away.
Outside in front of the devastation sat the family.
And I'll never forget what happened next.
A young woman who looked happy
That she and her family were alive,
Had the biggest smile and as we drove by
She waved like she was the happiest person in the world.
Traumatized from all they'd suffered and
Sitting amidst the shambles of their lives
They obviously valued the most important thing--
Their family safe and together.
And I'm sure--
Together they had hope
That they would rebuild the material things.
We've seen that grit and determination time and time again
In our courageous Coloradans who have suffered much.
That can-do American spirit--
Of faith, courage and determination to overcome any adversity.
And any adversity can be overcome:
"Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid,
Neither be dismayed;
For the Lord your God is with you."