Lessons In Wildfires
The fires here in Colorado have been really bad, leaving some areas looking like war zones. We were very fortunate in that while two of the fires were close to us, one being sixteen miles from us and the other forty, that we did not have to evacuate like so many. Son and I both are preparedness people and so we knew what to do if it came down to it. But, watching the news day after day, wondering if we would have to evacuate has made me think about life. This is a rambling posts on some of those thoughts.
I remember the day that our poor firefighters here on the ground finally got back up from the military. As I laid here watching it all unfold on television and could smell the smoke in the air which really affects those of us with breathing issues, the minute I saw the DC-10 VLAT planes and the Black Hawks fly over, I felt tears come to my eyes and I thought…this must be a little of what it feels like when we have battled an enemy and suddenly there is our military coming in to rescue us and give backup and support to the ground troops fighting so hard.
My heart says thank you to all the firefighters, both the ones in our state and the ones from the military who fought so tirelessly to save homes and lives during the worst fires Colorado has ever had. Also thank you to the police and deputies, the EMT’s and other rescue people, the people who donated time, money, drinks, food, shelter, rescued animals and offered accommodations and the list goes on. Thank you. You all are AWESOME! You showed the world what America is really all about. WE LOVE YOU ALL.
image from thebigchilicookoffevergreen.wordpress.com
. My heart surged with pride and yet it also felt a sadness that so many can not appreciate the things we do have like our men and women who risk their lives daily so that we might live; a sadness that it takes a tragedy to make people appreciate but then once the fear is gone so is the appreciation. It is like those that turn to God in the bad times and then forget him in the good.
These fires have made me look at life differently. They have made me realize that life is a precious thing and that if I value it I should live it with great passion and love. I found I was asking myself why I was fooling with this or that group online or in real life when it really was not helping me live life valuing those I love. I found myself more selective on things I chose to fill my days with for once I spend those minutes they are gone forever.
No, it does not mean that I do not have fun for I do. It means that I am more selective about what I do with my time because time is not just some unlimited resource. So many things we dream of but if we are not willing to really fight for them, then we might as well take them off the dream list.
I watched those firefighters working round the clock to try to save all of us, giving their all regardless of the danger, fighting fires instead of being with family, children who missed their fathers on Father’s Day and realized that those right here in our communities, the fire fighters, the police and other public service people deserve our support as do all those who stepped up to help make it easier for those of us in the fire zones.
It made me realize how little time I have left to accomplish the things important to me and made the yearning for these things even stronger. It also made me realize that I have to make the most of every resource possible to talk to and be with loved ones if only on Skype if that is the only way I can.
And the fires made me appreciate something even more. It made me realize that I must always be authentic in what I say and do.. If I love someone, I should love them and say I love them no matter who is around. It made me recognize how important things like loyalty, friendship, family, love, even affection are. Family comes in many forms…the ones we grew up with and the ones we choose to be family.
image from fstatuses.com
I told someone the other day that because of the pain I live with, sometimes I go days without the physical touch of another person…a hug, holding my hand…just general affection and that it became a lonely way to live especially for someone who is an affectionate person. Something to value that you can lose in seconds.
This is where my son developed the “hugging thought” comment he makes to me as he wants me to know that he hugs me even when the pain is so high that touching me throws it over the top. Hugging someone with high pain can be as simple as just touching your little fingers..the comfort of human touch.
image from chronicpainandintimacy.com
I have a friend that would recognize my pain was really high just from the word “hi” when I answered her instant message. She would say “fluff the pillows up and move over, I am coming in” and we would have virtual slumber parties talking with the visual of us being propped up on the pillows in our furry slippers and jammies, drinking hot cocoa and just touching elbow to elbow and talking about anything and everything and the comfort of that virtual human contact was overwhelming and helped to ease the pain for a little while.
We should not have to wait for a tragedy to recognize all the good things in our life and they are usually not the things money can buy. We might not see them at the moment but they are the gifts of love that others give us, and the honor and respect that others bestow on us or the love and honor we give others.
My son said “what if the fire gets our house Mom?” I said throw what we need in the vehicle son…medicines, important papers, clothing and food and you, Daisy and me…that is all we need. The rest can be replaced….we can not replace each other. I remember a friend long gone whose family would not speak to her in public but when no one was around, they were loving and caring. And then the day came when she was no longer here and they could not change what what was done.The fire has me thinking about how easy it is to let life slip by, let our actions carry on until we run out of time to change what we are doing and we live with regrets.
We can live life reaching for all the wrong things and racing along never taking the time to see the most important things and then one day wake up to find that we have no more time to left. There is a poem I love that says:
image from indulgy.com
and from yours truly…danLrene
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