The lives gone are many. The devastation is unbelievable. Stand up where you are and look out...a mile out in front of you, and a mile out to your side. Imagine if all of that were gone in an instant. Imagine blinking your eyes to find that opening them only revealed an emptiness and all normality had ceased. Now, realize that you just witnessed the largest landslide disaster this country has ever seen.
The landslide near Oso is just a half hour's drive from my home. I've traveled the highway many times through that area on any other regular day like this past Saturday. The scenery lush with trees, pastures and the Stilly River curving like waves of hair around the mountainous tips and valleys. It's a marvelous, beautiful trek, full of variety...pastures of horses, alpacas, cows and more. Bald eagles swooping around for a plentiful hunt. Deer and sometimes elk dare to appear.
Coping with all of this loss so close to home is difficult. Knowing that so many of the victims have not been found is heart wrenching. The hope is still there that some will be found alive, but it dwindles with each day passing. It's so incredibly dangerous to search, with the slide area still active, the difficult terrain of quicksand-like mud amongst the mass of twisted cars, homes, logs, the river ever constantly weaving through in spots, and the rain. The rain is suppose to continue and get heavier by week's end.
But that will not stop the force of brave men and women who are risking their own lives to give closure to so many families. The work is extremely hard and very physically demanding. The tasks prove very grisly and grim, and I can only imagine how the emotion of actually being out there is taking it's toll on the rescuers. Their brave resilience, each and every one of them, is just so amazing.
The community is hurting; the wound has spread for miles and miles to all of us that reside here. But it's also brought many together to give and help and be a part of the solution. There's a time to ask why, and a time to act. And a time to grieve.
I don't usually write about such things on my blog; however, today I needed to grieve, and writing helps some. Today I felt like sharing with you and asking you for just one thing. As you and your family get together today, either at the day's end or otherwise, tell them you love them. Let them know how much they mean to you. Each day is a blessing. Every moment is a memory. And every minute really does count.