Today is one of those Colorado days that simply defies description. The sun will cook your skin without remorse but the shade will make you shiver in winters final attempt to assert itself. Yesterday was the same and we had yet another crew out to the "site" to sift through the burnt bones of our home in hopes of finding any remaining treasure. But the main objective was to shake loose more of the hidden memories of "stuff" so it could be recorded as an entry in the growing inventory of casualties. We have mercifully declared the sifting done. The process is one of reliving the loss over and over again and I have frankly had enough.
I was headed up the road yesterday and
encountered someone coming down the other way. I did not recognize the
white Bronco and did not recognize the driver until he re-introduced
himself. "Hi Dave, Scott Appel," he said. I shuddered and I could feel
the blood rapidly leaving my face. The sudden recognition of this man
and the equally sudden comprehension of the reality of recent events
left me stunned. Scott's wife died in that fire. I reached through my
open drivers side window to meet Scott's hand and heard some words leave
my lips that said, "Scott.... SO sorry for your loss." I instantly felt
inadequate in my greeting because the words clearly did not communicate
my feelings nor could they come close to summarizing the magnitude of
what this man must be dealing with. We lost all our stuff but.....
got out and talked with Scott. We spent no more than 5 minutes together
but the impact was such that I will never forget it. It was like being
cut with a razor sharp knife. The site of the blood indicates that
something has happened but the odd numb feeling does not betray the
depth of the cut. I reached for something to quell the bleeding and
braced myself for the immanent pain that was to follow. An acrid
cocktail of anger, sadness and general impotence in the face of what
Scott must certainly be dealing with washed over me. And all that has happened finally became real.