Thanks to the entire community

To the editor:

Thank you.

Dear Community of Mine…..Thank you. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. I am indebted to you forever. There are so many of you to thank individually and I hope that you all can feel my heartfelt thanks resonate in your kind and generous hearts and hands which held me up in possibly the darkest hours of my life. At least the most terrifying and ungluing times, times of surrealness and disbelief. I hover on the outskirts of the anniversary of what we are calling the Father’s Day Flood and add to that the Ripley Mudslide Event. I will never live to forget the sight of my sauna across the road, rushing and roaring water and mud flowing endlessly through my home and rocks and boulders and debris piled at the back of my home burying what was once a backyard. One lone apple tree “holding the fort up” against the torrent, proving how the resilient Mother Nature has designed better than any human mucking with fragile hillsides along waterways.

I recall the disbelief and shock of the first day, just being grateful that my daughter stayed overnight with me and not at her Dad’s that night keeping me out of my beloved tent which was probably floating down the canal. I recall the next day when total strangers bought me a toothbrush and water and gathered in groups of people to help with immediately mucking out bucketfuls of mud with snow scoops in the mad rush to save the house. Their quick action and selfless labor, were what saved my beloved home and business, the Ripley Falls Home of Healing.

I sit a year later under the apple tree whose blossoms are just now fading, and look over my “rubble yard”, listening to the bubbling, calm brook (the Ripley Waterway) run through my broken yard and reflect on the gratitude I have for both being alive and now thriving again. The fact that I am here; the fact that after four months of being a nomad borrowing people’s couches or beds and eventually a mobile home, while shipping my kids off elsewhere; the fact that my business is now beginning again; the fact that I have running water, electricity; and the fact that everything which is being restored is being done so with so much love and care and community support is beyond belief for me yet.

So I write this missive in the hopes that some of you who helped me and others in our community during this very murky and challenging time will read these words and know how much your efforts meant and still mean to all of us. The agape love I felt following this tragedy was beyond measure. I have never felt so much love in my life than I did in the days/weeks/months following this event. I would not want to go through it all again, but I must say that the richness of community love and care I experienced when people literally poured over the hillside with muck boots, gloves and buckets or shovels in hand will live in my heart forever. Bless you all.

Most sincerely in light and love,

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