In the Midst of Devastation

midstofdevastationI often find myself in a quiet state of pondering this week. Since the mudslide in the Oso/Arlington area of Washington state last Saturday, thoughts have been heavy.

We do not live in that community specifically, but still, a sense of heaviness and thoughtfulness has settled over so many of us who live even remotely near the small, now devastated area. The days drone on with an overwhelming sense of heartbreak as the chances of rescue dwindle and the official death toll rises.

In an instant on an otherwise serene Saturday morning, so many local families’ lives were changed forever. As new stories come out of the families that were impacted, I am once again filled with a deep sense of heartache and mourning for families, friends and a community that I don’t even really know.

I understand that in the greater scheme of things, this mudslide and the number of victims is relatively on the small side compared to many disasters – but to those families and to that community each and every one of those “numbers” is more than any of us can or ever will comprehend. Each one of them is a story, a life, a passion, a love, a gift and a future of plans and hopes and dreams that will never come to pass.

It makes you think.

It makes you wonder.

It makes you catch your breath and slow down a little and notice the things around you.

I assure you all that my intent is not to discourage here, or to bring anyone down at all, but to make a point that life is fleeting. We never know how, when or where. We don’t know if today is the last day, or if we have 40 more years. We don’t know what impact our life or our death could have on those around us.

So today my friends, I simply want to encourage you to remember that what we do in this moment, and the next moment, and the one after that, could be the most important thing we ever do in life.

How we live, what we say, how we treat others and impact their lives today could make all the difference. We definitely still need to plan for tomorrow, we need to enjoy life and the people around us and live life fully each day.

I know for some of you, this doesn’t always seem possible, and it isn’t always possible. There are people in this world going through unimaginable misery. But if you have the capacity to live, love, bless and serve others – DO IT and do it now. I need to remind myself to be continually grateful for every good thing I have in my life. Because (again) life is fleeting.

These families that are impacted this week, I can honestly say that although I grieve for them, I do not begin to understand the depth of grief and emotion they are going through right now. I don’t know how one recovers and moves on after something like this.

To those families, all I can say is I am so very sorry for your loss. I know that each and every one of them has or would say that the house is nothing, it was the people that mattered.

Today, remember your blessings, even if they are small. Hold on to your loved ones, make today count.

Photo Credits: photo and graphic both © Shera Roetcisoender of


  1. 1


    My heart is heavy too..I have a son that lives in WA with his family and my husband and I visited the town of Arlington, near the mudslide one year. Lord have Mercy on all..

  2. 2


    Thank you Roberta. It’s definitely been a reminder to take note of the truly important things in life around here. I’m glad your family wasn’t directly affected!