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7/16/12

The Idea Log » A guardian angel in the midst of Waldo Canyon fires » The Idea Log » Print

The
Idea
Log
—
Blogs
—
The
Denver
Post JULY
13,
2012,
12:24
PM

A
guardian
angel
in
the
midst
of
Waldo
Canyon
fires By
DP
OPINION
|



2
Comments

[1] Autumn
Jones,
Special
to
The
Denver
Post

By
Autumn
Jones Guest Commentary There
sits
in
my
windowsill
a
little
blue
bird
made
of
glass;
its
edges
surface
perfectly
smooth,
and
its
size
ideal to
rest
in
the
palm
of
someone’s
hand.
For
the
last
25
years,
it
sat
perched
on
a
bookshelf
in
my
childhood room
in
my
parent’s
house.

[2] DP
Opinion
[3]

The
bird
belonged
to
my
dad’s
late
sister,
Kathy,
my
namesake.
According
to
the
many
people
who
knew
and loved
her,
she
and
I
have
similar
interests
and
share
a
number
of
attributes,
and
more
are
revealed
as
I
grow up.
The
glass
bird
is
the
one
tangible
item
I
have
that
points
me
directly
to
her
memory,
a
memory
I
never personally
knew,
but
instinctively
carry
forward
for
my
dad
and
for
all
those
who
miss
her. blogs.denverpost.com/opinion/2012/07/13/guardian-angel-midst-waldo-canyon-fires/21052/print/

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7/16/12

The Idea Log » A guardian angel in the midst of Waldo Canyon fires » The Idea Log » Print

On
June
26,
in
chaos,
fear
and
sadness,
that
little
glass
bird
found
a
new
home. I
was
on
the
phone
with
Dad
when
the
policeman
showed
up
at
the
door
demanding
immediate
evacuation. The
Waldo
Canyon
Fire
raged
out
of
control
down
the
hillside
toward
Mom
and
Dad’s
neighborhood.
In
the minutes
leading
up
to
that
moment,
my
mind
raced
as
Mom
asked
me,
“what
do
you
want
me
to
grab
from
the house?”
in
a
shaky
and
hurried
voice. I
didn’t
have
an
answer,
but
I
quickly
called
my
sister
and
began
making
a
list.
When
I
called
Dad
two
minutes later
with
the
list,
the
threat
of
destruction
was
immanent
and
there
was
no
longer
time
to
grab
anything.
The art,
the
soldiers,
the
memorabilia
stayed
behind
as
Mom
and
Dad
left
their
17­year­old
Rockrimmon
home, doubtful
they
would
ever
see
it
again. In
the
last
moments
on
the
phone
with
Dad,
as
he
was
walking
out
the
door,
I
asked
without
even
realizing
my words,
“Can
you
get
Aunt
Kathy’s
glass
bird
from
my
room?”
He
ran
back
in
and
slipped
the
bird
in
his
pocket. She
rode
in
Dad’s
pocket
through
the
panic
as
he
and
Mom
drove
away
from
everything
they
knew
of
their home
and
their
memories
from
the
last
two
decades. Our
plan
not
even
a
half­hour
before
the
evacuation,
was
for
me
to
drive
from
Denver
and
meet
Mom
and
Dad at
the
house
to
help
them
load
the
cars
with
memories,
hopefully
in
time.
My
roommate
Andra
graciously agreed
to
come
with
me
as
much
for
emotional
support
as
physical
assistance.
We
drove
south
on
the
highway, trying
to
process
the
hour
prior
in
which
all
quickly
descended
to
a
state
of
uncertainty.
Then
we
heard
that Mom
and
Dad
left
the
house
and
no
one
could
get
back
to
the
neighborhood.
Only
one
hour
since
I
first
talked to
Mom.
They
were
never
even
on
pre­evacuation
notice.
Still
we
drove
…
. Andra
and
I
watched
the
sky
as
we
drew
ever
closer
to
Colorado
Springs.
Smoke
seemed
to
explode
from
the hills
as
I
remarked,
“That’s
my
neighborhood.”
Soon
enough,
the
flames
were
visible
on
the
hillside
through the
smoke,
from
miles
away.
We
knew
the
Waldo
Canyon
Fire
was
dangerous,
but
we
never
expected
to
have
it come
straight
for
our
neighborhood
in
what
seemed
like
endless
out
of
control
leaps
and
bounds,
all
visible from
the
highway,
as
we
drove
into
town. The
radio
stations
did
their
best
to
keep
up
with
a
play­by­play
of
the
evacuations,
the
destruction,
the
traffic and
their
“callers”
points
of
view.
With
the
highway
closed
just
north
of
the
Air
Force
Academy,
we
snaked
our way
through
central
Colorado
Springs
in
awe
and
fear
at
the
flames
still
visible
for
much
of
our
drive.
Mom and
Dad
found
a
room
at
a
hotel
on
the
south
side
of
Colorado
Springs
and
that
was
to
be
our
meeting
point after
we
could
no
longer
get
to
their
house. We
talked,
we
hugged,
we
unloaded
boxes
into
their
room
and
we
watched
the
news
in
terror,
recognizing buildings
and
neighborhoods
that
were
on
fire.
And
we
waited
praying
that
the
four­lane
road
(Centennial) between
the
neighborhood
that
was
currently
on
fire
(Mountain
Shadows)
and
our
neighborhood
would
serve as
a
fire
line. The
fire
doubled
in
size
that
night,
yet
it
held
at
Centennial.
And
it
continued
to
hold
at
Centennial
for
the
next five
days
as
the
thousands
of
firefighters
worked
tirelessly
to
contain
the
blaze.
Photographs
of
firefighters
in sleeping
bags
on
the
fire
line
show
their
dedication,
many
of
them
only
getting
an
hour
or
two
of
sleep
over multiple
days.
With
the
percentage
containment
on
the
rise,
the
city
began
to
lift
evacuation
orders
as
early
as Friday
afternoon
and
some
of
the
32,000
displaced
people
returned
home. Mom
and
Dad
went
home,
to
a
house
untouched
late
Friday
night. As
of
this
morning,
347
homes
were
lost
in
the
fire,
burned
completely
to
the
ground,
and
two
people
have died.
The
early
estimated
cost
of
the
fire
is
$11.1
million
dollars.
What
that
figure
doesn’t
account
for
is
the loss
of
memories
and
the
loss
of
livelihood
for
all
those
whose
homes
no
longer
exist. blogs.denverpost.com/opinion/2012/07/13/guardian-angel-midst-waldo-canyon-fires/21052/print/

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7/16/12

The Idea Log » A guardian angel in the midst of Waldo Canyon fires » The Idea Log » Print

The
fire
came
within
blocks
of
Mom
and
Dad’s
house,
yet
their
house
remains
standing.
Others
are
not
so fortunate.
We
are
thankful
for
the
many
friends
and
family
members
who
offered
their
prayers
for
us
last week
and
we
ask
that
you
continue
to
pray
for
all
those
who
lost
their
homes
and
are
faced
with
the
challenge of
rebuilding
their
lives.
It
is
dumbfounding
to
think
that
everything
you
know
can
change
in
seconds. Everything
changed
for
us
and
we
were
the
lucky
ones. Aunt
Kathy’s
glass
bird
now
holds
even
more
meaning
for
me.
Not
only
does
it
remind
me
of
her,
but
also
now of
a
very
real,
very
terrifying
time
in
our
family’s
history
when
we
realized
yet
again,
the
importance
of
family, of
friends
and
of
the
memories
shared.
It
will
serve
as
a
symbol
of
all
that
is
priceless;
love,
friendship,
charity, peace
and
strength
in
trying
times. Somehow
I
think
this
might
be
quite
characteristic
of
who
Kathy
was
as
a
person,
and
maybe,
just
maybe,
she was
our
guardian
angel
through
the
Waldo
Canyon
Fire. “So, often in the midst of trials, the best we can do is to be still. To breathe, to sigh and yearn, and to weep with those who weep. Scripture says, The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lam 3:25)” —
Msgr.
Charles
Pope Autumn Jones lives in Denver. She can be reached at k.autumn.jones@gmail.com. ARTICLE
PRINTED
FROM
THE
IDEA
LOG

http://blogs.denverpost.com/opinion/2012/07/13/guardian­angel­midst­waldo­canyon­ fires/21052/ URLs
in
this
post: [1]
Image:
http://blogs.denverpost.com/opinion/2012/07/13/guardian­angel­midst­waldo­canyon­ fires/21052/img_2759­4/ [2]
Image:
http://blogs.denverpost.com/opinion/2012/07/13/guardian­angel­midst­waldo­canyon­ fires/21052/img_2741/ [3]
DP
Opinion:
http://blogs.denverpost.com/opinion/author/dp­opinion/ Click
here
to
print. All
contents
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2012
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blogs.denverpost.com/opinion/2012/07/13/guardian-angel-midst-waldo-canyon-fires/21052/print/

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Denver Post: A guardian angel in the midst of Waldo Canyon Fire