Gardner, Millie, Bode and Merritt Flanigan; With sincere gratitude
Anyone who has lived in this wonderful community has naturally heard of the Ute Leader, Colorow’s, famous Yampa Valley Curse: “Those who come to the Yampa Valley to live will never be able to leave.”
These are strong words all members of our community can understand. Many believe this quote speaks to our hearts falling in love with the physical beauty and nature and the abundance of offerings of our spectacular valley.
However, I believe there is another element to our hearts falling in love with this valley, and it is the spirit and generosity of the people who live here.
Two weeks ago, our house here in Steamboat Springs burned down. Our family was fortunate to be away at the time, but we learned quickly that we lost everything, including our sweet dog. As devastating as this event was, our family very quickly received incredible love, support and compassion from our community.
I’ve always felt that Steamboat Springs was more than the sum of its amazing parts, but the last two weeks has been an overwhelming example of the very best our community has to offer. From hugs and tears, clothing, meals, gift cards, more hugs, thoughtful cards and letters, financial contributions, websites with words of encouragement, offers of lodging (and did I mention more hugs?), we have been personally reminded by so many of how unique a community we live in.
Despite this tragic event, the tremendous outpouring of support leaves our family well posed to recover and rebuild, and we are feeling that we are back on our feet and moving forward.
Saying thank you somehow seems too small to truly express our incredible gratitude for everything that has so generously been shared with and provided to us. But more than the incredible generosity we’ve received, we are most thankful that we live in the greatest healing and loving community in the world.
American author Willa Sibert Cather, who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life, stated, “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” The Flanigan family has learned a lot in the last two weeks. Namely, that we can lose a house, but we didn’t lose our home … and we learned that all of you are truly the Yampa Valley Blessing and the reason our hearts will never be able to leave.
From the very bottom of our grateful hearts, we say thank you for the blessing that is every person in our community.
With sincere gratitude,
Gardner, Millie, Bode and Merritt Flanigan
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Steamboat Springs part-time resident David Dennis is approaching the third-year mark from when his right leg was amputated below the knee.