There But for the Grace of God


Life is fragile

It is nearly Friday and this coming weekend is my husband’s 30th Courage Classic, a two-day bike ride designed to raise funds for Children’s Hospital – the last resort for seriously sick children who live in a seven state catchment.

Saturday’s ride goes from Copper Mountain, to Leadville, to Minturn, to Vail, and back to Copper. Sunday it’s Copper to Frisco, to Keystone, to Ute Pass, to Frisco, and back to Copper. For those cyclists who train, the miles and the ascents get their attention.

But not every rider is an athlete.

bike tandem trailer

A good number of riders ride a tandem with young patients along for the ride. The dad in the orange shorts rode with two children in tow. Some kids pedal; other kids wave. Handicapped, therapy dogs neither pedal nor wave, but their presence warms the hearts of every participant.

2017 07 therapy dogSome riders are the brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, or the moms and dads of children whose lives have been saved at Children’s. These friends and relatives are not athletes. And yet, they are out there –  doing their very best to make it up another mountain pass so as not to punk out on those who have donated in their name.

As a road marshal, I see it all: the tears, the exhaustion, and the pain. And yet, despite the despair that has driven these friends and relatives to volunteer, they are buoyed by the common goal and the 2,000 riders who have stepped up to raise money for the hospital and their loved ones.

Children's Hospital Olivia

Olivia – at seven months, she had a liver transplant

The Children’s Hospital Foundation just emailed the volunteers. As of today, Thursday the 18th, they are short of pledges. If they (we) could raise just 1.3 million more, the Foundation could celebrate a 30-year total donation of $50 million.

I’m the first to acknowledge that everyone wants my money and everybody’s need is pressing. And you are in the same boat. How do you decide which organization to support?

The photo below says it all. For those teens in treatment at Children’s, the hospital holds its own prom. I look at this young couple… their lives are in front of them. Hopefully but not necessarily. Their lives are in the hands of the hospital. Their fragility and that wisp of wind that may determine their lifespan tugs at the heart.

2017 07 childrens-hospital-prom

In my case, I support Children’s Hospital because I know that there but for the grace of God go I. None of our children had need of Children’s. But, if they had, how wonderful to know that the hospital and their doctors were there for us.

If your finances allow, Children’s Hospital would appreciate your donation.

You can do so online:

Donating in the name of Mark Dembosky would make his day.















About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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4 Responses to There But for the Grace of God

  1. marilynjh says:

    Well, I am so pleased to donate to CC in Mark’s name but I’m not sure the “system” gave him credit. If my name doesn’t show up as one of his sponsors, well, know that I’m in his cheer leading section! Marilyn

    Sent from my iPhone


    • timeout2 says:

      Thank you, Marilyn. Your name does show up as one of his loyal sponsors. Your donation is a forked road – one fork to Children’s Hospital and the other fork to Mark who is celebrating his 30th consecutive year of riding/fund-raising – a big deal in that ten of those years he was working in London and flying home and totally unprepared to cycle 80 miles a day and climb a number of mountain passes.

  2. H Brent Bruser says:

    Wishing you both a great ride and experience,

    Sent from my iPad


  3. timeout2 says:

    Dear Brent, Knowing that you too are a cyclist who has shed some blood, sweat, and tears, I appreciate your best wishes. xoxo

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