Posts tagged Butte Montana

A Will to Survive

I was told by residents of Three Forks to make Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park my next stop on this trip of mine.  They highly recommended taking the cave tour and promised I would not be disappointed.  They were right.  The cave tour was fabulous and although I’ve taken other cave tours, this one amazed me because of all the life that lives in these caves.  To be able to adapt your life to total darkness and survive was astounding to me.  It made me think about all those who are afflicted with blindness and have adapted so well to life in this world.  God truly gives us a will to survive any and all situations.

After a good nights stay in one of the cabins at this state park, I pointed my bike towards Butte, Montana.  This city is not only rich in mining history, but has survived many of the hazards that go along with mining like heavy metal in the ground.  I must admit this has probably been the most unimpressive town I’ve been through on this trip, but in my survival mode I decided to see what this town had to offer beside its mining history.  I toured the Dumas Brothel Museum considered to be America’s longest running house of prostitution.  I stayed at the Copper King Mansion which was the home of William Andrews Clark.  And I toured the Berkeley Pit which is the huge open pit copper mine now filled with toxic water.

What I discovered in this town was not so much a true tourist town, but a town filled with wonderful people who continued to live life through all the adversities this town has had.  They’ve embraced the good and the bad and have survived to lead good lives.  And although I was glad to be away from a town where the water may or may not be good for you, I was glad to have had the experience of spending some time in this town.

And survival in my real life seems to be surrounding me.  I have my Irish setter who is dying of cancer, but to look at him you’d never know it.  He continues to enjoy playing with his stuffed toys, he eats well, and he still has that sparkle in his eyes letting me know that he’s not ready to go yet.  You have my mother who lost her best friend, my father, in 2004.  I feared then that she would give up on life, but 6 years later she continues to live life with as much gusto as an 81 year old woman can have.  I look at 2 of my nieces whose fiancés are in the military; one stationed in Iraq until next year and the other being stationed back east for 3 years.  These 2 nieces have accepted living apart from them as so many other military spouses have learned to deal with.  And our fine military gives so wholeheartedly to give us the freedoms we have in this country.  They exemplify a will to survive. 

And finally, working here at Catholic Charities we see clients who face survival issues daily.  Sometimes I get the feeling that these people see themselves as being failures.  That would be incorrect.  They are strong-willed fighters who survive much more than most of us could even imagine having to deal with.

 My prayers go out to my mother, my nieces and their fiancés, our military, and all of Catholic Charities’ clients plus my dog.  May they continue to survive the obstacles placed before each of them.  And may we all continue to go the distance.  God bless you all.

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