A true gift | AspenTimes.com

A true gift

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:I need help in thanking a very special lady, but I do not know her name.On Aug. 1, we went to Maroon Bells (my husband, our son, our daughter, Amanda, and myself). Amanda is our 22-year-old daughter who is severely autistic and essentially non-verbal. It started out a beautiful day, and we thought we had plenty of time. We hiked up to Crater Lake, took a break at Crater Lake, and started on another trail. We had just passed the lake when the sky over the Bells got very dark. As we turned to go back, it started to lightning. We almost dragged Amanda down the path, fearing the lightning. In a few short minutes, there was no one in sight, as everyone quickly went back down the path. Then, along with the lightning came rain and hail. Amanda just wanted to rest, but her safety was our concern. As we struggled with Amanda, I started to worry that no one even knew we were up there. About the time this fear hit me, a lady came up the path. This lady had passed us twice while we were going up; once while she was going up, and then when she was going down.Both times she had stopped and commented to Amanda on how well she was doing. Now here she was coming back up the path in this lightning storm. When she found us, she stated she was worried about us, and said if she did not find us, she was going to the ranger station. She turned and went down the path. We started struggling with Amanda again. It is hard to say how long, but about 10 minutes later, this lovely lady came back up to check on us again. She encouraged Amanda again, and told her she was a hero. She was so calm, so reassuring, and never showed any concern for herself. This time, she stayed in front of us and led us down the path, until it came to a split; one path leading to Maroon Lake, the other leading to the parking lot. She told us to go along the lake, because it has a more gradual slope and would be easier for Amanda. We went down quite a ways on the trail when my husband told me to look. She was still standing at the split in the path watching over us as we went down. I was hoping to see her again, to thank her, but we did not see her again, and we never found out her name.To this lovely lady, I hope you get to read this. You are a true gift from God! May God bless you all the days of your life, and I hope some day to see you again so I can thank you in person. Thank you, again!Wilfred and Paula FarleyHarrisville, R.I.

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