Cracks in our facade

Relatives of two (likely) victims of the tragic Champlain condominium collapse in Miami stated that their loved ones mentioned hearing a loud cracking sound the night before the building crumbled. A 2018 inspection of the complex revealed several serious structural issues that were supposedly scheduled to be remedied in 2021.. a full three years after the report was issued.

I actually read through the report and while I couldn’t find a “smoking gun,” it seemed to me that the building was in a state of serious disrepair. I’m not sure I would have been comfortable sitting on one of those balconies if the floor above me had cracks and chunks of stucco missing as documented by the engineering firm. (See below) As seen in the photos, many homeowners covered up the unsightly cracks on their balcony floors by installing tile.. Outta sight, outta mind- right?

Even the tile began to crack as a result of separation occurring underneath it.

You know me..

I read about real-world events and apply what I learn to life, in this case studying the consequences of failing to address our own, individual, structural cracks and failures.

Let me ask you:

If you hired an inspection team to assess your life, what would their report reveal?

Would the areas of identified weakness surprise you.. or are you well aware of them?

Are you missing/ignoring/covering up self defeating habits or problems?

Are the points of concern mostly “cosmetic” or are there foundational issues that could lead to eventual or sudden collapse?

Are you postponing ‘fixes?’

If it all came tumbling down tomorrow, would those closest to you say they heard cracking sounds before you imploded?

“Listen to your life” What do you hear?

This is a question Lisa Harper asks in her 100 day devotional called “Life.” I guess you could say it’s a call to introspection, honest review and most importantly a plan to remedy any cracks that could jeopardize the integrity of your being.

Several neighbors mentioned that construction was going on near the doomed building and that it could be “felt” inside their condos. Could it be that outside vibrations caused, or exacerbated, the deficiencies deep within? It’s certainly worth mentioning that tremors coming from outside forces can be enough to shake the framework that holds us together.

But let’s not forget that Roman bridges and European cathedrals still stand. We know how to build right, to survive storms and wars..we just need to commit to tried and true, high standards and submit to honest and frequent self examination and upkeep.

I have no doubt we will learn from this horrible catastrophe. Final reports may take years to prepare, but if we’re open to it, we can extract some important life lessons from this terrible event.. today.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. LA says:

    Hmmm….they’d tell me to lose weight. And there’s one other thing, but I’m not sure which way the coach would tell me to turn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      The part that stuck with me was the 2018 report that sat with the association for 18 doubt they wish they could go back in time and act on it sooner..not that these were the fatal issues, but still..I’m sure there is a lot of deep regret. I’m a procrastinator and for me this is an object lesson on what can happen if you ignore something for too long.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LA says:

        In nyc, we get fined if we don’t do work, but I will tell you that presently we just began facade work (nothing structural like Florida) but by the time toy secure a loan, get bids, get permits….plus addin COVID, our facade work should have started 18 months ago

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cindy says:

        I hear ya.. In this case I heard estimates of 9 million and up for the work that was needed..not sure if that meant an assessment had to be levied or it is complicated for sure. My husband thinks a lot is about to change as a result of this disaster..I mean most board members are just your neighbors volunteering..what do they know about engineering stuff. I wonder if they will be sued.. who would want to be on a board anymore after this?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. LA says:

        My husband is treasurer of our board…thankless job. Do you know he had complaints because they started the job a week earlier?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cindy says:

        My husband was on the board when we lived out in California years ago..Thankless is right..worse that that, we had a crazy resident who pretty much started harassing board was awful. When we put our townhome on the market by owner, I had an open house one Sunday and he showed up and wordlessly went from room to room..I was scared to death..handed the listing to Century 21 the next day.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. LA says:

        Oh the hate the board gets….

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Cindy says:

        Yup- it’s awful.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. beth says:

    I love the questions you posed in response to this tragedy. I know that I’ve ‘covered up’ things that were hard to deal with at times in my life, and find the older I get, I really don’t have this as a go to anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      Me too. I think a big step for me is to be more open to the critique I hear.. I often just swat it away, esp if it’s from my kids. And yet..if I was honest, there’s probably a kernel of truth in there that I could act on..not sit on..but act on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. beth says:

        yes –


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s