"Barn's burnt down... now I can see the moon"11 years ago our house burnt down. The short story... mobile home + old space heater with bad wiring
The rest is much more important...
It happened the weekend of the boat show in Portland, so every year, this weekend, I remember...
I remember someone yelling my name in a theatre during the opening credits of the movie Firestorm (serious, I couldn't make that up).
I remember running out an emergency exit into slow falling snow as we ran to our car.
I remember pulling up our street to see firetruck lights flashing on our neighbors home.
I remember the smell the burnt memories and the surprise load of clean "reds" laundry in the washing machine.
I remember the moment we found out a neighbor had saved our dog, Belle.
I remember spending the night courtesy of the Salvation Army.
I remember shopping at Target for underwear and being grateful I had worn my favorite JCrew denim jacket to the movie.
I remember the phone call to both sets of parents.
I remember being grateful our kids were with Granny.
I remember going through what was left of the house, the next day.
I remember Chris' Goosebumps library on his shelf, melted and the faces of Molly's dolls.
I remember realizing I had lost my piano...
When you have a fire, you learn things...
I learned to sleep with bedroom doors closed.
I learned to mail pictures of your youngest child to your family sooner... we have very few pics of Abby as a baby/toddler.
I learned to store important things low because heat rises.
I learned that you may never know how kind people really are until you are in need.
One story I want to always remember is the day the kids came home from Granny's and we told them about the fire.
Mike and I rented an apartment that morning, I remember how cold and empty it was.
We made our way to my friend Elise's house and waited for the kids...
The telling of the story is a blur, all we could do was get through the story and be with them. Then we made our way to show them our new apartment.
I tried to get myself "up" for this, committed to make the best of it... and when we arrived it had been made a home by my friends... as if by magic, they had taken rooms and filled them with the things we needed, there were presents in the living room (this was only 3 weeks after Christmas) and cookies were baking in the oven when we arrived. Chris' school friends went together to replace his new N64, everywhere we looked there was love.
I know I am changed by this experience.
I care less about stuff and more deeply about other things.
And, I cry more easily, even now, when I think of the love that we were shown.
This is how long ago eleven years is... this is the first day outside our new home.