Thursday, August 4, 2011
This morning proved no different.
“Yeah? Ro? Is that you?” Why is Roseanna calling me? I don’t even remember the last time we were able to talk. It’s 5:30 in the morning. Why would she be calling now? It’s kind of an odd hour for her to want to chat.
“What’s going on?”
With a nervous voice, “Your parent’s house is on fire.”
“Ok. Are they ok? Did they call the fire department? How bad is it?”
“They are ok, but it’s gone”
I don’t remember much after that. Dale got up and I told him what was going on. My parents live about 7 miles from us and there is quite a bit of pasture and trees between us, but Dale could still see the smoke. He threw some clothes on to head over there. Wyatt was only about 3 months old so I couldn’t get him up to go. As Dale was throwing some things in his truck we got a knock at the door.
“What happened? Are you ok? Is dad ok? What about the dog? What happened?”
I took her into my bedroom to get washed up and to get her some clothes to wear. There was no time to talk.
All the sacrifice paid off and they lived in the house that matched the picture in their heads. And they sat there helplessly watching all the years of sacrifice be destroyed in just a matter of minutes. Everything they had besides the clothes on their back, their dog, mom’s purse, and the truck it was all gone.
I raced over to the house as fast as I could just me and Wyatt. I parked on the road as the fire department was in the process of rolling up their hoses. The first time I saw it, my childhood home in ashes, still steaming, and parts still burning, I couldn’t believe it. I handed Wyatt to Dale as soon as I could and I lost it. That kind of reaction is really not normal for me. I am usually pretty good at keeping things together. It took my breath away. I remember putting my hand on my chest and gasping. I couldn’t stop the tears or from crying out in disbelief. To this day it brings tears to my eyes.
In the time around this traumatic event there were a lot of questions. “Why” being at the top of the list. We don’t know all the reasons around it or understand the timing. But when we step back and see the big picture things start to make a little more sense. My mom’s business had started to slow down in a manner that seemed really odd. She was a professional photographer for years and had no trouble keeping busy and people liked her work. This was right when digital was really making a name for itself and she hadn’t made the switch. She lost all equipment and negatives. Thankfully she didn’t have any jobs waiting to be developed and delivered. There were several little things in hindsight that made it clear there was someone protecting them and watching over them.
My brother and sister came as soon as they could. Five years ago to this very day we sat there that afternoon in the backyard staring at the ashes. Reminiscing about things, thinking about things we lost, sitting in silence, taking our own time, hugging, being grateful for what we still had, and crying.
I have had several losses in my life and through them all I’m thankful I can see glimpses of the bigger picture even though I can’t fully understand. With each loss I’m taught something new and my faith grows deeper. The Lord blesses us through the tears of each one of them however odd that might seem to some. I don’t wish loss on anyone, but it happens and it is up to us to recover, get stronger, and learn.