Okay, this may seem like a funny title but it is not. This past Sunday a house two streets over from ours burned. to the ground. As in nothing left. Except, maybe, the front of the house. It was terrifying to watch. Kevin saw the smoke and said 'I think something is on fire in our neighborhood.' I, being often the Queen of denial, said 'no way'. But it was. I was heading out to Bloomingfoods so I said I would check it out. I drove over there and turned around. Kevin and Matthew were planning to walk down there to see the firemen. Luckily, I stopped them. The house caught fire by the shed and the fire spread from the wind maybe. It was hotter then heck and the wind was high. The roof was only a little on fire when I saw it initially. I told Kevin not to take Matthew because it would scare the life out of him.
I drove back over because I am a total rubber necker. I could not resist along with what seemed like a 100+ people. The fire was so hot and there had been an explosion. I just stood in awe, shaking and sad for the family. I thought of all the things that will be irreplaceable for that family. Most everything you work for in your life is tied up in your home. As luck would have it, the family of five was out when this fire started but still... I cannot imagine the grief that women and her kids were feeling. I happened to have found a spot far enough way that I could no longer feel the heat of the burning structure but ended up right next to the family. The mother just sobbed and crumpled before me and I could do nothing for her. I felt her immense pain and then her daughter came out ... ack. I left because it was like being a fly on the wall in someone else's living room family drama and I thought these people do not need me staring at them.
As I drove to the store, I thought about all of things that would be lost if that happened to us. The photos of our wedding, my childhood, and Matthew's 1st years. Matthew's beloved books and toys. The doll and blankets that my Granny made that are irreplaceable because she died many years ago. The delft blue plate my Oma and Opa gave to my parents when I was born. The many memories wrapped up in a house - the silly little story I wrote about in my previous entry that will be filed in my memories for ever of Matthew shushing us while Lucy slept. The little things that seemingly have no meaning to us every day - a tooth brush and tooth paste being in the same spot every day. The bed you have grown to love when you actually get to sleep in it. The little nooks and crannies that become like a glove, a second skin.
And surely a house can be rebuilt and the family was safe, you cannot take away the happiness of being a family and being together and safe, but it is just that sad moment when you stand back and see all that you have worked for, gone in less then 45 minutes - that is the part the made me want to run (which I did) home and hug my son & husband, pet my dogs and give them little treats. And feel grateful for my life and all that I have. It was such a horrible reminder that all having all the stuff in the world is wonderful and nice but at the end of the day if that happened to me I would be most grateful that while I might have "lost everything" namely my possessions, I would have lost nothing as long as my family (including our dogs) were standing around me after such a catastrophic event.