Thursday, April 5, 2012

Standing in the Mouth of a Beast

The boys are outside with Collin playing in the sand piles with their trucks, so I swing my leg over the board that is blocking the stairs and climb down.  I haven't been in the basement for awhile, since most of the work has been occurring upstairs, or on the roof, lately.  It is chilly down here, now that the floor system is on very little sun makes it into these rooms, so I pull my coat around me and walk around aimlessly. 

In the spare bedroom I can see the old concrete block walls that still exhibit soot damage and scrapes across the floor from the bucket of the backhoe as he tore up the carpeting.  The walls are all studded out so I climb through to the family room.  It'll be awhile before we can afford to finish this off.  We had just finished the old family room, so this makes us sad, but we have plans and I can visualize the bar and sofa sectional and wood burning stove as if they are already there.  I walk to the back corner, the southeastern most tip of the house, and stand in the room that is currently up for debate.  A play room for the kids or Mom's craft room?  There is nice natural light in here so obviously I'm gunning for the latter. 

I walk back through the family room to the north side of the basement, which will once again house our storage area and work-out room.  I stand in the middle of the old concrete slab, there are red stains on the floor that resemble blood.  Paint stains from canisters that fell and spilled that night; but in a way the look of blood is more fitting.  This is where it all started. 

Right here is where the computer was hooked up.  Right here is where that first spark ignited.  I spin in a circle looking all around me, feeling it, seeing it.  It's as if I am standing in the mouth of a beast.  I can see the red flames circling, circling, gaining momentum and I want to kick that fucking beast in the head. 


You took my kids growth charts with the little notches marked every six months.  You took their baptism blanket, the one that had been handmade and I planned to pass down to our children's children, and their hospital footprints from the day they were born.  You took all of our honeymoon pictures and mementos of our last seven years together.  You killed our cat.


Suddenly I hear a sound coming from deep within me and I realize I am crying.  This is my first time being down here alone. 

It's all gone, and the events of that night started right here, right where I'm standing.




Of course, that's not entirely true. It didn't take everything. 

I'm reminded of that every night as I watch them in the dark, their chests moving up and down with each breath, their eyes closed tight and their sweet little hands curled up by their faces.  I thank God each night that they are here and that their baby brother is kicking furiously inside.  And then I whisper to Collin, "goodnight."

With the exception of Sophie, it didn't really take anything.


Kelly said...

WOW! You are so amazing with your words. I was crying reading the last half.

You're right.... It didn't get everything. However, it still took a lot and left a big mark on your hearts.

Can't wait to see pictures of your finished pr9duct! I'm sure it will be just amazing and you will make more memories in it. Happy Forever Memories!

Jill said...

I still can't imagine what you've gone through/are going through...even though I've turned it over in my head a million times.

I would agree, the things you mentioned would be difficult to lose, but I'm so glad that you're able to appreciate what you didn't lose. The beast did take your tangibles, but you'll always have the memories with you of your honeymoon, vacations, the boys being born...and to still have your loved ones and to be able to make new memories and appreciate them that much more is probably the best thing that could've come out of this tragedy.

Hugs and prayers to you!

Geri said...

Oh, Katie, this is a very moving post. I can't imagine how you ever get over a tragedy like that, but I'm so glad to read that your attitude is positive and you can appreciate what the fire left you. In time that appreciation will completely overtake the sadness...just give yourself time to grieve.

Thinking of you all so much...

Mama B said...

Geri said it so well...give yourself time to grieve. After the fire you had so little time to pick up the pieces before life came roaring back at you with all of it's work, bills, etc.... It is not a sign of weakness if you allow yourself to have these moments, no matter how frequent they are. Now, put this address into your browser:

Turn up your speaker!

Love you Kate!

Amanda said...

Amazing! This gave me chills, you are a very talented author ;) Scream at that beast, get it out and then remember, the nest is yet to come! Love ya!

Em said...

Definitely agree with all who have commented so far. This post was chilling, touching...and brought me to tears as well. I can't even begin to imagine what you must have felt standing there. What you still feel every day. Let that emotion come out when you need it to, hon. Let yourself feel this, seek to explain how you feel to others through writing. I'm so glad you've been doing documenting these different experiences as you continue to work through the healing process. I'm also glad that, despite everything you've lost and are going through, you can see the enormous blessings in front of you. I thank God every day that all you 5 are safe and healthy.

Love you. ::BIG HUGS::

CAS said...

Wow- when you write I feel like I am right there with you!!! You really should write a book! I know will ALL your free time right! Ha!
You are right - the pain will be there and you must let it out!!! This is good to grieve! And you are so blessed to have your family alive with you! Remember to go to God in these times as he feels your pain- HE sacrificed his SON! He gets it- and you!!! Love you!

Midge said...

Wow...just wow. I can't imagine standing in that spot and seeing the reminders. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Sending you lots of hugs. Love you.