Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 11th marked two years (and a Thank you!)

We were standing in the back yard, Collin and I, the coat someone lent me was hanging, unzipped; my shoes, the ones Busha threw on on the way out her door, were meant for summer wear; and I was wearing the most hideous blue pajama pants you have ever seen.

The memory of that moment is crystal clear - the snaps, the crackle, the explosion of windows - the instant when the flames, which up until then had been contained to 1/3 of the house, raced through the roof line, engulfing the living room and destroying everything in its path.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the fire; two years have passed. I wish I could say with time the memories have faded or the post-traumatic fears have lessened.  But the truth is, when Yes, Virginia came on the tv last week my heart started to race.  And last night while I put kids to bed, solo as Collin worked late, I worried about how I'd carry all three if we needed to run again.  What if the electricity goes off before we get out and I can't find one of them?  What if this time we can't get out?  Sadly, it's not just fears about fire that I struggle with, it's fears of car accidents, dog bites, drownings. It's fears that The Bad will happen again.

But with all the bad reminders this time of year there are also good ones.

"Keaton!  Here's your baby's first Christmas ornament!"

Collin looked at me, puzzled, he didn't say it but his face asked "How is that?" He forgot about the friend who replaced all of these for us.  And the boys wardrobes, oh, the boys wardrobes.  Keaton and Hutton were wearing sizes 3T and 18 months at the time of the fire, the exact sizes that Hutton and Nolan are wearing now.  I can tell you from which donation or gift 90% of their clothes came from.  Yes, with the bad there are so many good reminders.  I can not think of this time without being reminded of how wonderful people were to us, how gracious and loving.  This experience has forever changed me, both bad and good.

It's been 2 years, 24 months, 730 days, I had no idea two years ago that this much time would pass without me properly saying Thank you to everyone who helped us.  The cards have been, long-ago, purchased and I still have my lists with names and addresses, but I have been unable to find the time.  So while those notes sit, unwritten, I wanted to take a chance to say Thank you.  Thank you for the generosity, thank you for your heart, thank you for your love.  It was because of all of you that a really bad experience brings really great reminders.



Gail Harper said...

2 years and seeing that photo still chokes me up and starts the water works. My chest still gets tight just like the morning I heard what had happened. I can't imagine what it does to you.

We do what we do to help someone not for the thanks or the credit, we do it out of love, out of compassion, out of friendship, and because it's the right thing to do and I know we'd do it all again. Blessings to you Konos! May your fears diminish, the love and the laughter return to your new home double what it was before! <3

Tracy Over said...

I cannot imagine what the photo does to you or the memories of that night.

I get tears in my eyes when I see this photo. I will always remember the tweet that Samantha sent out. I remember telling my husband what had happened while we were laying in bed. Remember wanting to send Christmas gifts to your, then, 2 boys and not for the thanks but because it is the right thing to do. It is the season of giving!

I am glad that you have a lovely home now and hope that the terror of that night ceases with time!

CAS said...

You've been on my heart a lot lately as I can't imagine the thoughts that come back at this time of year! I've been saying extra prayers for you an the family and thanking God again that you, Collin an the boys are safe!!

Amanda said...

I remember the exact place I was when you called, I feared you had lost the baby when in all reality, you had lost so much more. Gail said it perfectly, none of us expect a thank you. We did everything out of love and friendship. Anyone of us would do it again without thinking. I know that the fire still brings fear to you in many ways but always remember, you are NEVER alone. Just a phone call, a text or cry away whenever you need. I love you and those little boys like you are my flesh & blood and nothing will ever change that. xxoo

Jill said...

That picture is chilling. I don't know how you even look at it. As the others mentioned, I will always remember the empty pit in my stomach when I first heard about it. There weren't words. But slowly, you have been able to put pieces of life back together. Of course it will never be the same - as you say, some things better, some things not. But the most important part was that all of you remained safe and despite the tragedy, you still had a healthy, baby boy to celebrate shortly following. Those were the blessings through all this.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers for peace this time of year and that your fears will ease with time. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Oh Kate, I still remember that moment also, just as everyone else does. I remember my brother calling before 6am to tell me what had happened. I remember searching and searching for Collin's parents number. I remember you soft crys as you confirmed what had happened. But I also remember pulling into that driveway that next afternoon and holding your arm as we walked around the house looking at what that fire had destroyed. And I remember at that moment how lucky we all were that you, Collin and those boys were still standing there, on the outside. I love you girl! I'm sad to see that picture, but so very happy you all are here with us today.