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.