Monday, February 25, 2013

2/11 Sinking Ship

Lord, I'm trying to stay positive.  I trying to remain optimistic  but it's getting so, SO difficult.   I'm trying to remember that you hold us in the palm of your hand, but I feel like I'm on a sinking ship, and I do NOT want to go down.

I'm waiting for a life raft, but I fear that the undertow is too strong for just a little dinghy.  At this point in time, my saving ship needs to be much, MUCH bigger.

It's getting too late.  it's been too long.  It's been too hard.  The ship is sinking down ever. so. slowly., but it's definitely going down.

It's been too long.  I'm too far from land, and I'm loosing hope.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2/7 Nothing to pass down

I'm so sad for myself and for my kids that I won't have anything from their early years to give them when they're older.  I'm so sad I don't anything from my younger years anymore.  I loved seeing Thing II play with and love things that were mine when I was a child.  I loved knowing that Thing I would be able to give his kids the wooden train sets he played with as a child.  I'm so sad that all of that's gone now.

I'm so sad that I won't be able to give them the outfits they were home from the hospital   I won't be able to give them their hospital blankets, the crocheted hats from the hospital, their favorite baby toys -their hospital pictures.

I so sad for them that all of their toys are gone.  I know that they had too many.  I know toys can be re-bought  but their toys were, in their minds, their worldly possessions, and they're gone, and it sucks.  And I can't keep them from that pain.

It sucks that Thing I has been dying to play Skylanders and wants back off of his figures   It sucks that I had to order online Thing II's replacement bedtime lovies and tell her they had to be sent back to the stores to be fixed after the fire, and that's why they look new and unloved.  (Thing II, if future you is reading this, and you've just now figured it out, 1.) I'm sorry, and 2.)  You're still awfully naive if you've really bought that story after all this time, and 3.) I love you (and your brother) soooo much to come up with that story and keep it going all these years.)

I am thankful that I have their ultrasound pictures.....


...........I thought that I would have more to list in here before I added:


Obviously their lives are the most precious things.  They cannot be replaced.  For having that listed among that which I have left after the fire, I am forever grateful.

Friday, February 15, 2013

2/6 Part II Happy Times

I want you to know that there is joy in my life as well.  This has not yet crushed me; it has not consumed me. I have love and laughter.  I have friends and family.  I have MUCH love and MUCH laughter.

For this and more, I am lucky.  For this and more, I am forever thankful.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2/6 Seeing Flames

I can't remember the fire.  I know that it happened.  I remember it happening, but I can't vividly recall any images of it.

I remember what happened.  I remember that we pulled up and it looked like a fire in the driveway.  I remember how the flames quickly shot out the other side of the back of the house.  I remember moaning and crying "Oh my GOD!!!" when the flames came through the front windows, and I certainly can't forget the feeling of complete despair when the flames were coming out of both kids' bedroom windows upstairs.

I don't remember the fire trucks arriving -at all...  And that's odd because there were tons and tons of fire trucks.  I don't remember when my friends got there, or when the HUGE crowds arrived.  I do remember wondering why the fire police were allowing so many spectators -many with children, to stand so close to a burning house.  What if the windows blew out (before they were all smashed out)?  What if the house collapsed and rained debris on everyone?  How could these people not be worried about these things?  Didn't they have fire safety in school?

I remember there being thick, black smoke.  I remember that the flames were bright and hot and angry.  I can't see it in my mind though.  I know that I've looked at house fires on TV shows/movies/commercials, and that is NOT how our home looked.

I can't tell you how our home looked.

I don't remember.

I don't think that I WANT to remember.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2/5 Things Lost

Every day I see another reminder of things that we lost; of things that are gone.  Yes, I know that these are just things and that most of them can be replaced.  However replacing them is a daunting task, and I haven't even really begun to thing about it yet.

With each realization of things lost, from bath scrubbies to microwaves, to toys to movies to furniture, from clothing to cookware to scrapbooks (which had hours and hours and loving work poured into them) each one is like a new stab in the heart.  It makes everything new and real again.  It bursts my bubble of comfort, and it leaves me careening helplessly out of control.  I am lucky that it's usually a short plummet as my family and friends are there at just the right moment, and they catch me, but the jolt of it is still searing.

I feel horribly guilty about this fire.  I feel guilty that I cannot protect my children from the grief they feel over it.  In a matter of minutes, their lives were shattered and they'll never be the same again.  We can rebuild.  We can re-buy, but things will never again be the same.

And perhaps I should think of that with joy.  Afterall, how many people get to re do EVERYTHING (material) all over again?...  But then again, we have to do EVERYTHING all over again.

...And for someone who gets overwhlemed just looking at some small replacement items, EVERYTHING is a lot.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2/4 I am MAD!

Forward:  When you read this, do not be offended by it.  It was written out of frustration, desperation and PMS.  I really do appreciate everyone's warm wishes and kind words.  PMS is a monster.

I am mad!

I don't want words of encouragement today.  I don't need words of encouragement.  I need  house!  I need the insurance company to come through.  I need someplace that is mine so that I can feel like a real person again.

It's not that I don't appreciate the kind words -ah, crap!  who am I kidding?!  Today, I DON'T appreciate them.  They just make me angry.  Everything makes me angry...  And it's hard to be angry when you're trying to be kind.  It's hard to be angry when you have happy, innocent, smiling faces looking up at you.  It's hard to be angry when you're out of your comfort zone.

I want to be angry.  I want to yell!  I want to scream!  I want to throw things!  I want to tell the whole world to F&*K off!  I am angry, and I can't do anything about it.

I'm so, so angry, and everything makes it worse.

I'm sick.  I'm tired.  I have PMS.  I'm homeless, and I'm angry.

I want to go home.

Friday, February 8, 2013

2/2 Forgetting

I am starting to forget.  It's starting to fade...  already.

I'm not sure what it is that I'm starting to forget, but I can feel it slipping away.

Sometimes, during everyday routines, I startle myself when I remember this is not the way it's always been.  I realize that this is, in a sense, wrong.  This is not my life.  This is a borrowed life.  I'm getting too comfortable. -Who ever thought that would be a problem??

Leaving here is going to be hard -for all of us.  It's going to be another way of life ripped away from us.  I don't know if I'm ready for it yet.  I don't know if I'm ready to face the rest of the world; to face the whole truth.  I'm warm and safe here.

...But I'm settling in too deep, and I'm starting to forget.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

1/31 I am okay

I am okay.  I am okay because I am blessed.  I am blessed to have amazing family and friends and friends of family and family of friends.  They are truly amazing, and I am blessed to have them directly and indirectly in my life.

I am blessed also because through our suffering, we have been able to help facilitate a miracle.  We have had SO MANY people help us.  The amount of which just completely blows my mind.  We have had people who know and like us help us.  We have had people who do not directly know us help us.  We have also have had people who know and don't necessarily like us (putting it nicely) help us.  We have had SO MANY people come to our aid in our time of need. SO MANY people have been touched and moved by our tragedy.  SO MANY people have opened up their hearts to us in so many different ways.  People who normally would not have been able to open up their hearts in such a way.  Through our suffering, we have been the key to unlocking their hearts.  To know this information -to know that we have helped to bring about a miracle, is amazing. It is awe inspiring.  It is healing like nothing else.

Don't get me wrong.  There are most certainly still MANY, MANY up's and down's.  However, now that I know this truth, I can see this from a new perspective.  Being able to see the incredible love brought about through all of this lets me know that we are not alone in this.  It lets me know that our suffering is not senseless.  It lets me know that while it's hard now, we are being carried by HIS love, by HIS hand, by HIS faithfulness in us.  HE chose us for this job; for this miracle.  HE CHOSE US!

I grew up in the Catholic Church.  I've since grown away from the Church and from God.  I don't know how long it's been since I've actually been to Church save for the occasional funeral or wedding.  While I believe in God, I don't normally witness to anyone.  I've never been so compelled to do so.  However, this is amazing.  How anyone, God-fearing or not, can deny that is beyond me.

It will be a long road to recovery.  It will be hard.  There will be many and more up's and down's.  We're not alone though.  He carries us in Spirit.  He carries us in faith.  He carries us in friends and family.

We had to loose almost all of our earthly possessions to realize just how truly blessed we are, and blessed we are indeed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

1/30 Shoes

It's unseasonably warm today.  It's January 30th, and it's 50 degrees.

I want to jog.  I want to run.  I want to let it all go, and get lost in the burning in my legs and the bursting in my lungs.  I want to fly.

But then I remember I have no running shoes.  They were lost to the flames.

I have no house.  I have people giving me clothing to wear.  I can't justify buying new running shoes, nor will I let anyone buy them for me.  Swallowing my pride to accept the other donations of basic needs is hard enough.  *I* will buy my own shoes...  But when?

How do I justify spending that money on them?  How is it right that I splurge on them?  How does that work?  How is that right?

But I want to run and forget it all.

Especially on warm, breezy days like today.

I want to run.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Moving forward 1/29

Moving forward is hard.  Moving forward means letting go of what was.  It means to travel into the unknown.  It is to be out of control of the situation.  Moving forward is hard.

I have a difficult time looking at the stuff that people have collected and sent to us (sent to our families and friends for us).  It's a reminder of all that was lost....  and SO MUCH was lost.  The biggest thing lost?  Our way of life as I (we) knew it.  It's almost the loss of an identity, and as such, I float through the motions, but don't really have a sense of who I am, or of where I belong.

Home is supposed to be where your heart is, and where your heart is, is home.  In that sense, I currently have the biggest and most amazing home ever.  However, regardless of the loving warmth and happiness of it, it's not my home.  I'm only borrowing it.  I'm living in someone else's heart, and while I'm forever grateful for being able to share in that amazing place, it's not mine, and it's not forever.

I'm afraid to move forward.  I'm afraid to forget all that we had in our home.  I'm afraid to forget the amazing memories there.  I'm afraid to let them go.  Yes, I know that those memories will live on forever in my mind and in my heart, but moving forward means that they will live ONLY there.  I won't be able to look at something, and instantly be taken back to a time and place.  Moving forward is not looking back.

I'm afraid to move forward.  I'm afraid that all of the emotions that I've been suppressing for the past three weeks -the past few years -for my entire life will come bubbling to the surface and never stop flowing.  I'm afraid of the grief that's even bigger than I am will swallow me whole.  I'm afraid that if all that bursts through my not-so-cool-exterior, that I may never be the same.

I am afraid of the unknown.  I am afraid to be out of control.  I am afraid to forget.  I am afraid to remember.

I am afraid.

Moving forward is hard.

Monday, February 4, 2013

1/27 Three Weeks

It's an incredulous feat for me to believe that tomorrow marks three weeks since the fire.  Even after almost a month, it all still seems so surreal.  I keep saying that I just can't wrap my brain around it, and it's true.  I know that my house is gone, my possessions are gone, my kitty is gone, but deep down, it really hasn't quite hit yet.  I still feel half as if I'm living someone else's nightmare, and half as if I'm on vacation.

Being with family is amazing, and it's so easy to forget that anything is amiss outside of the warmth of their love and their family.  I LOVE being here.  They've often said that they live in a bubble, and I'm so glad that I've been privileged enough to be a part of their bubble for the past three weeks.  It's an amazing place surrounded by love and laughter.  No wonder it's so easy to forget that my worldly possessions fit in one room and a personal box trailer.

Then I look at something simple, like my new bath mitt and realize, "Wow.  Even THIS is gone.  EVERYTHING is gone..."  and I'm floored again.  The terrible truth of what has actually happened comes rising to the surface again.  I can't deal with it.  I'm not ready to deal with it.  I wonder if I'll EVER be ready to deal with it....  And if I CAN'T ever deal with it, how will I ever move on?

Friday, February 1, 2013

1/19 Stuck on Spaghetti Sandwiches

My head is still swimming.  I'm still a ball of emotion.  I still have a hard time seeing past the next hour, but that is getting better.

I need to start planning future events to help give me guide posts to get me through this.  I'll use them to navigate my way as sailors use the stars to navigate.

I'm still hopelessly lost.  Waves of emotion flow over me.  They range from anguish over loosing my home and almost everything inside to joy in the many pictures being recovered to anger of those saying horrible things about the cause of the fire, to love and humility when thinking about all those helping to get us on our feet again.  Then back to an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness when I try to figure out how to repay all of these people.  Somehow, I don't  think a cookie basket or a molten lava cake (as awesome as they are) will cut it as a thank-you....

I try to look towards the future and our new house with hope.  I try to look towards a home that will be ours just the way we want it.  ......I can't see it though.

I can't see forward and I can't see backwards.  I can't even remember things that I used to make for dinner.  I can only remember spaghetti sandwiches...  That's what we were supposed to have for dinner that awful night.

I'm stuck on spaghetti sandwiches, and I can't move beyond.  I can't see forward and I can't see backwards.  I'm just stuck.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

1/18 Surrounded by Love

If I have to be displaced, I'm glad that it's here.  Surrounded by love, laughter and little feet (and some big ones too) leaves little time to be sad.  <3>

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1/15 Lost....

I feel so lost; so all alone.  I don't know how to grieve this.  I don't know what to do.

My well-meaning friends do all that they know to do for me, yet I avoid them like the plague.  I don't knwo what I want them to do, so how can they possibly know what to do?  I don't know how to handle them -or myself.  I don't want to push them away, but I just can't deal with anyone or anything right now.

I don't belong anywhere.  My somewhere I belong is charred ashes and rubble.

And so I float, and hope that I land somewhere solid.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Morning After

Something I jotted down the morning after the fire.  It may not make much sense, but my mind was not working properly due to the events of the night before, and due to the fact that I had not slept.

The Morning After

It's the stuff you read about in the paper.  It's the stuff you see on TV.  It's not ever supposed to happen to you.  You think that you can imagine it.  You think that you can sympathize with people who have had it happen to them.

You CAN'T.  It's beyond anything that you can comprehend.  It's beyond your wildest dreams.  You can't understand unless you've been there.  You can glimpse into the world.  You can feel that you're living in the world, but it's not yours.  A glimpse is not enough.  A glimpse doesn't allow you to understand or feel or do anything as deeply as if it is your own world.

I always thought that I could sympathize.  I was wrong.  It's impossible until you ARE the victim.

And even though I know that I'm still in a state of shock; I'm still running on adrenaline, and I won't fully realize tonight's horrors until later, I now have the total and complete understanding that

I am a victim.  My world has changed.  I am a victim.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

House Fire

On Monday, January 7, 2012, we suffered a horrible house fire which destroyed our home and everything (almost) inside.  Our kitty perished, as did a lot of our dreams that we were finally starting to realize.
We realize that we're lucky to be alive.  We missed the initial explosion by minutes, but came home in time to see the house oh so quickly be consumed by flames.

I've found that writing out everything is helping me to cope.  Unfortunately, I've lost my first few journal entries, but I do still have others.  I'm learning much through all of this.  One is to back up everything online; documents, pictures, and flash drives can all be lost and burnt.  The internet cannot.  There are so many other (and more valuable) lessons to be learned through this tragic loss.  I hope that I can learn them all.  I hope that I can remember them all.  I hope that I will practice them all.

Time is short.  We are here for a set amount of minutes, and when the grains in our hour glass run out, that's it.  We are placed in situations for a specific reason, and for a specific time.  All events in life are intertwined, and they all make sense in the end.  Even if we don't understand them when they are happening, they're all happening so that later events will fall into place.

We had many events happen to us over 2012.  Some of them were wonderful, some of them were not so wonderful.  Had these events not happened, we would have been in our house, and we would have all perished.  The fire was SO FAST.

Hubs and I almost threw away our relationship last year.  I saw a lawyer.  Thankfully, that was as far as it went, but as a result of such, we were working on our relationship.  Had we not, we would have been home, and would have perished.

Thing II and I were supposed to go shopping on the Thursday before the fire.  We didn't because she was too grumpy after school, and I didn't feel like dealing with her while shopping.  We went on Friday instead.  After shopping, we were supposed to go to someone's house to pick up a bag of PolyFil fluff.  After shopping for two hours, I just wanted to go home.  Clothing shopping in Justice (where the bright neon colors and styles looks as if the 80's threw up all over) for two hours with a six year old is NOT a fun thing to do.  Thus, I didn't get my PolyFil.

Monday came, and I was supposed to get my fluff in the afternoon.  I ran out of time in Joann's, and had to run home.  I had to run back out again that night to get it.  Before leaving, I called The Hubs to see if he wanted to go.  He initially told me no, and I got upset.  He then sighed and told me if I could wait he would go.  Thank goodness he said yes!  When contemplating divorce, it was hard enough to imagine my life without him as my husband, but I can't even fathom my life with him not in it because he had died in the fire!

As we drove out to get my fluff, our conversation kept going back to asking if I had gas in my car.  I've had a floating gas gauge (not so much floating as just reading "E" all the time) for the past 1.5 years.  We've never gotten it fixed just because it's apparently a pain to do.  There have been several occasions where he's had to come bring me gas though, and for as much as I've complained about the gauge not working, I'm so glad that it doesn't now!

After picking up the fluff (and making a wrong turn to get there -I'm horrible with directions, but what a good thing), we turned around to come home.  As much as I swore that I had gas in the car, I asked if he could stop to get some just in case.  I had to run out to an appointment in the morning, and I didn't want to inevitably be running late, and have to stop for it.  Stop for gas we did.  If we didn't, we would have been home for the initial explosion.

We arrived home to see what looked like a fire in our driveway.  The fire trucks weren't there yet.  By the time we had parked, and my friends and neighbors had gotten me (and the kids) out of harm's way, the whole back of the house was engulfed.  What seemed like a few minutes later, there were flames coming out the front windows.  A few minutes after that, flames were coming out the kids' windows upstairs.  It was SO FAST.  There is NO WAY we would have been able to get out of the house in time if we were home.  It was SO FAST.

There are so many more little reasons as to why we weren't home.  Stupid little annoyances that, in looking back now, I'm grateful for.  Without them, I would not be writing this post.

In the past three weeks, I've often thought about the email that circulated shortly after 9/11; the one about why a few people weren't in the Twin Towers that fateful day.  One person missed the train.  One person's child was starting Kindergarten that day.  One person had on new shoes, got a blister, and thus stopped for a bandage.  Stupid, little annoyances that saved their lives.

I had those same stupid little annoyances.  You have them too.  Embrace them.  Know that you are put where you are put for a reason.  While you may not know that reason at the time, it will all come together in the end.  Embrace life and all of it's beauty and ugliness.

 Diamonds start out as black, sooty coal.  Only through their ugliness and great amounts of pressure can we see the amazing things that they become.

Embrace it all.  Life is short.  Don't miss out on it for any reason.