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.