|Photo Credit: Drew Ward|
It took me about 30 minutes to get home. Before I turned on to my street, I saw people standing and watching. In case I didn't believe it yet, this made it real. I turned and saw lots of fire trucks. Later I found out it was about 6 trucks. I parked the car up the block, grabbed my keys, and walked toward the house. I saw a fireman in full gear coming out my front door. I saw other firemen standing around, but I didn't see my family. I started running down the street. As I passed several trucks and got to the corner, I saw my husband. I felt a bit of relief and hugged him tight. He told me the kids were at his mom's house just across the street. I stopped shaking so bad and went to her house. When I got in, the kids ran to me. Ben was first. I think he told me our house was on fire. I don't remember if he finished the sentence before he started crying. Lily came to me as well. She didn't say anything. She just started sobbing. I picked them both up, took them to the couch, and hugged them tight. After a few minutes, they dried their tears. I moved the car to a better place and went in and out of my mother in law's house for the next few hours.
Eventually, the hoses were rolled up and the trucks left. The last truck stayed until the first part of the investigation was done. We found out several things. Upstairs most of the damage was smoke damage and the stuff should be saved. It was saved because Drew shut the door when he ran upstairs to get the kids and the dog out. There was an exposed wire in the Buick that we didn't even know was there and that started the fire. There were things in the basement that could be saved even though they were right next to the car. We will be out of the house for 4 to 6 months because they have to gut it.
|Photo Credit: Drew|
More than any of those things, we found out that there are so many good people out there. One of the firemen apologized to my husband because he was concerned that he was rude while he was putting out the fire. The Red Cross Disaster Relief was there before all the firemen were gone. They had stuffed animals for my kids, toiletries for us, and a gift card for us to buy things we needed. My brother in law had dinner delivered to us that night. An art club student emailed me to check on my family and my house. There were a couple kids riding their bikes later that night that asked if we were okay and if we had a place to stay. The insurance guy that took my claim information that night was so nice and patient. Our friends asked for prayer for us from their church. That church collected a love offering for us and we don't even know them. People from work and church have given the things we have asked for and assured us that they will be there when we need more. Other friends and family have checked on us regularly and continue to assure us that they are there when we need them. Friends are on call when we are able to move the Buick. They are ready to help with whatever my husband wants them to do with the car. My mother in law is letting us stay with her. We have received anonymous donations. Another church helped pay our mortgage for this month. My son's school has given them some clothes. The insurance people have been nice and helpful. ServPro has been amazing! Our mortgage company has been really clear and helpful. So many people have given us hugs and prayers.
I can't say that this has been easy, but I know God has been with us every step of the way. I know he had his angels were protecting us and our things that day. I don't feel like we deserve such love from Him, but I will take it. I will praise Him in the storm because He is still with me no matter what. We can grieve the things that can't be fixed. We can be relieved for the things that can be fixed. We can praise Him for the things that don't need to be fixed. We still have so much, so many people who are here for us and will be here for us. That is worth praising.