Last night I met a lady who is in the middle of some trauma. Her adult son's home burnt down a couple of weeks ago. They are all devastated, and rightly so.
I pictured the harrowing scene of her son, lifting his three-year-old daughter out of bed and running for the door. A bathrobe hastily thrown on, bare feet, a blanket wrapped around the baby, and eyes watching from a safe distance as their lives went up in smoke and flame. It makes me shiver.
I remember the scene of another house fire from years ago. I recall seeing fire trucks and police cars lining the road, the nosy neighbors, blackened siding, shattered glass, and the realization that nothing would ever be the same again. I found my mother, always a rock during any emergency, sitting in her Firebird which was parked away from the crowd. I burst into tears as I climbed into the passenger seat and asked aloud where my brothers were.
Fire is a destroyer and its cousins, smoke and water; ravage anything that the flames leave undigested.
I’ve been a bit odd about “stuff” ever since.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my material possessions, but it’s just stuff. This is why I use my good china every time I can, why I don’t truly own anything of real value, and why I am baffled at other peoples obsession with bits and pieces.
Yet I look around this house and see SO MUCH STUFF! Why do we have so much stuff! It boggles the mind. It truly does.
A house fire is a terrible, devastating thing. It changes you. I am more afraid of fire than perhaps anything else. The smell of burnt, wet, timber dredges up old fears and memories I’d rather forget. Yet, having lost so much I have come to value the things that truly matter more.
Time well spent
Everyone gets caught up in materialism. It’s simply a part of the American dream, but you can’t take it with you.
And really, in the end, it’s all just gonna burn anyway.