Monday, April 01, 2013

April Fools

My parents house burned down last Thursday morning.  Like, to the GROUND it burned.  Everyone made it out alive, all the dogs were saved and though we lost two cats, we saved two other cats.

Photo: This is all that's left.
The front steps.

Like an idiot I went into work on Thursday and by two I was on my way home, wanting nothing more than to crawl under the covers.  That morning when I saw the missed call from my mom at three am, my first reaction was, it must have been a mis-dial.  But why would she be awake at three am?

So I texted my brother knowing it was probably too early for him to be awake but thinking he could very easily clear things up for me.  No reply.  So then I texted my sister. "Hey, I have a missed call from mom.  What's up?"

Her reply?  "House burned down."

Ha-ha!  No, really.  "April Fools? Don't freak me out." I retorted.

No, really.  The house burned down.  My mom got a hold of my sister at three am from the lobby of the fire department where she rambled that the house had just burned down.  Down.

And then the practicalities started.  The cars were drivable but my mom's keys were in the house.  Which is gone.

My mom was wearing a pair of pants, a nightshirt and a bathrobe all day Friday.

My dad didn't have any shoes, just a pair of slippers, which he wore all day Friday.  Slippers

I know it's petty and maybe shallow to mourn for stuff, but it's not like some of it was replaceable.  The quilt I made for my dad, my grandmother's bedroom furniture, all the stuff my grandpa brought back from Pearl Harbor, the piano rolls for the player piano, the antique photographs of ancestors, the Christmas ornaments, the baby books, the china from my mother's grandmother, the Hummels, the Candlewick pieces, the porcelain dolls we made.  All gone.

I don't care about the couches and the TVs.  I care about the history that's gone except in our memories.  The stained glass my brother made, the shadow boxes my dad made, the antique bake ware, all the school artwork we made as kids.  It's all gone.

So I spent the long weekend under the covers and I cried a lot.  But I kept checking in with my mom who kept giving me very detailed updates.  There was a fire wall between the house and the garage so the garage is fine.  Unfortunately, in order for them to rebuild they have to get everything out of the garage and demo it.  These are the words I'm using now.  "Demo the garage".

I really wish this were an April Fools Joke.  I really wish this weren't happening to my family.  I really wish all the physical reminders of the people I love both living and dead hadn't been destroyed. 

But they're at the site every day, working and clearing and getting it ready for them to start over.  If they can get out of bed in the morning, I guess I can too.  


Kate said...

Thanks, Kristen. My mom said the love and support from Church and neighbors has been amazing.

Colleen said...

Mom said some of the higher ups at the fire department were just joining the ranks when Grandpa Conroy was retiring and that they worked with him. It made her happy to know that they were connected in that way.

Kate said...

Wow, really? That's amazing. I did think it was ironic that both of our grandpas were firemen and this is how our house is destroyed.