Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our very own ring of fire

Well, it seems our scare a few weekends ago wasn't the worst of what to come. Greg was camping with his scouts and I was playing with my in-laws in Pleasant Grove when the news came - our house was burning. There's so much to say, to describe, but not enough words or time to express it. The miracle this time is that all five of us are safe and unscathed. Investigation is still ongoing, but basically the house exploded. Our neighbors (1/2 mile up the hill) heard a boom or a "whoosh" and by the time they got to the window to look, the roof was nearly falling in already - in only a matter of seconds.

We didn't sleep Friday night and kind of floated through Saturday, but now that the shock has worn off and the reality has set in, we're really okay. It helps that we were fire insured, and our insurance company and coverage seem to be very promising. A few times a day some other sentimental thing the insurance money can't replace pops into my head and I have a moment of sorrow, but the truth is almost everything can be replaced. I realized very quickly that I can't sit and think about all the things I've lost and what I'll miss because I'll drive myself crazy very quickly. Yes, there are things I will miss. Yes, we're devastated. BUT we're surrounded by and in touch with our amazing families and supported by fantastic friends. In fact, I admitted tonight that it almost feels like it's easier to deal with than it should, and I know that is absolutely because of the support of people around us. My sister Lindsey sent me a wall hanging for my birthday in September. Before the fire, it hung above my bedroom door and read: Family is everything. Isn't that the truth?

Some more good news is that when Greg's new job starts in Wyoming, I don't have to pack up my house! This will be my tenth move since Greg and I have been married, so needless to say, I'm sicker than sick of packing and unpacking boxes. Also, no more will I stress about how and when we will be able to sell our home. And Greg turned to me yesterday morning and said, "Well, I guess you're going to have to buy a new wardrobe ... you're just going to hate that, huh?"
I waited until Saturday evening to tell Ethan, thinking he might take it pretty hard because he loves his "new house." Wrong. This is how that conversation went when we sat down together:

Me: Ethan, there was a really big fire last night at our house and it's gone now.
Ethan: So are we going to stay here [grandma and grandpa's] forever?
Me: For awhile anyway.
Ethan: Until we move to another new house?
Me: Yep, but all our things are gone. We're going to have to buy new clothes and new toys and new books ...
Ethan: Okay. But mom ... I have to go get the monsters and alien now (grin). Love ya.

There really is nothing like a 4-year-old's perspective to help get your own in the right place. Now, I've always been the "do-er" mom and not the "play-er" mom. I love my kids, and they definitely get enough attention, but I'm very task oriented, trying to get things done and organized and put away. Well, now that all is said and done, everything I've "done" is undone, and the only thing left to "do" is my family. So ... let's play.

It seems that everything is gone, and yet I have everything I need.

(Pictures to come)


Sarah said...

Emery, once again you amaze me by your strength and your positive outlook on an unfortunate event. My Mom emailed us quickly when it happened with no details. Just that your house had burned down and you guys were okay. I have been trying to think of what we can do to help you. I'm not sure yet, but we have been keeping you and your family in our prayers. I really don't know if I would have reacted like you have. I am truly amazed by you! We are so grateful that you guys were all safe. We're grateful you have family close by that you can stay with. I had to laugh at the packing thing. I HATE packing too. You're so candid about this situation and I think that's nice. Please let us know what we can do. Do you need some boy clothes? I could talk to friends who have boys and ask if they have any gently used clothing?

jenngray said...

Em, you are amazing! I love your humor and willingness to laugh at the situation. You go girl! Well for sure now we can play more since you are going to be in PG. I will let things settle down for you and then give you a call. Keep on smilin'.

Annette and Scott said...

You & Greg are amazing. Your strength & perspective are truly inspiring. I have a SMALL idea as to what you are going thru...a few years ago my brothers home burned on christmas was tough...but as you say you really have everything you need in your family!! We're so glad that all of you are okay!!! We are right around the corner & are willing to do anything we can to help you...just put us to work!!!

Emery said...

Sarah - I think we're good on clothes...since there are 11 boys out of the 12 grandchildren on my side. :) AND...I have a nephew on Greg's side that we're living with right now who shares the same size as Ethan, and Link fits all the stuff he just grew out of. Thanks for you thoughts and prayers - all of you.

Jody said...

You amaze me, Emery, and you're a true inspiration! Your attitude and perspective are truly awe-inspiring. I am so glad no one was at home when it happened. Your family is in our prayers. I wish we could do more to help!

Jessy said...

Once again, you show the rest of us how to handle ANY situation with grace and love! If you need anything at all (even if I am hundreds of miles away) you let me know and it's done!!

Love you!

C&T Family said...

Oh MY gosh. When I heard word, I didn't think it would take your entire house. What a nightmare, not to rub it in. I'm so sorry, especially during this time of the holidays. It is a lesson to all of us to be thankful for the little things, even my unfinished basement, my heaping laundry, the dirt in my windows inside my house, I feel so selfish to have thoughts of complaining about it. I want to do something for you guys, but the word is to wait and it's killing me. We love you guys and I'm thankful for your example. What a blessing you are all safe and o.k. I was telling Clint, you guys probably don't even have a set of scriptures, or journals... my mom works at the BYU bookstore and they are having their sale next week, 20% off. At least you can have fun shopping? I'd love a new wardrobe, not like that, but you guys are so optimistic, what a strong cute couple you are!! See you Friday I hope! Hugs!!

Ben said...

I think you just didn't want to sell your house.

Ashley said...

Emery! I am so sorry to hear about the fire. That stinks! But you are pulling the positive out of it. I am so happy to hear that you have a blog~now we can keep in touch through the great waves of the internet! Put my blog somewhere where u can keep in touch with us! Love you~Cousin Ashley

grace said...

It is good that everything is gone and that you were not there to breath the fumes. Trying to save stuff is deadly and agonizing.

It is a lot of work to replace everything, just take it slow and get ready for a lot of returns. I still wake up sometimes and wish I hadn't lost this or that in my fire but I did, it is gone and oh well.
I like having less.

You are well loved and supported what could be better than a move with out having to pack.
Peace and love,

yvonne said...

Hi Emery,
I've never lived through a fire (well, once when I was 3, but all I remember is the wet sidewalk). I can tell you that as I age, I've forgotten about most of the stuff I had, anyway, unless I run into it by accident. Your attitude towards this shows a great deal of spiritual maturity, and a wonderful perspective. You have focused on the 'positive' and left the negative behind. What a terrific example for us all! My love to you and your family, Yvonne

Oh Babe COBABE said...

Love you Greg and Em!!! You are the Best