|Our bedroom, the worst of it. To the right is our bed, straight ahead was the hope chest with all the baby's things on top. Above that a shelf, now hanging down. Doorway to kitchen.|
Nothing will ever bring my kittens back. If every tear I've cried since that night counted for anything, Fog would be curled up next to me, and Lily on my lap.
I shut down that night. For an instant every nerve went up in flames along with my things, and then there was so much sadness and shock that all systems were down...
|Our living room - the least of the damage.|
a firefighter walking by with his hand wrapped up and thinking 'he hurt himself trying to save my home.'
the police officer asking if anyone in the gawking crowd lived there and then being led away.
sitting in the Red Cross shelter set up in the retirement home across the street; an old lady in a wheelchair brought me water.
rescue workers bringing in several cat carriers and reuniting them with their people...and the horrible feeling of being the only person whose animals weren't brought over.
Most of all, though, I remember Bee's strength. I remember him holding me up and saying calming words into my ears that went straight down to my heart.
I shut down because I would have lost it if I'd thought too much. I might have tried to go flying into the building in a sad attempt to save my kittens from a blaze already out, damage already done.
I shut down because it's the only way I knew how to protect baby Tee.
I love him so much, and I thank God he was on the inside of me for this. A fire is no place for a newborn - no place for any of us.
A week and a half later we learned it was arson. Someone poured something up and down our hallway and made a whole building of tenants instantly homeless. That person was standing among the gawkers when the officer came looking for residents. The officer probably looked right at him.
Why? I'll never know, but in the end it doesn't matter because knowing won't change a thing.
I believe God saved our lives that night. We were supposed to be home, but a series of events kept us out until we were safe. The fire alarms in the building did not go off. Our neighbors across the hall smelled the smoke only after it was too late to escape and had to climb out their windows, clinging to the bricks four stories high. Our emergency exit door which was broken and sealed shut (a complaint was in with our property managers) mysteriously burst open pushed by the fire which wasn't put out until it was already in our room. It also raged outside our front door.
|Walking away for the last time - our front door directly behind me (hall closet door on left-not ours).|
There was no escape route for my kitten-loves. I have nightmares about them and their last lonely hour.
The other day I felt strong enough to ask Bee to tell me about what they'd done that day while I was out with a friend. He told me he'd played Godzilla with them (a usual game when I'm not around) and they'd had both milk and tuna water (their favorite treats given to them by the man who had a 'no human food' rule in regard to them). Fog slept, Lily meowed.
I miss them the most.
I also miss my stuff.
I miss the comforts of home and all the regular moments you have there.
It's been exactly two weeks practically to the hour as I type this.
We've been very lucky with all the help we've been receiving from friends, coworkers, and strangers...very lucky, very blessed. It's kept us afloat. I haven't figured out how to put feelings of such deep appreciation into words yet.
Life: one minute it's as you've always known it. The next, it can be completely over as you once knew it. Choose wisely and appreciate what you have...always.
|Kitchen before -|