Last Tuesday a fire that started in the condo on the lower floor of our building burned the whole building down. All of the families in that building lost everything– and that includes us.
It’s been almost a week and it still seems very surreal to me. A fire is something that happens on TV or in a movie. Or maybe to OTHER people, not someone you know… definitely not to YOU. It’s the oddest thing to logically know that everything you own is basically on you when your emotions still think of the stuff you have “at home.” Except, we have to keep reminding ourselves, there is no “at home” anymore.
Fortunately, none of the people in the building were hurt. My husband is a hero in our neighborhood because he got everyone out of the building on both sides.
I’m writing this in my office at work and to be honest, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. We have been very blessed to have a lot of support from our children’s school community, from our family and friends, from virtual strangers… If anyone ever tries to tell you there aren’t good hearts in the world anymore, ignore them… I can tell you from direct experience that there are amazingly wonderful, kind-hearted people in the world…
The hardest part of losing everything for me is feeling bad about the things that people gave me that were lost. I woke up in the middle of the night on Wednesday and cried because I remembered that my vintage Singer sewing machine was gone.
It was a gift from a freecycler in our area, something she loved that she shared with me because she thought I’d put it to good use. I feel bad about the antique chinese silk paintings and the chinese cabinet that were gifts from my mom… about the earrings my best friend gave me… and, of course, I am terribly sad about the pictures of my kids and my family. Those are the things that for me were irreplaceable.
But– life goes on. Caitlin, my daughter, came home with a new certificate on Friday, their first day back to school after the fire. Her class won the volley ball championship for 5th grade. Today, at work, a lovely friend gave me several pairs of earrings and a necklace. I have several emails from friends who want to donate furniture and home goods to us… and each of those things will be meaningful to me… and to us as a family… because they are tangible evidence of how others reached out to give us our life back…
Life–and decorating– will go on. We just put in an application for a new place this morning, so keep your fingers crossed for us that our application is approved and we can move in this weekend. Saturday is my birthday and it would be wonderful to celebrate by moving into our new home.
In the meanwhile, tomorrow I’ll post the reveal of my copycat shelves… might not have the shelves anymore, but I can still share pictures with you. I also have a new “In the Trenches” interview for Wednesday and potentially a giveaway to launch on Friday.
’til next time, happy budget decorating!
xoxo – Shauntelle