Friday, September 10, 2010

Am I okay.... Really?

Many of my friends and family know, we had a house fire.  I have experienced so many emotions in the past few weeks, I am exhausted.  I cannot seem to get that day out of my head.  Coming through my kitchen to the sound of a fire alarm going off... and seeing smoke in the hallway - and thinking, "My baby is in his room...".  I ran to get him only to see my bed, with HUGE orange/red flames coming up from behind my headboard.  It's an image I can see as clear as day.  An image I cannot seem to erase from my mind.  The image of my bedroom in flames..... I try to remain positive about the "new home" we will move back into in a few months, but I cannot.  Yes, my home did not burn to the ground.... But maybe that would have been better.  Better to see rubble and ashes, instead of my once cute little cozy home.  My home that has been alive with my little family for the past 10 years, comfortable and clean.  Not the home I see now with boards on the windows.  The home that has the unforgettable smell of smoke, that you can smell from the road.  Some of the windows have blinds still hung.... many of my windows are bare, where my plantation blinds melted and fell off due to the intense heat that swam through every room in my home.  My bedroom suffered the most.  My walls, once smooth, are now bubbled and black, stripped of paint.  An eerie white pattern winds up my wall and across the ceiling where fire ate it away.  The rest of my bedroom is black. 

My Bedroom the day after....

The bathroom is black, toothbrushes melted down, lotion bottles bubbled and misshapen. 

Nothing was safe from smoke and soot.  Lamps stand in place like bare skeletons, or lay on the floor in pieces.  Pictures still where they were, black and burned.  There is a gaping hole in my ceiling, sheet rock and insulation hanging loose, and littering the floor. 

My bed is a skeleton.  It reminds me of a horror movie or a haunted house.  The mattress (what's left of it...) lays outside in the grass where firefighters tossed it.  The box spring is a mess of coiled loose springs... the metal frame, laying haphazardly within the bed frame.  The wood once a beautiful Deep Cherry, is now dull and damaged, BURNED.  It's eerily silent.  The ceiling is black everywhere.  The carpet is black.  There is smoke in my freezer... in my dryer - Smoke in all of my kitchen cabinets.  Smoke in my beautiful china hutch.  All of my beautiful wine glasses, family heirlooms and special things, all contaminated with that nasty black powder.  My clothes and and blankets, sheets and towels.... pillows... All smoke damaged.  The smell of a house fire is one a person will never forget.  It's not like smelling a bon-fire in the fall.... or leaves burning.  It's an awful smell.  As long as I live, I will NEVER forget that smell.  I am reassured constantly by all of the contractors working to fix my home, that we will have no trace of any smoke damage or smell when we move back in.  I am scared.  I am scared to go back to my home.  I know it will look totally different and have new paint, walls and flooring.  But that Tuesday, when I saw my room on FIRE... will always haunt me.  I can hear fire engine sirens and literally flash back to that day.  Certain smells send me into a panic mode.  I unplug things.... Look for fire alarms everywhere I go.  I am worse when I have to actually GO to the house.  I went the other day to water what is left of my house plants.... there was a huge dumpster in my driveway.  I knew eventually, all of the damaged things would be taken out.  I Never thought I would actually see it.  I stood in the middle of my driveway and saw what was left of the last 10 years of my life.  My husband's clothes all melted together, black and brown, BURNED.... laying in a pile.  My shoes, all melted together, thrown in the trash.  In the middle of all of it, 2 bears I got when I was in 5th grade.  Fine, undamaged.... laying amongst all the chaos.  I lost it.  Standing in the dumpster digging out my bears.... wondering what else is there?  Driving myself crazy.  Crying in a dumpster.... It is so hard to explain.  It is so hard to know that ALL we have, was sitting in a hotel room.  ALL we have, fit into the trunk of my car. 

I am thankful I have my FAMILY.  Possessions are nothing.... I have my FAMILY.  I saved my kitty.  It was so bad when I got him, I was unable to save my baby Skittles, my Sun Conure Parrot.  I am haunted by this.  I miss her terribly. I miss her more than anyone can imagine. 

~*~ Rest In Peace My Pretty Baby Skittles ~*~

I have pictures that are smoke damaged.  All I can do is keep them together in bags.  Some of our furniture (the wood) that was away from direct smoke, can be cleaned.  All of our food had to be thrown away.  Anything unsealed was dangerous to eat.  Most of our electronics have to be replaced.  Sure they work (some), but the soot is deep inside.... it corrodes the insides of electronics  and you can SMELL that day every time you turn anything on.

Making a list for your insurance claim is like taking your house, and trying to remember EVERYTHING you had..... after a tornado came through and blew all of it away.  It also makes me think MORE.... of the things that were lost.  Some things that cannot be replaced. 

I thank ALL of my friends and family who have been here for us.  We thank you for ALL of the gift cards, prayers and kind words.  We would have never been able to get through the past 2 weeks without you.  Time heals all wounds.  My faith in God is helping me heal too.......

1 comment:

GermanShepMom said...

Terry, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am saddened to hear of the loss of your sweet Skittles as well. Thank the Lord above you, Doug, Andrew and Spencer got out. I lost everything in a horrible house fire in 1994. It is devastating to say the least! Of course you aren't ok. I can relate to that horrible, distinct smell of smoke. It is truly a horrible smell that will never be forgotten. And yes, smells and sounds will trigger you into a panic. It took years for me not to cringe when I heard fire truck sirens. I can relate to the insurance claim as well. How in God's name are you to remember everything that was in ur house. My heart truly goes out to you and your family. If you need a friend, one that has had a similar experience, don't hesitate to write or call me. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. With the support from your family, friends, and time, you will over come this horrible experience. But it does indeed take time. And I speak from experience, you will forever be on the look out for fire hazards. It's been 16 yrs for me and I still make sure everything is turned off and thoroughly check my home before leaving or going to bed. Our fire started from faulty electrical wiring in a ceiling fan in my parents bedroom. It has since been rebuilt and my parents currently still live there. The contractors are correct, there will be no trace of smoke or anything related to the fire. It was like moving back into a brand new home. Don't make it look exactly the same. Decorate different so it doesn't remind you of that day. Please don't hesitate to let me know if there is anything in the world I can do for you and your family.