In my previous post, I mentioned that we lost our home on October 12, 2018. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I had taken up a side job, working at one of our local wineries for the harvest season. I was down in the vineyard, picking some grapes to pass the time until the harvester arrived. I had my phone on vibrate, and I could feel it vibrate, so I checked it. Now, I don’t know about y’all: if the ID says “No Caller ID”, I normally don’t answer it. For some reason, I did. When I answered the phone, I was greeted by someone from our county sheriff’s department, telling me my house was on fire. They asked if anyone was home, and I told them if there’s a brown car there, then my wife is home. Thank God, she was not there.
I told the man we had two dogs, and he said they got one out and she took off. I left the winery and got to my road, and could not get close enough to it, as there were so many fire trucks on our short road. We live about five minutes outside of Watkins Glen, NY, on a small road that cuts off the main highway. Not too many people live on our road.
I got to the house, found my wife and hugged her tight. We cried as we held each other, watching all of our memories go up in flames and smoke. We bought the house in the summer of 2008. Our three kids graduated high school while living there. When we moved in, we had five dogs, and, due to old age or illness, we were down to two. My dog, Lil Anne passed away in the house, due to smoke inhalation.
There were a few things that happened, that, I feel were divine intervention. The first was Becky closed the window in the living room, as it had been unseasonably warm the previous two days, and a cold front had moved in the night before. Had she not closed that window, the whole house would have gone up in flames
The second instance was the time of the fire as it relates to when Becky left the house. She was picking up our grandson Zak from Headstart, and she normally left the house around 12:30. Our son had called her earlier to ask her to pick him up some medicine at the drug store, so she left earlier. Had she left at her usual time, she would have been in the house when it caught fire.
We appreciate the outpouring of love and support and gifts from family and friends. They have touched my heart. Something I’ll never forget.
Ever since our house burned down, I have struggled. Struggled to keep a smile on my face. Struggled to fight back the tears because of everything we had was lost. Struggling to be a good husband to my Becky, a good papa to my loving grandkids, and a loving father to my grown kids. I have struggled with being depressed. I have moments-hell, long periods-where I’m in a bad mood. I have moments where I want to cry. The bottom line: I want to go home. I realize these things take time. I am grateful to have a roof over our heads. Our oldest son did not hesitate to take us in. We get lots of moments and time with him and our grandkids, which I have to remind myself is a blessing.
Have you ever experienced losing your house to fire?
Do you know anyone, friend or family, that lost their home?