To hell with Murphy and his law of negativity. From the time that the fire started in our garage, everything that could go right, did, and at the best possible moment.
The wall that the fire started on is the same wall that I kept ammunition in a steel tool box. Because the flames got the hottest there, the ammunition began to explode, which is what woke Tammy up. By the time she heard ammo popping, we later learned, the fire had already spread to the attic and was literally above us. If the sound hadn’t woke her, its likely that none of us would’ve woken up, ever.
Some people have asked, “What if she didn’t wake up? Have you thought about how horrible that would have been?” The first that enters my head is, “What kind of a stupid #$%^* question is that!” Of course you think about it! The difference in people is what they do after they’ve thought about it.
Many will dwell on the what-if, I’m not sure why. Maybe its to get sympathy or have people tell them how lucky they are… I don’t know, because its pointless.
Dwelling on something that didn’t happen, especially if it could have been tragic, does no good for anyone involved.
It might have annoyed some, but we constantly directed the topic away from the what-if and to the what-did. Tammy did wake up, we did get out, and that was only the beginning of the positive energy and events coming our way.
The 911 call went in around 2:20 am, by 3:00 am it was obvious that our house wouldn’t make it. Half of it had gone to the ground and what was left looked like the biggest broken tooth in a mouthful of tornup gums. In total, 31,000 gallons of water ran through the remaining floor and into the basement. A little bit of roof remained in the corner furthest from where the fire started, but the fire had reached its rafters as well.
At that point we shifted our attention to what our next steps were. Clothes and personal hygiene items topped the list, but at that time of night, we thought it could wait. Apparently other people didn’t think so though.
Before sunrise, the Red Cross showed up with stuffed animals for the kids, a personal hygiene kit, and a gift card to use for clothes as soon as we wanted. Before the gratitude for the service could set in, a bag of clothes showed up for our kids. Some of it brand new because the person had gone to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night to get it.
When the firefighters began to shut down their operation, the sun was up. Word spread throughout the community about what had happened and by noon we had recieved cash, gift cards, clothes, offers for vehicles and housing. We would like to believe that we could have handled the situation on our own if needed, but the people around us rallied so quickly that we didn’t have any choice but to land on our feet.
The aid came from everywhere. People we had never met, some that I still haven’t, were showing up constantly. Two of our neighbors made it their personal mission to make sure we were cared for. Though both would have, the neighbor with the largest house practically dragged us in to live with them. Refusing rent or money for utilities, they did everything they could to provide some sense of continuity for our kids and sanity for us.
I have to say, it was the easiest move I’ve ever had. The biggest thing that I had to carry in was the small box from the Red Cross.
We spent most of our time telling people, “thank you”, and, “we’re fine, really”. The more we focused on the positives, the more opportunity we saw. The more energy we put toward being grateful, the more we received to be grateful for.
Many success teachers and scientists alike, teach that everything has a frequency and we attract things that vibrate with the same frequency. Believe it or not, this includes our thoughts.
In fact, our thoughts and emotions cannot be seperated from the conversation. What some call, luck, I call intention. Had we focused on tragedy and pain, we would have found tragedy and pain, in multiple. Instead, we intentionally put our thoughts to what we were grateful for and were soon overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and compassion.
Within a few days, things settled down a little, but generousity of our community, family, and friends continued. For us as a family, we had to continue forward and began talking about the house we wanted to rebuild. Prior to the insurance settlement and with no idea what it would cost to build a house, we began to create a vision for what we wanted. The story of that vision coming to life is the best part yet. It’s next.