The day after Thanksgiving my home burned. Not to the ground but enough so that it no longer liveable, a shell of its original self. For almost 100 years it stood against the wind and rain, minor fires and no telling what else. It provided more than shelter for me and my family. So many memories...my father's face, graduation celebrations, at least 20 other Thanksgivings, mom's 79th birthday party and countless children running up and down the hallway.
That day as I watched my home of 21 years burn, all I could do was cry and scream and cry some more. I saw that fire consume my memories like a hungry animal consumed a plate of food. Consuming my wood...my independence...my dreams. For many days after the fire all I could do was try to move and cry some more. I felt the same way I felt the day my father died...helpless, lost and sad beyond imagination. I could not see the blessings before me. I was blinded by grief.
What I remember of that day, aside from the flames, smoke and fear, includes the faces of my children, grandchildren, my mother, my sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews and all the people who came to give me a hug or hold my hand. Those faces were a blur as I sank into my blindness. The kind of blindness that does not completely take your sight but instead causes tunnel vision. Everyday I got up (I don't know if I was awake or sleep walking) and did whatever I could do...I was only partially there. I couldn't see... I couldn't see my children (angels), my sisters (angels), all those Angels God sent from the Air Force base and from the community (California, Kentucky, Japan, New York, Hawai, Upper River Road and Ohio) who came to help me.
God spared our lives that day, 10 children, 3 adults and 3 dogs. My eyes are open again. There was a reason for my home to burn and for things to happen the way they did. I don't know what the plan is but I have my eyes wide open, my arms stretched out wide in anticipation of the wonders before me.
Thank you for all you have done for me.