Ok, since this is supposed to be raw, and since my goals are only for me to heal I have decised to just type this right here and now without even thinking about what to put down.
He dropped me off so I could work. I waved to my two beauties, the beloved dog, and the love of my life. He was treating everyone to an afternoon at the park. I walked up the walk of our house, our very first house. My children were concieved there. Five years dh and I had there to build our life. Our family. It was going to be hard to say good bye. New memories will be made by the family who bought it from us. My own family was off to a new place to start a whole new life. We knew that no matter where we lived after that house, no other wuold compare to it. The love shared there is etched in the foundation forever.
As I grew closer I could hear a very high pitched sound. Not sure what it was or where it was coming from, I opened the front door. I was instantly thrown onto the lawn, feet from where I stood seconds before. The slurpee that was in my hand now lay strewn across the lawn. My chest felt heavy, hard. It was painful to breath. I can hear the crackling sound. The sound of wood burning in a fire place. The black heavy smoke billowing out of the now open door.
NO!NO! NO! MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE
I got up as fast as I could, ran like I had never before, nor thought I could. I chased after my families van and screamed for his attention. He drove to me, me yelling FIRE FIRE! He yelled back ,"Where?" I sreamed "OUR HOUSE!" He drove back and parked in front of it. I ran to get someone to call 911. The street was so still. I have never remebered it bieng so quiet. It felt like death. I ran to the lady on the corner, nearly banged her door down CALL 911! CALL 911! She came, got her phone and tried to calm me down. I was with no shoes, they fell off somewhere along the way, my kids were parked in fromt of my house on fire . I did not see my husband. I ran back to the houde and opened the back door. There it was. The flame. Red. On my ceiling, on the floor. Climbing the walls. I tried to enter the house. I could not see anything. I let the flame guide my way. The smoke was a dark dark grey and thick black. It circled my body, and went deep into my chest. GET OUT my head shouted . My body could not feel but it followed. I could not breath. I felt dizzy. My whole world seemed like that smoke. Dark, heavy, black. All the sweet memories that I was sad to leave behind in the walls of that house were supposed to come with us to the new house in ways of pictures,home movies, drawings, albums, keepsakes. Gone. All gone. The furniture that we worked so hard to get. Every trinket. All the first's. My babies first teething rings, thier first baby blanket. Thier first piece of jewelery. The $20.00 bill my Papa gave them as a gift in honour of the Ukranian tradition just months before he died.
I wated to run back inside that house and burn with everything. How were we supposed to survive this? We? My children! My husband! I got to my feet to find my family. The van was still parked in from the house. As I walked out of the back yard my husband looked at me witha blank look."You can't go in there hon," He said. The neighbour came to me. She noticed I was hyper ventalating. Smoke inhalation. "I don"t care! Get my girls out of here!" I screamed! The flames were pouring out of the windows, sneaking up the the roof. The popping sound of anything wood was loud.The cabinets, I thought, and the table .Probably the walls too.
Somebody moved my kids to the neighbours house and I tried to get to them. I knew they needed me, I could see my babies faces scared, crying needing thier mommy.My heart ripped. but I could not go to them, the fire had gotten to my lungs now too. first my house, now my lungs.
I must have passed out only for a second. The fire truckes, I could hear them now. I calmed down enough to go hold my children. There they were playing in Mitsy's back yard. "Look mommy! a tractor!" she said in excitement. I tried to match hers, but I could not, I just looked away. How does one even begin to explain to two 3 year olds that what they knew as home to them now was no more? Everything they were ever familiar with gone. The cozy bed I had made for us in our family sleeping room, wall to wall mattress. The chairs they sat in every single day to eat their meals in, the ones they assaigned themselves in effort to show each other hey, this one is mine! The paly room that was next to it, all the beloved stuffed cats ad dogs. And their favorite toy of all. The one they each played with day after day, slept with everynight, gone. I could now see my house in plain view as Mitsy's house was kitty corner to mine, her backyard facing my front. Just my children and I alone. I tried to explain to my children that the fire trucks were going to come here with their loud sirens to help save our house. I knew they have always been afraid of them. I tried to brace them. They knew. They were so brave. It was an unspoken understanding of survial between us. I watched as my children played quietly near me as the first fire truck arrived. Minutes later the second, then the ambulance. Then I felt my neighbours hand on my shoulder. She said, "Is there someone you should call?" I dailed 3 numbers. Desperate to get a hold of somebody my children felt safe with. No answer. The 4th person and last on my list. It rang, she picked up, I said, " Mom?"in a small voice. she said "Yes, who?... Charmaine?" She was surprised to hear from me. It had been 3 months since we last spoke. The last words were hurtful between us. She knew, as only a mother would, any mother, even mine, that something was very wrong. " My house is on fire." I said through my tears." I'll be right there." The fear in her voice was certain.I turned to my neighbour as I saw my children watching me, and I knowing that I was about to loose control. "Could you please stay with them for a minute?" I left my children playing at Mitsy's house. I knew they would only react to my emotions. I walked to my house and saw the final fire truck arrive. I heard the fire marshall speak on his radio, "This one's big" Within the 7 minutes it took for the911 call to come in there were at least a dozen or more fire fighters saving my house. I tried to find my husband through the crowd of ppl gathering on the on the block. There he was, standing on our sidewalk, in front of the 1st firetruck starring in disbeiief. I could hear his thoughts. I could see his heart, there in the open for the neighbourhood to see. Everything he knew to be home, all the things he worked so hard to provide for his family. Firefighters were fighting hard to put out. He saw me out of the corner or his eye and he turned and we walked toward eachother. We clung onto eachother like never before. Each trying to draw stregnth in one another. Our bodies shaking violently almost in sync. Eyes closed to shut out the horror in front of us. We finally let the reality hit us, there standing in the middle of the road, in front of our house in flames for all the neighbours to see, in the safety of eachothers embrace. We both cried hard, remembering the things we lost in that house one by one. The real magnatuide not hitting us until months later. Still holding eachother arm in arm we walked silently and stood right on the sidewalk of our beautiuful , small, full of love, first house. We watched as if we were watching from a movie, the firefighters go in and out of our house carrying feet and feet of hoses. I saw firefighter after firefighter walk out of my front door, full of black soot, take off thier helmets to get some air. . That one, that one I will never forget. He took off his helmet and shook his head back and forth, head hung low. He lifted his head and looked up at us, and I knew then that he knew it was our house. I saw his tears. He turned away and disappeared into the sea of yellow. I thought firefighters were not supposed to cry?
Hours later, the firefighters left, truck by truck. The ambulance attendents wanted to take me to the hospital for smoke inhalation but I refused. My kids had been through enough. I was treated at the scene and off they went. People were between then and now coming to us holding us, hugging, offering us anything we needed.Saying sorry. Neighbours were gathering clothes, toys, toothbrushes on thier front lawns. I remember seeing my 4:30 appt show up. Thier last cut before I moved away. They had to come see me before I left. They were worried about who next was going to cut thier hair."What are we going to do without you?" It was surreal seeing thier car pull up amungst all the fire trucks. I thought, wow, life really does go on, even when it's stopped dead cold for you. It was then that I realized that my girls and I were still supposed to be having our afternoon nap. We woke up early that day for some reason. My husband was on his way to pick up the dog from the groomers. We decided to go along. We would be back in time for me to do my 4:30. We would have been in that house. With the door closed and the noise reducer on. We would have been in that house.
My husband and I had been allowed to look in the house after they said it was afe enough to do so. We could not see much. It was black. The house had an errie feeling to it. Death best desribbes it. Our house and everything in it died that day. I peeked into the front door, and could see a toy left on the floor laying where my daughter's had last played with it. A house and thigns were laughter reinged, now dark, cold and empty. Nothing left but the clothes on our backs. Now I know the profound truth to that statement. I found out the hard way.
My husband and I walked to gather our girls who had been fed supper and had had enough of playing in Mitsy's yard. Ther were eager to tell us about the fire marshall who gave them thier teddy bears like they had forgotten we were there with them when he gave the bears to them. We listened like it was the first time hearing the story." Mommy, I need to go home." Words that still pund on my heart to this day, a short year after. I know for sure that we have never felt so lost and alone.