I received this photo from my brother approximately 12 hours after we had said goodbye to he and my dad yesterday morning. This is a picture of the house where my husband, children, and dogs had just spent a beautiful Memorial Day weekend. This is the house where I spent the first 18 years of my life.. then holidays, my summer breaks, and occasional weekends over the next 4 until I moved to Kansas City when it became the house I looked forward to bringing my family to enjoy the simplicity of a slower pace from our normal day-to-day lives.
There aren't adequate words to express the devastation that comes with seeing your childhood home, decades of pictures and sentimental belongings, my dad and brother's livelihood, and the items we had yet to go through which belonged to my momma disappear in a tragic fire in a matter of hours.
My brother was at work, and smoke alarms awoke my dad to give him just enough time to escape. Their sheep and barns were unaffected, but tragically, their family dog did not survive.
I just keep saying to people, almost as if I need to convince myself it really happened, "I had breakfast there yesterday morning." And by evening, it was no more. I had just slept in my childhood bedroom. I had just sat on the back porch looking out at my favorite back yard. I had lounged on the couches of our living room, stepped inside my momma's closet to touch the endless amount of sweaters she once wore, listened to my son "play music" on the piano I learned to play, and sat at the beautiful amish-built kitchen table talking with my dad.. and it's gone.
This took place on the 6 month anniversary of my mom's passing.
I am still in a complete state of shock and cannot find one feeling to settle into, but probably the most important one I could cling to is how thankful I am that my family was not there, and for the safety of my dad and brother.