Saturday, August 18, 2007

touch of grey

the past few weeks have been such a blur, i feel like i'm just getting back into the swing of things. the last sunday in july, the three of us were at home relaxing in the afternoon when we got a very unexpected phone call. "se nos quemó la casa, juli". to hear my father tell me that our family home had caught fire was...well, there's no words to describe it. apparently the house was struck by lightning and started an attic fire. we were blessed that it happened on a sunday afternoon and that the neighbors were home to knock on the door and tell my parents their house was on fire. the smoke detectors hadn't gone off yet because the fire was only in the attic. as my mom watched the siding start to melt away she started having chest pains. she was taken to the hospital where over the course of the next two days we were again blessed to find out that she has no heart disease and it was not a heart attack. simply a broken heart at watching 30 years of memories go up in flames. i went home as soon as i could to visit and help out in any way i could. but it turns out my son was more helpful than i could ever be. there is something about a baby's smile that seems to make the world disappear and you just forget about everything bad in the world for a few brief moments. though i know the fire was probably always somewhere in the back of their minds, i think antonio's smile and bright eyes helped in the healing process.

as for the house, the damage from the fire itself was minimal. the water damage, however, was not. it will be several months before my parents can move back into the house as the house has to pretty much be rebuilt on the inside.

it's hard to describe how i feel about the fire. our house on mulberry bottom lane was the only house i ever lived in until i got married. yes, i know it's just "stuff" that got ruined. but it's more than that. it's the memories that go with them. there are things that have been ruined that i will never be able to show my son and say "see, this is the dollhouse that i was given that your abuelo carlos glued on each shingle one by one" or "when your abuelo carlos would go on business trips, your tío and tías and i would take turns to sleep in this big bed with your abuela julia" or "this is where your abuelo carlos would tuck his cookie tin at night and i would come home from school and eat the marble cookies". there will be new things to show and share with my children, but it just won't be the same. even though it will be the same house, it will not feel like the same home.