Family Vs. Fire {A Year In Recovery, A Year In Review}

One year ago today my family wife & I left our house at about 9am to head for Oklahoma City for an afternoon together to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary that was the next day. While we were shopping, around lunch time, I got a call from my grandfather who is a retired firefighter that always listens to the scanner.  I can still hear his words "I think your house is on fire".  A twenty minute drive later we came upon the firefighter trying their best in 100 degree heat to put out the fire that had obviously been burning for hours before anyone could call 911.  All that was left was a ceder chest that was still on fire when it was pulled out but never the less it mostly protected our family photos, kids memory books, & some other important documents. You can read the full post just 48 hours after it happened here.

These guys were awesome!

We tried to bring it up to the kids so we could talk about it a bit but they were not having it. The youngest two reflected a bit & were happy about how great life is but not Jayden. You know, even after all this time, his autism still catches me off guard.  When we talked a few days ago about the anniversary of the fire he pulled me aside & said "Daddy, I have a question. Why would you want us to celebrate a disaster? That doesn't really make sense." So we had a talk about not celebrating the disaster but the resilience of our family & our ability to pick ourselves us in the face of tragedy instead of feeling sorry for ourselves. We talked about how much better our life is than even before the fire. I was very happy we got to talk about how when bad things happen there is always hope & if you just keep your head up & move forward you will get to where you need to be. We use hard times & tragedies not as a crutch but as a fuel for the fire.

It's a hard thing for a family to have everything dear to them torn away but disaster but it's also a good thing. We realized what was important in life, learned how strong we really are, & saw the good in a lot people. We are a better and a stronger family now. My wife & I have a better marriage even. The boys rarely even talk about the fire anymore. It's just something that happens & when it comes up its not really a super sad thing to talk about. It's amazing how fast kids can bounce back after something like that.

I think one of the most amazing things about the fire was witnessing our friends and family come together to support us. I should not say friends and family because the way the autism community and the readers of this blog showed out for our family qualifies you all as family. Sunday Stilwell and an  Of special needs parents raised $5000 for us and a time when we only had the money in our pocket and the cloths on our back. I will never forget that. And while I can't pay everyone back I can pay everything forward.

PS The moral of this story is not burn down your house & your life will be better! ;)

I'm not sure what RedBox movie that was melted to the TV but I'm pretty sure it's gonna be late

Our bedroom, I always knew it got hot in the bedroom but man!! This is crazy!

Shortly after the fire, when we found a new place to live, we had a House 'Warming" Party! Compare the cake to the photos of the house on the day of the fire! They match up, event the firetruck is in the right place!! My mom rocks at cakes!

A few small scraps of one of Jayden's many notebooks. He found these & brought them to me

Everyone coping however they can as Samantha goes through & airs out wet photos

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to believe it has been a year since that fateful day. In some ways it seems like so much longer when I look at all the positive changes and blessings that have come your way.

    I'm forever grateful to our special needs community for rallying around you and your family.


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