Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it

Where do you start? September 11, 2008

Filed under: Fire — Steph @ 10:00 am

I know I am not the first person this has happened to and I am trying to refrain from blogging just for that reason.  I am having a serious pity party and I know it.  So I am going to preface this post with two things…

  • There will be photos at the end of my fire damage, if you don’t want to look please don’t feel you have to.  If you’re sensitive to my animal loss definitely skip them.  There are no dead animal photos of course, but there are photos of what is left of their room and cages.
  • I am writing this more for me than anything else because I have to get my feelings out here…

How do you start to rebuild when your whole world has crumbled down around you?  Who do you blame?  It must be someone’s fault this thing happened to you, to me!!  I NEED someone to blame, someone to cuss, kick, punch, and yell at.  I have no one to place the blame on.

Our fire was started by an oscillating fan.  How many of you use oscillating fans 24/7 in the Summer?  If you do all I can say is, please don’t!!  Ours was on 24/7 but it also had a temperature regulator that shut it off at a certain temperature and it was also plugged in to a surge protector bar.  Even if the fan stalled and overhauled the outlet it should have tripped the surge protector.  It did.  It should have tripped the breaker, it did.  But still it set the house on fire.

You could call it an act of God, you could call it fate, you could call it karma, I just call it “life sucks”.

We had contingency plans.  If you go further back in this blog or on to my MySpace page there’s a meme I filled out once upon a time and it asks for your biggest fear.  Mine was “my house catching on fire”.  My friend and neighbor pointed that out to me last night.

We always said in a fire we’d get the kids out first, then my dogs, then the animals we raised.  We’d throw 10 hedgehogs in one bin and sort them out later.  We’d stuff 20 chinchillas in each carrier we kept stashed for this reason and sort them later.  Apparently life doesn’t care about your contingency plans.  What is your contingency plan when it starts in their area?  What is your contingency plan when you’re not home?  When the neighbors aren’t home?  The stickers in the window telling the Fire Department to get the animals out?!  They aren’t going to do that people.  They can’t.  When there is so much smoke and heat they have to switch out respirators 3 times, there is no hope.

So now we pick up the pieces, but how?  How do you pick up the pieces?  How do you re-build when 8 years of your life is gone?  When your kids’ baby books are gone?  When your wedding album is gone?  When the 50 animals who have been your heart and soul for 10 years are gone?  How do you fix that?  Who do you blame?  How do you start over?  Where is the silver lining??

How about the 15 year old dog, the dog I had before I met my husband and kids?  My best friend and constant companion for15 years laid on the living room floor and fell asleep.  Probably thinking I would be coming to get her.  My 8 year old dog, the dog we got right after buying our house, hid under my bed waiting for us to save him as his lungs filled with the smoke that was so thick they had to cut a hole in the roof to vent it.

How do you re-build after this?  Where do you start?  Can someone please tell me?

I have been in the house 4 times now, I can’t go back in.  I physically can’t make myself.  The last 4 mornings I have gone over every morning to check the trap for my last missing cat, today she was in there (thank you God) and I am never going back.  All I cared about trying to save is gone.  My family is safe, my losses are catastrophic.  Everytime I go I find one more lost piece of our lives we can’t replace no matter how much money the insurance company gives us, no matter how much money my community raises, there are things we can’t replace.

I struggle to get out of bed in the morning.  I struggle to get dressed, shower, leave the house.  I have no where to go.  I have nothing of mine.  My kids have nothing of theirs.  They have new things of course, but they have no place of their own, it’s all gone.  Joey’s bed is under the weight of the ceiling and roof they cut a gaping hole in to vent the smoke.  Elizabeth’s crib is black, her Cabbage Patch kid is melted in to the entertainment center.  There are things melted in to things I can’t even identify, but I know they were a part of our life, our part of our family and they are gone.

I don’t know where to go from here, I am so lost.

People are nice to me and I cry.  People, please say something mean!!??  If you cry with me I will cry, if you say something shitty I will have someone to yell at!!

My dogs are being cremated next week, they are being cared for, they are with me, they will be with me forever, but they are physically gone to me and that is a grief I almost can not stand.

I am not well, I am trying, but I am not well.  I am struggling to survive.  I will prevail because that’s who I am, but I can honestly say I have never been knocked this far down, I have never felt like I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have never felt like it won’t get better, for my kids, for Joe, for myself.  Right now I feel that way.

Anti anxiety meds are helping, but I can’t stay buried under them forever.  Hugs and kisses from my kids help more than anything else and yet I still feel so tired and so defeated.  I hope there is a silver lining out there, I hope it makes itself visible soon, because right now all I feel is a deep and profound loss and devastation I simply can’t explain.


6 Responses to “Where do you start?”

  1. slackermommy Says:

    Holy shit! I am so sorry. I also have a fear of my house burning down and my pets not being saved. This just makes me sick. How can I help? I can get you clothes. How old are your kids and what sizes are you and your husband? I can help raise money too. Let me know, I want to help.

  2. Jason, Shelley and Lucas Kirkland Says:

    Steph and Joe fallen sword brought us together laughs and times shared has made us acquaintances. We cannot imagine the Rough time you are going through. Shell and I feel your pain and wish you all the best.

  3. Philip Jauch Says:

    You don’t really know me. I am new to the fallensword guild just before this fire happened. It seems such a small world sometimes. I grew up in Gillette and lived not far from your house, over on Buckskin. Sometimes, things get tough. I think it is then we learn the most about who we are and just how strong we can be. I am keeping your family in my prayers for the after affects of this time in your lives. The market in Gillette for housing and rentals is very tough right now and that is in my prayers also. May God bless you in the coming days.

  4. Liz Says:


    Hang in there. I know the feeling of loss and devastation and how deep it can run. As well as how helpless it can make you feel. Try to take one day at a time. This is all you can do right now. Also try not to shut yourself off from those around you. Other than that let the pity party carry on. If you did not truly need it to survive it would not be there.

    I am thinking of you, Joe and the little ones.

    Once day at a time.


  5. Matthew(faralen in fallen sword) Says:

    I am so sorry for you i just saw your guild saw you and well yeah i saw this link i cryed when i read this i can get you at least 10k gold but i am a lvl 23 so ill try my best to help you on fallensword

  6. Scott(Theone980) Fallensword Says:

    I’m sorry for you,Just take one day at a time And don’t give up.I Belong to a Guild called peacekeeper’s,I am the treasurer over there,if you need any fsp’s just get ahold of me,i usually don’t give them out,however in this case only,just Ask me..

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