I’m not going to make this private but please feel free to skip it as it’s more my own personal pity party with the hope I can quit feeling sorry for myself if I put it in writing.
It’s literally a list of the things I’ve lost that I can’t replace and that break my heart every single day and at the end a reminder to myself of what we DIDN’T lose:
- 50 Chinchillas, most of which born and raised in my home. Almost 8 years I’ve been raising them so by now a majority of what I lost were babies born and raised by us. Not to mention we had about 10 brand new babies, some just days old.
- 15 hedgehogs, again most born and raised in my home. Two picked up from good friends at hedgehog shows, two of which were my son’s that he’s loved and cared for from infancy.
- 4 tenrecs, I’ve had since October that we loved with all of our hearts and had just paired up with the hopes of having our first babies.
- 6 bunnies, all belonging to Joey. 2 of which he raised and was going to enter in 4-H this season.
- My 14 year old Border Collie, my best friend in the world. I’ve been married to Joe almost 9 years, Sugar was with me long before Joe and my kids, she was my entire world for many years. She’s been my constant companion through thick and thin, so many secrets she took with her, so many of my tears have fallen on her fur.
- My 8 year old Lhaso Apso. We got him as a puppy shortly after we bought our house, he was this big fat lump of love. He was my snuggly lap dog, and often he snuggled with me at night when Joe was gone.
Of all my losses these are obviously the worst, the ones I just can’t let go of.
We also lost:
- A bedroom set we hated, because the drawers were small, but I loved because they were heirloom pieces belonging to my great, great, great grandmother.
- A curio cabinet my grandpa built me before his arthritis got so bad he couldn’t build anymore. It’s the only one he ever built
- A cedar chest my grandpa built me when I was 16, being the oldest it was the first he built.
- A corner table handed down to me when my great grandmother died, again belonging to my great, great, great grandmother.
- All of the photos of the kids we had in the house, the baby books, our wedding album and photos, not one single photo made it.
- A gun cabinet handed down by my dad to Joe, that belonged to my great grandfather
- All of my books, I am an avid collector of hard cover series books. From Harry Potter to the Alex Cross series, they are all gone
- All of our important documents, mortgage papers, deed to the house, birth certificates, social security cards, savings bonds the kids have been given
- Christmas ornaments I’ve had since I was a year old, I was given 2 each year by two different sets of grandparents, we continued the tradition with the kids so theirs are gone as well.
- Every toy that belonged to my kids, every single item they owned, clothes, dolls, stuffed animals, radios, I-Pods, you name it. Joey’s room was completely obliterated when the firemen cut a hole in his bedroom ceiling to vent the smoke.
- My Mary Moo Moo Collection, my Boyd’s Bear Collection, my collection of Hedgehog knick knacks collected over the past 8 years, many of which I bought at shows or on E-Bay, things that were one of a kind and can’t ever be replaced.
- Two paintings my great grandmother gave me, she was a very talented painter in her time. She can’t paint anymore her arthritis is much too bad.
So many more things were lost and can’t be replaced, but these are the things I grieve for, each of these had sentimental value, a story behind them, they can’t be replaced or repaired.
To balance this out and keep myself from dwelling on it I am clinging to the memories. Each of these items has a vivid memory attached, each of the animals that died I remember the day they were born or the day they joined my family. I am walking a thin line but I am clinging to the years of memories and trying to remind myself my family is safe, my kids weren’t home and weren’t harmed, Joe wasn’t home and wasn’t harmed, and thank God I wasn’t in town because if I was I would have gone in to try to save my animals and I probably wouldn’t have made it out. I am trying so hard to see the bigger blessings here and to remind myself we’re not the first to lose pets and belongings in something like this and we won’t be the last and our family is in tact and un-harmed.
Everyday is a little easier, but I can’t go back in to the house. I want no part of the house, the property, or anything remaining there. It’s our life in ashes and soot and I just want it all gone. We are not re-building there, the foundation is to me tainted with the blood of my pets and the destruction of 9 years worth of building my home. So at this time we are not re-building, we are demolishing the house, and selling the lot and will start from scratch.
This is why the rental is so bittersweet for me. We have nothing to put in it, no photos to hang, no knick knacks, even our dishes and silverware will be rented. BUT, we have our family, we have each other and THAT is what makes our home so we will survive this.