This is the beginning of another chapter. Just two days ago... on Monday... Austin and I made a quick trip for McDonalds (for him) and talked about how we had been in the same home for almost three years and how much that had meant to him... he listed off the friends he had made by living there.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Of course, I would also tell you that I wondered to myself if all of those friends were friends I would have chosen for him... but that is beside the point now...
I had finally found a replacement for my Bitty Kitty who ran away. My cousin had a five month old baby boy who was neutered and up to date on shots. My mom drove down to my cousin's in Hogansville to pick him up... and kept him for the few days in between when I was able to find someone willing to bring him to us... my friend Tami, who I've known since high school, was staying in Riverdale for the weekend and was willing to bring unnamed baby kitty when she came back home to Cleveland yesterday.
I wasn't feeling well yesterday but was determined to work the entire day. My blood pressure was up. My back was flared up. I just didn't feel good. I have these cold sweats that are a side effect of one of my meds and they had me drenched to the skin most of the day. I couldn't wait to get home to change and kick back and relax.
But then... some time after 3pm, I got a call from austin. I could barely understand what he was saying... it was loud and it sounded like he was in a room full of children. Instead he was in a police car with our two cats - who were shrieking like jackals - and our house was on fire. I made him repeat himself several times. It just couldn't be happening. Three years ago I lost everything and now... I was once again going to have to rebuild our lives? How could it be?
I rushed home. The police and fire trucks had the road blocked... right at the corner where I say good morning to "mayor" the little neighborhood stray dog every morning. The police told me I was going to have to turn around, that a house was on fire... I said, "It's my house"... she said "are you Austin's mom?" My child is infamous.
Actually ... what made him infamous was the fact that when woken from his vampire sleep in the middle of the day, the very first thing he said to the fireman was, "I have two cats... we have to get my cats"... and before leaving the smoking home, Austin and the fireman found those babies and got them to safety. He had a box for the new kitty but wasn't sure where Stubby's carrier was.
My landlord arrived at the same time I did and walked me the two hundred yards or so to the house. The house was struck by lightning. It hit in the corner of the roof and burned through the attic on both sides of the duplex. It was contained in the attic in all but Austin's room. The ceiling fell in there... with burning boards and saturated insulation. The damage was severe enough that the house will have to virtually be rebuilt... all the wiring is fried. My landlord... his name is Steve... he's a really sweet man... said, "you're going to have to find a new place to live". He was so worried about me... he hugged me... kept telling me it was going to be ok.
The firemen walked in with us and helped up gather up necessities. All our belonging are smoke and waterlogged. Probably most electrical items will have to be replaced. Except my laptop. It was JUST FINE! I'll call a restoration company today to have them begin work to extract the smoke and water smell from our belongings. I'm at Jim and Angie's for now and Austin and the cats are with my parents.
I'm going to start by thanking God for the amazing things He did: he woke up Austin in time, he gave Austin the sense to save the babies, he put compassionate people in his path to help him manage two cats in the pouring rain for the time it took for me to get there, our stuff stinks but is not ruined, save a box of old pictures that I had been meaning to scan.
The Lord apparently means for me to hold on to things lightly, you know.
Some precious things were not lost: baby clothes, my grandmother quilt she made for me, my grandmother's bible.
My blood pressure has remained high ever since (go figure) I'm dizzy and weepy and in a lot of pain. I don't think I've stopped crying since the first phone call. I have a horrible headache. My eyes are swollen so bad it looks like I went ten rounds in a prize fight last night. There is a lot to do that only I can do and it must be done quickly. I need a new place to live. I have been praying about moving for over a year because I wanted to spend less on a home. Maybe this is God's way of leading me to that cheaper place.
There are some things I have to replace right away... my make up was water logged, my straightening iron and hair dryer were as well. I have to get some clothes to wear for the next few days until the restoration company comes in. There are lists to make and things to do and I'll likely miss a day or two of work in the process and... well the truth is that I was barely surviving my workdays and crashing immediately afterwards. I've got to find strength that for now isn't in me.
I fell asleep last night when it was still light outside. Jamie tucked me in ...she sat on the bed with me while she and I made up stories and made lists of silly things like, "name every food you can think of that starts with the letter G" - she came up with "gravy"... that was pretty smart! I asked her what name she would give herself if she wasn't Amanda James... she said she would be "Elizabeth" so I told her about her great-great-grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth. Precious, precious times. She has a real gift, that child... a genuine spirit of mercy... she was not going to let me suffer alone.
It's another bump in the road. It's another challenge. It's something that was a shock to me but not a surprise to God and I know. I KNOW that He is going to use this situation to my good and His Glory. He always does.
Pray that I will stop this ridiculous crying, put my big girl drawers on and deal with it.
Love and hugs...
Posted by Heather at 5:08 AM