Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Elderly Complex Destroyed by Arson, Residents Have No Home

Firemen sorting throught the
ruins of the Complex.

Lady recieving assistence through Red Cross.

Some of the residents of the complex watching in shock, horror, and fear.

I am tired past the point of exhaustion. I wish I could turn off the rambling thoughts in my brain and lie down and rest, possible even sleep.I woke up this morning after a tense sleep, forgetting the fire had happened. I went to feed my cat and my Mother was lying on the sofa bed, with her dog snuggled next to her. The comfort she finds in her dog is amazing. The sight of her and her dog quickly brought back the last 48 hours. I could see the fire all over again and all the elderly people lying on the ground, those w/o their oxygen, those w/o their robes or shoes, lying on the cold ground, and crying. One poor woman cried for her Daddy. This woman was probably in her 80s. I got a blanket from Red Cross and covered her up, hugged her close to me to give her bodily heat and a human touch. She begged me to find her Daddy. I really didn't know if she was in a state of shock or had a bit of demintia, but I assured her that her Daddy was okay. What do we tell those at a time like that ? I think God understood I did the best I could. She ended up being one of the elderly transported to the hospital due to not having her oxygen. A man sat in a wheelchair, he had no legs but he sat there patiently, watching the fire burn his home down. I did not know what to say to him, so I just got him a blanket and covered him also. I asked him if I could call anyone for him. He told me he had nobody to call. My Mother, in her own need to avoid the reality of losing her home walked around offering assistence to others. She is 82 and needed assistence herself, but she did not stop looking around for her friends that also lived at the Elderly Complex. She needed re-assurance that her friends were alive and out of the burning building. The two people who had jumped from the second floor were taken to the hospital. Amid the chous was an errie sense of calmness. I thought of all these people, most of them in their 80s and realized they were survivors. Most of them had been through more in their life than I would ever know of and this was just another hurdle in the battle of life for them to overcome .. and overcome it they would. They would somehow get past this time in their life and come back an even stronger person. Perhaps temporarily set back, but their spirit not broken.
I sit her this morning, with the smell of smoke around me. I managed to get a few of my Mother's belongings yesterday. The smell of smoke is so intense to me . I want to throw all the things away, but my Mother looks through her slightly damp pictures, remembering every moment in her life and I know somehow I will find the strength to deal with a little discomfort in my own life to help her keep her memories intact.I see her with her head down, looking at someone in a long ago snapshot. I wonder what is going on in her mind. I leave her alone with her memories, knowing for a few golden moments she can forget the tragedy of losing her home and belongings. What is a little bit of smoke in life compared to raging fires that destroy lives and homes ? When my Mother gets upset and worried about losing her home, I remind her of things to be thankful for, no deaths, very little injuries, and material possessions can never replace a life. Live's were not lost, material possessions were. Grieve for what one needs to, but don't borrow grief when there is reason for gratefulness instead.

My Mother and her Dog.

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