Thankful for Life

No call at 2:30 a.m. is good. Ever. As soon as I saw that my ex was calling at that hour, my heart stopped. I feared the worst, but fortunately, the bad news was good, considering other possible outcomes.

It was an Army style conversation basically: BLUF for Bottom Line Up Front. Our daughter’s apartment was on fire, but she got out and is safe.

The brief call put me into action. It was time to move. So my boyfriend and I raced over to her apartment, which is fortunately in the same town. There stood my daughter, my son, their dad and my daughter’s roommate, shivering in strangers’ blankets in shoes, watching an inferno. The flames were roaring and there was nothing we could all do but stand back and watch the girls lose everything they owned


In one breath, I was hurting for my baby girl and her friend. They were in shock, just standing there. Helpless. All of their belongs turning into ash right before them. Grandmother’s ring, melted. Grandpa’s cufflinks, gone. Treasured pictures of former pets, burnt. Wonderful tokens of love from their college boyfriends, erased. All their sorority sister memorabilia, ash. Every piece of clothing, minus the sleeping shorts and t-shirts they ran out with, dust. Their new kitchen table and couch, rubble.

But no tears fell. We all just stood there thankful…because we also knew, we were the luckiest people ever.

My daughter and her friend escaped with nothing, but yet everything. They were able to wake up to the smell of smoke and run out. No shoes, no jackets, just their fearful minds and broken hearts made it outside. (With some luck of fortune, my daughter did stumble upon her purse as she ran to the door, so she at least had her IDs.) They may have nothing, but we still had them. They were alive and all else could be replaced, or at least remembered fondly.

I thank God that he protected the girls and led them to safety. I thanked God for the kindness of their fellow neighbors who were handing out water and shoes and blankets to the girls. It was a beautiful moment that gave me hope in the kindness of people. It is still out there. Thank God.

So as the walls of her home burned, we all hugged and chatted and thanked God that the fire only took “stuff.”  The girls were alive and well. That was the most important thing of all.

So as the sun rose and the flames fell, the rubble stood calling out a message… With God and each other, we can overcome all.



For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge.

Note: I did NOT take these photos, but I felt compelled to share them with my story. I hope that is ok and thank you for letting me vent.

For those of you who may be interested, one of their sorority sister’s set up a GoFundMe page for them. You can find it here.

And you can see my baby girl on the news. I wish it was not for such a tragic event, but at least she is alive to tell her story.

Dozens Left Homeless After Apartment Fire



23 thoughts on “Thankful for Life

    • Yeah, my ex and I are friendly, but we don’t really chat on the phone. So when I get a call from him, especially at that hour, I know it is serious. I am just glad it was not the worst. This, I can deal with. Now comes the pain and reality of rebuilding her life. It is a tough lesson at any age, and I hate that she is having to go through this. It was just heart breaking this morning as she was trying to get ready without her makeup and brush and clothes. You know how us girls like to have our own things to feel good. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s good to talk about these things, and I’m glad we are all here to lend support. I’m so glad your daughter and friend got out safely. My daughter also went through this, and with family and friends she got through the tragedy. Stay strong together!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I appreciate the avenue to talk about it. And it nice to hear that your family survived it as well. (Nice that you understand it, not that you went through it that is.) My daughter feels bad about saying what she needs now that people have started asking her. I told her people want to help and like to feel needed and like they contributed. So, if they offer, let the help and offer them ideas on what she could use. Did your daughter feel this way too?


        • I’ll try to tell my daughter that. Today is when it sinks in more as the shock wears off. And she so independent that the fact of needed others will be hard at first. But, one day at a time.


  2. Michelle, you’re exactly right: people are always more important than “stuff.” An online friend’s relative suffered a similar loss just yesterday. Their entire house burned and it was only through God’s intervention that the mother woke up and got out, along with her three children. Tragic, but nothing like it would have been had one of more of them been killed.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Praise God they got out! Stories like this are bad. It sucks to lose all of your belongings. But, compared to the loss of a loved one, I will rebuy things any day.


        • I hear ya. Her and I were just talking about her favorite things and the struggle of making a list of wants versus needs. It is a hard lesson at any age, but particularly a young college girl. But overall, I am proud of her because she appreciates the fact that she is alive and well, and that cannot be purchased.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Direction of the Light) | Lens and Pens by Sally

    • I saw no choice in it as the other option was, I could have lost my daughter. A family member lost a child a few years ago to an accident. It has been tragic and I learned, that is just a wound that never really heals. So I have to be full of thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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