Thursday, February 28, 2008

Up in Flames

"From a little spark bursts a mighty flame."
-Dante Alighier

As I child, I had terrible nightmares about fire. One that remains vivid in my mind is a dream that a music stand in my room (I was taking violin lessons at the time!) suddenly burst into flames. I would lay awake at night trying to figure out what my emergency plan would be in case of fire. In fact, that’s why I start sleeping with the door shut—so I would have somewhat of a barrier from the inferno.
And although these fears seem excessive, fire can happen to anyone. In fact, in the last month, fires have devastated the lives of two families that I know.
On February 7, an explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, GA injured one of my sister-in-law’s good friends, Paul. In fact, he was supposed to be a groomsman in her wedding this weekend. But instead, Paul is battling 3rd degree burns over his whole body in a Burn Center, where he has a long road ahead of him.
Then, yesterday I got the news that Debbie and her husband’s house burned down yesterday. Debbie is one of my mom’s best friends, and she hosted my bridal shower last year. She was able to rescue their two dogs and few personal belongings, but they will be starting over with basically only the clothes on their backs. They are lucky that no one was hurt, but they have a long road ahead of them.
I’m crying for those whose lives have been disrupted by fire and its destruction. I can’t imagine having to sit at the bedside of my husband for a month without hearing his voice, knowing that he is hurting and that he will always have scars of such a terrible catastrophe that took the lives of his friends and coworkers. I can’t even imagine watching your home go up in flames as you wait for the fire trucks to arrive.
But yet, what control do I really have? We have renter’s insurance and we keep our most precious documents, photos, etc. in a fire-resistant safe. What else can you do?


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