Monday, September 29, 2003


I wasn't going to post today, because believe it or not, this weekend was worse than last weekend's storm-damaged weekend and I'm very sad and upset and not really sure what to say. My sister's house caught on fire Saturday night, and as destroyed as it seemed from the storm damage, it is far, far worse now. I don't want to say too much because they're very worried about what the insurance company might infer, but this was definitely a very tragic accident. They were out of town when it happened and aren't even making it back until tonight. [Side note: Northwest Airlines does not consider your house burning down an "emergency," only a death in the family. They wouldn't let them change to an earlier flight to come home yesterday - it would have cost $400. I definitely won't be using them ever again as an airline carrier.]

The neighbors rescued their two dogs, but their two cats died from smoke inhalation. They found Luna in the bathtub Saturday night and unfortunately, I was the one who found Pooh Sunday afternoon as we were trying to salvage some of their belongings. In a way, I'm glad I found him because I certainly wouldn't want my sister or brother-in-law to have found him later this week. We also got rid of all the cat food, feeding dishes and litter box so they wouldn't see them when they finally get home. The dogs are at my parents' house, which can't be easy because they don't have a fenced yard.

I've never known anyone whose house has caught on fire, only what I've seen on TV, and the devastation is terrible. Smoke and water seemed to do more damage than the actual fire. They literally now own just the clothes on their backs and anything else they had packed for their trip. Thank God my sister's wedding album was still sitting in her truck where she placed it when the floods came. And by some miracle, her hope chest was only charred and warped on the outside. Everything on the inside was soot and water free. Her wedding dress and other wedding mementos are now in my family room. My mom took home a bunch of wet photographs and was going to try to dry them out - her baby portrait collage, her baby photo that was mounted with her bronzed baby shoes, pictures from trips to Hawaii and their cruise...

Needless to say, I've been a little distracted at work today. I hardly slept at all last night. Everytime I closed my eyes, all I could see was their destroyed house. I feel so helpless and don't know what to do. Mark and I haven't even been in our own house long enough to accumulate any extra furniture. The only thing I have to offer is our old kitchen set, which is currently serving as a catch-all desk in the family room. I wish my sister and I wore the same size clothes, but alas, she is in the 4-6 range and let's just say you'd probably need to put a "1" in front of those numbers for me.

I'm sorry if this is a bit incoherent and rambling. Everytime I look at my hands and see the black still stuck under my fingernails, I just want to lay my head down on my desk and cry. I can't wait for my sister to get home tonight, even though I don't know what to say to her. I just want them to be home, wherever that might end up being.