Santa Rosa Fires

I have two lovely sisters. One I grew up with and is my best friend, the other I met when I was 22.

One lives in Reno, the other lives in Santa Rosa.

I was desperate to get in touch with my birth family while fires were raging in Santa Rosa, Napa and Sonoma.

My sister was the first person to respond.

She told me that our mother’s house was likely burned to the ground.

I was heartbroken and yet I didn’t cry. . .

. . until she sent me a photo of a gutted building.

I burst into tears.

All I could think of were lost memories. The history that house contained. How special it was to me because it was where I reunited with my birth mother’s family and met my stepfather and his enormous family.

I cried and cried.

I forwarded the photo to my boys and my family.

I sent it to everyone who mattered to me to let them know that the house was gone.

10 minutes later I got a message from my sister.

It was a picture of her school and MOM’S HOUSE IS STILL STANDING.

From the depths of despair to the wings of angels, I was lifted up out of sorrow and so thankful for this miracle.

How blessed are we?

The house survived. All my family survived. Their pets survived.

What more could we ask for other than to mitigate the suffering of those who did lose everything in the fire?

I could KILL my sister for letting me think Mom’s house had burned, but I’m just too happy that my family is intact to stay mad about anything.

Really at times like this you realize that we all have each other and that’s all you really need to be happy.

God bless the families who lost property or loved ones in the fires.

Up in flames

As soon as I stepped outside the house, it hit me.

The overwhelming scent of fire.

One thing was clear: Something had burned during the night.

I drove to work and was walking to my building when I got a text from Barbara.

“Hope your family in Santa Rosa is safe.”

What?

Was there a shooter? An earthquake? What happened?

I immediately called Barbara back.

“There’s fires in Santa Rosa,” she told me. “It’s bad.”

I immediately got on the phone and tried to reach my birth mom.

In my haste, I inadvertently walked into a crosswalk that was closed due to construction, incurring the wrath of a very tall, beet faced man.

He was waving his arms at me wildly.

I stepped out of the crosswalk but he continued to make wild gestures at me.

Sigh.

So this is how the day is going to go.

First, the fires, and now an angry construction worker.

I burst into tears.