Yesterday, my house caught fire and burnt to the ground. My roommates and I lost just about everything. My studio on the front porch was incinerated, all of my work and art lost in a pile of ashes. My antique furniture that I had carefully collected over many years is completely charred. All of my clothes are damaged, many beyond repair. But that is nothing compared to my roommates Trey and Brenda. They lost EVERYTHING. All they have now is the clothes on their back. Family heirlooms, treasured art and sentimental letters all went up in a blaze. The worst part is I wasn't even there to mourn with them. I am still stuck in Nashville, and have no idea what (or where) I will be coming home to. For me, this all doesn't seem real. I woke up this morning and laid in bed for a few hours, processing. Did that really just happen? Unfortunately, no matter how long I stayed in bed I realized it wasn't going to change this harsh reality. My home is gone, and so is the past ten years of my life that I kept inside of it.
It is so easy to focus on the bad and let yourself sink into the role of the victim, especially when everything seems to be falling apart. On April 26th, I lost the center of my life, Zero, to a brutal dog attack in my front yard. A huge part of my heart died when he did. I was devastated. One week later, someone broke into my car and stole my laptop, containing my entire life in pictures (including most of Zero). I was in disbelief. When I got the call yesterday from Trey, learning that our home was up in flames, I damn near lost my mind. I am sitting here in Nashville, helpless and terrified of even getting in a car for fear of some other horrible thing happening. However, the Law of Three states that good and bad things happen in sets of three. I am on my knees praying that this is true. I don't know how much more I can take.
Amidst the tragedy however, I have been showered with a level of love and support I had no idea even existed. It is nearly impossible to fall flat on your face when you have so many people holding you up. Its terrifying when something that is supposed to be your safe haven is transformed into a hungry, fiery furnace. If Trey had not been home, my dog Ruca and our bunny would have burned alive. Material possessions are a lot easier to let go of than loved ones, and we are truly blessed that everybody made it out of there in time.
I know I have amazing people in my life, but you all have surpassed any and all expectations one can hope for in friends. I have never felt more surrounded by love. Your texts and posts and calls and prayers have all made their way to me and my roommates. It also blows me away how many of you don't even know me personally, but are willing to pull together whatever you have to help us begin this long journey of rebuilding our lives. Words will never be able to express my gratitude. I can only promise to live my entire life as selflessly as you all have for me. I have to believe there is a reason all of this happened. I've always been one to hold on to my possessions and add extra value to things I've collected throughout my life's many journeys and adventures. Losing any one of those truly upsets me. However, losing everything all at once has instilled a bizarre tranquility. I don't know if I am simply still in shock, or if this inner silence is me recognizing the insignificance of all things material. The people in your life and the stories you share with them are the only things that will last forever. I lost my house, but I didn't lose my home. Home is in the eyes of all of you willing to hold my hand through this difficult time.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,