It was a hot summer day, and the sky was a calico pattern of grays, oranges, yellows and a little blue. One spark from the highway is all it took to create a flame demolishing a lifetime of memorabilia collected by my quirky family of four. A family consisting of passions, strong opinions and affection that lived in a home of equal originality where many memories were made. Our admiration for each other couldn’t grow any stronger, or so I thought.
On top of the hill surrounding our home, my dad and I watched in fascination and disbelief as the orange flames swept the trees and shrubs in the distance, leaving nothing but ash and heat. The wind changed suddenly, and my dad found himself rolling down the hill to escape the flames to safety. Our home was in the line of fire; danger was among us.
It was time to evacuate. Our minds raced with panic, unable to grasp one single thought. Our only worry was our safety; all possessions were pushed aside. My mom, sister, and I escaped down the hill, though my dad was still located in our vanishing property. Up on the roof of the house he stood, holding a hose trying to stifle the fire. Completely detached from the danger of the fire, he was trying to protect his self-built house, his pride and joy. The persistence of my sister and an obedient fireman rescued my dad from his irrational mind and carried him to safety, into the arms of my mom. My dad was a stubborn man, and in a time of chaos he needed the help of his family to bring him back to reality.
We drove away with no destination, but only to safety. Our thoughts were overwhelmed with the recent events, but we were warmed by the thought of knowing that our family had survived. And in twenty minutes a lifetime of “stuff” vanished, destroyed. The summer of 2004 was spent rebuilding our lives, gathering up the daily essentials and trying to piece together our future to get through each day. But, days, months and years later, through the madness of numerous rental houses, we survived the tragedy and we realized that everything lost was all just stuff that will eventually be recollected. My three essentials -my parents and sister- survived, and with the power of love we were an invincible quartette. Just like a phoenix, the Snavely family arose from the ashes.
With the strain from the continuous stress of the fire, my family was forced to strengthen their affection for one another and cuddle our vulnerable states of mind. We grew stronger as individuals, as we all had unique coping styles, and the emotional bond between my family thickened to unbreakable levels. At the end of the mayhem, our home was rebuilt and we were able to settle down once again and nest.
I believe that the love of a family is able to overcome any obstacle and come out stronger, wiser, and more compassionate in the end.
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