This I Believe

Zandra - Canyon Country, California
Entered on April 16, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: setbacks, work
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I believe it is through the most difficult times in life that we truly grow. A few years back we had a devastating fire at my home. I remember the night as if it were just yesterday. My (then) husband was working nights and I was home with my son and my daughter and my grandson. My daughter was going through a divorce and had recently moved back home. We had all gone to bed for the night, except my daughter who had gone to take clothes out of the dryer, before she settled down for the night. What she found in the garage, was to change our lives forever.

When my daughter went to open the garage door, (which connected from the kitchen) she found the garage engulfed in fire. She yelled for us to get out of the house and to call 911, there was much confusion but we all managed to get out of the house. I grabbed my grandson and took him across the street to a neighbor’s house and called my husband at work and told him he had to come home right away. Little did he know the nightmare that awaited him at home.

My son, bless his heart, worked so hard to save what he could, but was unable to save our small dog, who died from smoke inhalation. He was able to save our motor home from burning down with the house, which turned out to be a blessing as we ultimately had to live in that motor home for a time while our home was being rebuilt.

In a matter of moments, I had lost much of what had made up my life for the past 25 years of my life, my home and everything that spelled security was gone, in an instant we were homeless and displaced, I felt like just giving up. The next day as I searched through my papers to see if we had sufficient insurance to rebuild my home, I felt like I was walking through a dream. Too much had happened and I would never see my way to the other side.

Ultimately, the insurance rebuilt our home, but it was a long haul. It took the builders over a year to rebuild my home. During that time, I learned to fight for what was mine, I had to fight with the insurance company to get the money to rebuild my home, I had to fight with the builders to finally finish my home and move back in and I had to fight to keep my family together.

I learned much from these struggles, I learned that I could endure much more than I thought possible and that I was much stronger than I ever imagined. I learned a lot about managing skills and learned that I could survive anything. It was a difficult time for me as well as my family, but I was finally able to find my way to the other side, a much stronger person.