Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lessons

We had the Fire Family over last night and what a mess they are. It was a hard night. At any given moment, tears fell. Heads turned to keep the kids from seeing our moments of intense emotion. So much loss. They are living in a hotel until they can manage to find a place to rent. A place they can call home, until they rebuild a house.

We did Mrs. Fire’s laundry for her. The 2 shirts her husband has. The one sweater she has. The small handful of clothes for the 2 kids. Not much. It wasn’t the 16 loads of laundry she was use to but 3 small loads of almost everything they have.

Sleep has eluded the parents. Nights filled with worry. So much to think about, figuring out how to navigate putting your life back on track. Making things stable for the kids. Worrying about money, insurance, the marraige and the future.

There are many lessons I am learning from this. First and foremost is that material possessions are ridiculously overrated. It’s just stuff. It’s ok not to have the 4 personalized lunch boxes. It’s ok to have only one pair of jeans. It’s ok not to have the cute sparkly pink kid plates. It’s just stuff, you don’t really need it and you are still you even without them.

Sadly, we live in a place where material goods are used as a marker of ones success. We can complain all we want, but we need to take some time to remember how lucky all of us truly are. In the grand scheme of things, even the most disgruntled among us is living better than 99% of our fellow inhabitants on the planet.

10 comments:

Tina said...

My heart goes out to that family and it's so wonderful of you to help them with what they are going through. We can never imagine losing everything and this is a good reminder that puts things into perspective.

Hanlie said...

That is so true! Our society places a lot of value on possessions.

I am really sorry for them though... I go through a lot of anguish when I lose just one thing, so I can't imagine what it would be like to lose everything.

Wendy said...

it must be devestating losing all of your possesions. but on the other hand....you are right...at least they are safe. at least they still have eachother. i feel bad for them though.... how sad to lose everything you own..everything you worked hard for.

Teresa said...

My heart goes out to the family, and I hope your home is safe. Your right, it is just stuff, at least they all are safe. Things can always be replace, but not lives. Good luck to the family.

Gigi said...

You are a good friend to these folks. I'm sure they appreciate it beyond words. I hope you are healing as well.

I agree about the possessions. The only things I would care about losing would be the personal momentos - the things that can't be replaced: photos, baby things, journals and personal gifts. But sometimes it takes a crisis to put it all in perspective. You also find out who your real friends are.

Angie Eats Peace said...

I am so sorry for your friends, and anyone else who was effected : /
It really does put what is truly important back in perspective.

MizFit said...

so true about the possessions.
I like to think I got it---but didnt until I lived in the third world for a goodlongwhile.

SeaShore said...

How heartbreaking for your friends.

destinationathlete said...

You are so great for helping the family in their time of need. I'm sure they appreciate it more than they'll ever say.

And as far as material posessions - by far, everything you say is true. I know I focus too much on "stuff" and reading this...makes me realize how much I need to change that.

H.K. said...

Your post is a great reminder to put my priorites straight & count my blessings! When my husband was unemployed, we sold a lot of our material possessions and realized that they really were only stuff. We had our health, each other and because of that situation we don't take anything for granted.