The official word is in: the city has condemned the building. Because it is condemned, we cannot enter the house. Contractors will be hired to retrieve as much as is salvageable, which in our case should be just about everything.
I will never set foot in our home again.
It is certainly true, and important to remember, that there were no fatalities, and that is a very fortunate thing. To call it miraculous would not be an exaggeration, considering the nature of the fire. What I keep hearing and reading is that “no lives were lost”. I’m not sure that’s an accurate assessment, though. It isn’t just about our possessions, even. We lived in that home. It was our home.
We loved living there. Peanut spent her first summer, just a year ago, gazing out that living room window at the trees outside. She had just learned to crawl up our stairs. She had only just discovered, only just last week, how fun it could be to pull herself up at our nearly-floor-length bedroom window to look out, slapping her hands against the glass, and giving it kisses.
The life we built was in that home. We’ll build another one, and the construction of that life has already begun, but the one we had is lost. We feel rather lost. As much as I am comforted to know that we’ll more likely than not end up with most of our sentimental possessions, and not having to replace everything, I still just want to go home.
And I can’t.