The process of systematically digging through ashes and rubble to find any remaining childhood memories is not for the faint of heart. The smell alone is enough to make you want to quit. And yet you push through because you hope to find something that you can hold on to. It might seem silly or even ridiculous, as they are just objects, but these are objects that represent your past, objects that were used and held by the two people who loved you unconditionally from the time you were conceived.
The house is not a mess but a disaster. Walking through the house is dangerous as the second floor is unstable. The floors are covered in glass, ashes, roof tiles and debris. At first glance the thought of finding anything in the thick layers covering the floor seems impossible, but then you start carefully searching and gently digging through each section of the floor. It’s a slow process, but a rewarding one. We found family photo albums that were only burned on the outside and others that were not damaged at all. We found my dad’s flute, although it had been broken either by the roof falling on it or a fireman stepping on it. Other little sentimental treasures were found, but the one I have been searching for that is dearest to my heart has yet to be found.
There is still much work to be done regarding the house. I am grateful for all of the close family friends who came to help this past week. It hasn’t been easy for any of us entering the house. There have been moments when tears just fall because I know this is where my parents lost their lives. This was supposed to be their retirement home. They worked so hard on it. I was happy that they had finally had a home to rest in once they were retired after working so hard for others their whole lives. They are resting now, but I’m still processing everything. Thankfully I have my Jesus and an assurance that I will hug my parents again one day.
***I thought about posting pictures of the mess, but have decided against it. I think it would be too graphic. It’s better to remember the beautiful times you had in their home and not have the ugly images flashed before you.