I finally collapsed last night about 10 PM, but find myself wide awake at 2 AM, unable to sleep. So I thought I'd ramble down to my brother's den, logged on (never knew how much I disliked dial-up internet), and burn some time on here. Believe me, it is very theuraputic for me, right now to just talk. So bare with me this morning, as I may ramble on (something I have never been guilty of).
Again - I can't tell you all enough of how much your responses and kind offers have touched me and my family. When I told my wife of what was going on on Redszone, she was simply overwhelmed. I told her that this is so much more, at least for me, then a simple sports forum
. It's a retreat, or form of release.
What has occurred yesterday, and believe me, I have never in my 50 years on this earth had to go through anything like this, has deeply and profoundly changed me as a person (and for the good too).
Ideologies, differences, prejudices, whatever, that divide people and keep them at a distance - those "walls" have been utterly torn down for me. They hold no substance or value when one thinks of it. Or when one goes through such a circumstance as what we have just went through. In a way, it is saddening that it takes a circumstance like yesterday to "awaken" someone to this truth.
Believe me when I say this in all sincerity, and please don't misunderstand my intent - I can now sympathize and understand far, far greater now then ever before
, with people whom I've never known or met, yet have read or heard about in my life, that have suffered such similar losses/tragedies. Because I, and my family, are now experiencing the same. As a Christian, I am a firm believer in "trial by fire that refines". That though on the surface it looks like a pit that one cannot escape or understand it's relevancy...or even comprehend what good can ever came out of any of this - "I mean, MY GOD I just lost every material possession that we own" - I cannot claim to be a person of faith, while not holding onto the hope that God is/will be at work in this tragedy. As I have already stated, less then 24 hours after all this has occurred, it already has had it's effect in just this short time
. That, IMO, is a far greater miracle I've read about in the Bible, because it is experiential personally, and has hit home. Our material possessions will be replaced. And for the next 6 months or so, our lives will be in a period of adjustment and change.
The material aspects of my world can be destroyed in an instant (such as by a fire). But the spiritual aspect can be refined by that same "fire".
Funny how that works.
I can allow myself to be "crushed" spiritually (and the temptation was there many times yesterday)... or I can try to find a way to utilize this situation to make me, and the members of my family, stronger and better human beings.
I was always good at coming up with my nice little "preaching lessons", and giving advice to others, on "having faith"... "trust in God, he is at work in all things".... yadda, yadda, yadda.
Now it comes "home to roost" so to speak. Now is when it has to be put into practical application, or it is just empty words and cliches.
Does what I have just said make sense to anyone? Or do I just need more sleep and less of my brother's coffee (which you could cut with a knife!)?
Last night, my wife and I were sitting around their dining room table and basically reviewing the day, while planning what is in store for us in this new day. I already have my notepad and pen making my list of things to do. And it seems to grow every 5 minutes as someone reminds me... "Don't forget you have to do this too."
We lost all of our personal files, records, documents (SS cards, birth certificates, etc., etc.). So when rfs tells you earlier to make solid preparations to protect those items for "in case of " situations
- PLEASE TAKE HIS WORDS TO HEART. I have. And it will never happen to me again. I am a very organizational person who keeps exacting records. Little good that is doing us now when I didn't take the steps to PROTECT them. It's very hard to read ashes.
Anyway, I digress... we were talking about all the outpourings of people wanting to help and offer assistance in many different forms, and what should we do? Friends - what occurred yesterday was yes indeed a gut wrenching tragedy. We lost everything materially
speaking. And when my wife started thinking of what more could have happened if our kids hadn't gotten out of the house when they did, it effected her in such a profound and emotional way that I thought she was going to have a breakdown. That is when I had to be strong and intervene - "Don't beat yourself up on what could have been; but what did happen. Dwell on that....the kids got out safely and are fine."
But as I sit here in solitude this morning in my brother's den, where no one can see me, and think of "what could have happened" - I do cry. But my brother's keyboard is a Dell and under warranty. This will be our little secret.
When it came to people trying to offer us assistance, such as financial aid, clothing and such, our first reaction was to profoundly thank everyone, but we just didn't know how
to react or what to do.
And then a few friends told us (basically)... "Look. People understand that you are in a better position financially to help get you through this, and that you do have some money saved, and that your insurance has stepped in immediately. That is all and well. But you and your family can't see the future over the next several months and various exenditures you are going to incur. And people WANT to help. Let them.
And even as I type this I am still having a hard time accepting it and swallowing my male ego and pride. My wife's employer has given her a 30 day leave from work to help with our transition, tend to the kids, etc. I am off the rest of this week from work to tend to various matters also.
And again, I cannot thank each and everyone of you enough. I see where TeamMorris has started a thread (God bless you girl). And rfs and RB (no greater friends in my book) have my brother's address. I am going to set up a PO Box in Bellefontaine temporarily until we get settled somewhere. Any donations given will be graciously accepted, and I just don't know how to repay each and every one of you. I know that I don't - but again, that is just my male ego speaking.
Your prayers and thoughts have already been more then enough. Believe me.
We were at WalMarts in Bellefontaine yesterday and she got a call on her cell from a girl at work who wanted to know where we were right then. We told her and she said she'd be right there. We just thought she wanted to see Jackie and check up on here since my wife had just gotten to work, had to leave in a rush, and many of her co-workers heard. There was of course an emotional bonding and hugging right there in the middle of a WalMarts between these two woman (I had a hard time not crying myself). She then handed Jackie several hundred dollars from co-workers who had raised a quick donation, and said there was more coming because many weren't prepared to give at the time. I am just simply overwhelmed
. I have heard, from my supervisor whom I talked with last night - he came down after we had left and drove by my house and said he couldn't believe it - that it the same effort in my department where I work.
And since my "situation" made the front page of the Bellefontaine news yesterday, I know there are many others in this town that are trying to search us out. My faith in the human spirit (and heart) has been greatly revived after the incidents of yesterday. I am not even going to try and relate to you all the many, many instances of neighbors, family, co-workers, and friends who have rushed to our sides in just one day
! It would be my longest post ever!
We went to JC Penney, WalMarts, and various other stores yesterday afternoon, and bought clothings and basic necessities. In that area were a doing fine. I'm gonna deeply miss my Redszone T-shirt with all the holes in it. I wore it as a "mantle of pride" (it's a guy thing).
Isn't it funny how one can spend their whole life gathering memorabilia and what-knots that you take for granted -and you really don't know how much you miss them until you no longer have them? When my wife and I finally had the time last night to sit down and reflect on those losses that really mean the most to us. It was not the furniture, appliances, etc. But the 25 years of photos, home movies, and physical testimony of those memories we have built together. And when we started to go down that list, it became very painful.
Every book that I have ever owned is now gone! All of my Reds memorabilia, the same. All that hurts far more on a personal level then losing anything else. It just hasn't registered yet.
Do you know what one of my goals is over the next several months? And yes, I know we face many hurdles as a family. It is to somehow still be able to make it to any Redszone gathering... but this time bring my entire family
, so they can meet my "extended" family, and somehow expose them, and allow them get to know each and every one of you in the intimate way that I have come to know you. Some of you I have never gotten to meet face-to-face. But I feel I DO know you just from the many years I have been on here. And over the last fews years I've gotten to meet more of you. May that never change.
I will also PM TeamMorris the same personal info that I gave rfs and RB.
I wish I could PM each and everyone of you, and relate to you personally my deep gratitude and feelings. But this thread will have to do. Once we get situated somewhere within the next week, my attempts to have internet access will become very limited. We plan on being here at my brothers for the next day or so until we meet further with adjusters, agents, and make that decision.
I'm going to try and find me a laptop, and figure out how to get internet access simply because it would greatly help me re-establish and conduct business and financial actions that save me from alot of traveling.
God bless each and everyone of you. I'll be in touch.