Monday, February 25, 2013

Here We Are

Okay, so in case you haven't heard, on November 25, 2012, my house burned down, killing our pets - cats and a puppy. We also lost everything tangible, except for a very few odds and ends.

We left. About ten days later, I packed up what remained and drove my RV (towing my car) south down the Alcan. My sister, Kris, flew up from SD and rode down with us.

It was -45 for the first three days. In Whitehorse it warmed to a toasty -29. The propane wouldn't flow, and the electrical outlets didn't work inside. It was just too cold. The windshield washer fluid froze. Until south of Edmonton, I had to use RV antifreeze to clean the windshield - by hand - and when we stopped, I had to start the RV every three hours.

We wrapped up in blankets all day. I used hand-warmers to keep my two remaining - surviving - cats from freezing to death. We stayed in hotels at night. Gas was sometimes over $6 a gallon, and always over $5, which gets expensive as hell at 6-8 mpg. 

After eight long, sometimes scary days, we made it to Idaho, and stayed with my mom for a couple of weeks. I eventually accepted a job in southern Arizona - Managing Attorney of a legal aid office in Bisbee - and we drove down here with another angelic sister (who cancelled her vacation in FLORIDA to come help us) in late December.

Liam started a new school. I started the new job. We moved into a lovely house on four acres out in the country. It's quiet, and the stars shine almost aggressively at night, and I feed bunnies and birds every day. I shoo off coyotes, and walk my dog.

Losing my babies is probably the worst thing I've ever gone thru. It is exactly like losing children - and yes; I do know what that is like. The day I lost them is Day Zero. Anyone who's lost a child knows what that means. Each day after is one step since, and an abyss.

But two cats and my son survived, so I plod on. And we are surviving. Liam is adjusting, albeit slowly. In Idaho, we adopted a shelter dog, and he goes everywhere we go. We recently adopted a tiny baby kitty from a cat rescue group who had lost her entire family to coyotes, and she herself has an assortment of serious injuries with lasting implications, including blindness in one eye. She seemed the right fit for us, considering that she, too, is adjusting to losing her family to an unfair and horrendous tragedy.

Despite all the horror, and there really is no way to adequately express how horrible, how utterly devastating this has been, so many really good people helped us when all seemed dark. Many donated money. Some mailed me clothes, or nice towels. One precious soul gave me a new laptop, and a huge down comforter, and a TV and DVD player. Some sent email or other messages of sympathy. The teachers and kids from Liam's old school took up donations and gave Liam a new backpack, and school supplies, and some generously-funded gift cards so he could buy some new clothes. I haven't been able to individually thank all those people, and I want them to know how deeply their concern touched us, and that their decency and generosity provided a distinct measure of comfort in our darkest time.

But my contact with the outside world will be measured and clipped for a while yet. For the first month, walking across a room exhausted me to the point of collapse. There is still no sleeping for more than a couple of hours. I am some better now than I was at first, and better each day, but it is going to be some time before I can really reach out.

Love to all who cared. 


  1. I did not know this, I am so sorry Lauri.. I was without a computer from October 2012 to Jan this year. It breaks my hear and I am praying for you and Liam to soon recover from this.

    Love Terry Angel

  2. I did not know. I'm terribly sorry for your loss.