Because we are afraid of what we can't control (as if we are really in control of our lives
anyway; so much is dependent upon circumstance). With change comes the unknown and the thing about the unknown is that it's undiscovered by the individual. There is no possibility of being aware of it until you are in it. But when you are it's beautiful.
I went home to St. Pete this weekend. I spent most of my time there working on the house I'll be moving into in a few weeks. But on my last evening in town I decided to eat some dinner with my mom. I was on my way to her house when she asked if I could stop by Publix and purchase some foil for her. As I was walking to my car after buying the foil, I received another phone call from my mom sounding relatively calm about my step dad's situation:
"Kaeli, Denis' house caught on fire. I don't know how bad it is yet, but just go on home and I'll be there in a little bit."
My mom and I were both thinking it was a minor fire; you know, something happened in the kitchen, or some other isolated place.
I got to my mom's house and went inside and turned on the TV. Ten minutes later I received another call from my mom, this time sounding more panicked:
"Kaeli, the fire is really bad, Rugie didn't make it. You can go on back to Tallahassee if you want or you can come by. Denis is a mess."
"No, I'm coming by."
I raced over to the other side of the neighborhood but could barely get down the street with all the other cars and firetrucks. I parked over on a side road and quickly made my way over; tears were beginning to stream down my face. As soon as I reached my mom and Denis, I threw my arms around them, sobbing into Denis' shoulder. He began to cry, too. The firefighters were waiting for the smoke to clear before they went back inside. They had carried Rugie out, wrapped in a blanket, and laid him in the back of Denis' truck.
I was crying because of the shock of it all, how fast it happened, and the loss of Rugie. Denis was crying because that dog was everything to him. Sure, he had just spent the last two years completely remodeling the house and recently finished, but man, that dog.
Eventually we were allowed to go inside and see the damage. The fire started in the back of the house, in Denis' study. It had burned so hot and so fast that the back windows exploded. That whole half of the house was completely destroyed. The front half, though not physically burned by the flames, suffered intense heat and smoke damage. Barely anything is salvageable. But we are all so thankful there were no human injuries.
Denis lost everything he owned. Every document, piece of furniture, every tile he laid, every picture he hung, everything. Granted, it is all just stuff, but it's a lot to lose in one hour.
The beautiful thing about this is that we are alive and we can start new. The house can be rebuilt and most of the stuff can be replaced. Change is hard, but not always bad; it is what we make of it, and we can make it beautiful again.