We had no choice but to start over. It made little sense to waste time thinking about what was lost. Unfortunately, in the days and weeks following the fire, it seemed that every moment was filled with talking to others about the experience and what was lost, not to mention filling out countless insurance forms that required listing every possession of value.
When you go think of every item in every inch of every room, you can't help but be angry. You think of what had monetary value for the sake of filing the insurance claims, then you think of the poems, photographs, paintings. My life's work was gone. I was left with memories but that didn't seem like enough. The whole occurrence didn't seem fair. A few months passed before I began to emotionally rebuild. During that time, we also debated whether it was better to rebuild the home from its framework, or start house hunting. After several months of searching for the perfect house, we found a home.
In time, I realized how the fire gave me a fresh start. I began to understand the importance of caring for each moment, something I still seemed to take for granted even after nearly losing my father to a heart attack and two strokes little more than a year before. At the time of the fire, I'd only just begun to visit thrift shops. My wardrobe was nothing compared to what it is now. I started to dress better, eat healthier, give to my friends and family more. With a new home, I gained a new outlook. I rededicated myself to my passion for arts and literature, to my education. I engaged in teaching church school and advising the church youth group.
Months after everything had seemingly been stolen from me, I was able to see all that was around me to cherish and enjoy. Sure, I've experienced numerous troubles and stumbles along the way, but I have a thirst for life like never before. From flames, from falling apart and falling down, I'm now stronger than ever.