In a Fire

I read a lot of articles about minimalism and stumbled on an intriguing story from a reader named Karen.

I lost my ten-year-old daughter in 1993 suddenly. I moved into a smaller home, so I put all our things in storage. I paid it for a year, and I think I  would be able to handle seeing all of her things. I put all our photo albums and portraits of the kids on canvas, bedroom set, my hope chest, and sewing machine. After a few months, the owner called me to ask if he could move my things overhead because he had a chance to rent the garage. I agreed and said I would see him in February to remove everything. When the year was up, I found out the owner had died, and his wife never knew he rented me the attic, and all of our things were gone. The new owner cleaned out and never tried to find me. The kids were heartbroken. All of their childhood memories were gone. So I sat them down and explained that the same thing happens in a fire. You lose everything and escape with your life. I explained it was all just stuff. Although it can't be replaced, we still have our beautiful memories of life with Connie, and nothing can take that away. I feel the same way today. If there ever was a fire, I take the pets and all that matters.

It is very inspiring and a good stand on how to live our lives. In a fire, you have no time to think. At that exact point (in a second or less), you have to decide to leave all that doesn't count to you. And what is left is your life. Your family. Your values.

Your yoga mat? Plenty of books? Luxurious cars? All becomes nil.

The fire can take piles of photo albums, but not our memories. Even after everything burnt down into ashes, we still can start all over.

Let's remember the dialogue of Frank Martin from The Transporter after he lost nearly everything.

He blew up your car.

I will buy a new one.

He burned your house.

I'll rebuild it.

He tried to kill you. 

As far as he knows, he succeeded. Whoever wanted you're dead thinks you're. You have a free pass to start over. Here's the advice. Start over!

I asked my 4-year-old daughter. What is in her top list item she will grab first in case of a fire?

She answered calmly, "I will grab some water to put out the fire."


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