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April 15, 2014 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

When Life Changes

By Colleen Hammer More Blogs by This Author

I used to think breakups were terrible. A big change can shift anyone to think otherwise. I would toss and turn in bed, crying on and off. My eyes would be baggy, tired from stress.

Then the fire happened.

It always seems like when you get most comfortable in anything in life, something comes and swoops you off to the next level. A change that invokes even the most emotional ties to life, a gripping perspective change.

Rick and I had lost everything in an apartment fire but the clothes on our backs, and a bag of our portable video game consoles with a few games. Other than that, we lost our guinea pigs, two geckos, and a gerbil.

Everyday I wake up, I recall the night of the fire. How clueless I was, when I was pushed out of my residence and stood out in the parking lot to gaze upon the burning apartment building. Our apartment engulfed in flames, and the fire department trying -- if you could call it that -- to put out the flames caused by a negligent neighbor next to us.

We were devastated. It has taken months to get back to terms with what we had before, 300 dollars of clothes replaced, and even more in personal belongings. Now we wait.

We wait to move back into the new apartment, that is being rebuilt. Wait. It seems that is all I ever do in life. I wait to live, wait for a job to come my way, wait for patience. We live with my parents, until things get better. We adjust, shift to a new life. We are still here.

I wake up every day to a new mantra: I am still here. Somehow, between the broken bits and pieces of my life, I am still breathing. God, life, or some higher power decided that I should be here. I am fortunate, yet broken.

I am still here with the man I love most, whom I had to wake up that night. On the night my life changed, I was awake. I could have been asleep in bed, but I was awake to hear the screams of "fire" being called.

Why was I awake? I must be alive for a reason. What gifts am I going to give this world?

Time will only tell.

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