Few things in this world actually scare me: A knock on the door when I don't know where my son is.
A random phone call from either of my parents.
Red and blue flashing lights on my street.
Coming home from the local diner...I turned left, away from the river and as I drove closer to my street where I would turn right, I could see the reflections on the stop sign and the white house across the street. I froze. I couldn't turn right. Blue. Red. Yellow. Blue, red, yellow, blue red yellow blue redyellowblueredyellowblueredyellow. I pulled my car forward, and made the right hand turn. Now I could see the white spotlights but couldn't tell how far away the trucks were..I felt disoriented. I felt fear. My son My daughter-in-law My son's friend Kile My dog, my Frankie. My home. Jesus, not again. I didn't realize that I had stopped until the car behind me beeped. Ok Keir, press the gas pedal, look up. It looks farther than the next block where my house is. It's not my house. It's not my block! Its the next block! The. Next. Block. Ooops, drove through the stop sign, but it's not my house!! Parked my car and ran up the street to see the empty house near the corner with smoke coming out of the windows. Nobody hurt. Under control. Went home and grabbed Frankie for a walk. Walked him past the house and the trucks so he could show me what a good boy he was in the midst of all the chaos. I stopped across the street and turned to look for a minute and Frankie began to whine and then laid down at my feet. It's like he knew that in what seems like a lifetime ago, I stood staring at a burning house, but it wasn't empty. I had panic attacks over that fire for years. Red and blue flashing lights caused my heart to race, my vision would blur, my legs would feel like jelly. I couldn't catch my breath. I felt insurmountable guilt over the sweet, sweet dog that I lost. I still have some anxiety over anything that happens with the power in my house. It was an electrical issue... nobody's fault. A freak event. Does that make it worse or better? (Worse) I remember weird things from that day. My brother looking at Jolynn's Ford Explorer and saying "you know that's purple, right?". Mayor Reed walking by and not stopping. John from next door building me a door. My mom and I laughing because the EMT asked me if I wanted a shot of something,and I said "vodka". (She meant Valium) Lora and Vito both had on full length black coats. Did you know that firemen aren't responsible for your deceased pets? Who knew? Little Jack from next door was so excited about the fire trucks and his mom trying to keep him quiet. The bowl in the middle of the kitchen floor. The cabinets burned off the walls and most of the floor caved in, but a ceramic bowl, given to me years before at my wedding, was sitting in the middle of the floor. Guess who gave it to me? The owner of the house that just burned down. Go figure. The doorbell melted off the wall. It took me months to cry. And now my heart is beginning to calm down again.... inhale, exhale...repeat.