Good morning to al. I apologize for the lack of a blog yesterday, Sometimes there are circumstances that happen that are beyond our control that dictate our lives and yesterday was one of them. But I am back pondering todays topic.
You probably thought that today's topic was a bit odd....and let me tell you it was.
We had already moved most of our belongings into our new home the previous week. We only have some things to move and finish with on this on Sunday. My mother-in law had volunteered to babysit our children. We dropped them off at her house at about 11 in the morning. My children were 2 and 3 years of age at the time. They were happy to be spending the time with their grandmother and of course we were glad to be able to finish the move and clean out the apartment. We spent the next 7 hours carrying the boxes and things down and loading the car, then driving then over to the new house. We were so excited to have this extra time to finalize the move. The apartment we had moved out of belonged to my in-laws so that made moving a bit easier on us. When we were done with the back and forth of the move, I cleaned and washed down the apartment so that it was
Spic and Span for the next tenants. All was done and on we went to pick up the girls from my mother-in-laws. As we drove down Division Street in Chicago, we noticed all this smoke coming from this one particular area. We wondered about where the fire might be...well, as we turned the corner, we then made a turn down the Alley to get to the house when suddenly we realized the house on fire was my mother-in-laws, We sped to the house and jumped out of the car and looked around. When I saw my mother-in-law standing....my heart sank to the floor...my children were not with her. As I sped my pace up to reach her...I felt my heart pounding so hard I thought it would surely burst...I could see her face closer now and her coloring was ashen. I still searched as I walked looking for my girls. They can't possibly be in that burning building was all I could think of. I prayed "Please God, don't let my girls die!" When I reached her, she was stunned to see us. My first question was "Where are the girls?". I was frantic by now. My poor mother-in-law was devastated and in pure shock. It took her a moment to answer that they were at her parents house. My heart almost leaped out of my body saying "Thank you God!"...I asked her what happened and all should could utter was something came shattering through the window and the next thing she knew, the house was on fire. Hers was not the only home on fire the were a number of them. God watched over our family that day, you see because my girls were there, she immediately ran them down the next street over to her parents and back to the house and waited to go back in to save things, but by then the firemen were on duty and wouldn't allow her...thank God once again. She probably would have never come out. Well, a couple of hours ensued while they continued to battle the flames. Finally the fire was out...it was dark outside. I had already gone over to the house to make sure the girls were okay and called my mother who was now home from work to see if she would please come and get the girls and take them back to her house for the night.
Once I knew that my girls were settled and safe with my mother, the fire was extinguished...we became going through this dark smoky building. My mother-in-law wanted to see what she could save. we spent the next 8 hours trudging through the dark wet and smoke fill rooms searching with a flashlight for her valuables. Luckily the apartment we just moved out of was vacant and now being filled with whatever she decided was salvageable. We worked all through the night. My lungs burned from the smell of the smoke that still lingered everywhere. We went up and down so many stairs carrying things that day that by one point my body screamed in pain. We didn't call his father...he worked evenings in Carol Stream...and was afraid to let him know for fear he might have an accident coming home. When he finally arrived on the site...it was though the devastation had to replay itself all over again. But the light of the next day, we were done rummaging through the place and they were settled at the house. In between the trips back and forth, I drove back to our new home and gathered fresh towels and soaps, sheets and blankets and a spare mattress for them to sleep on.
By the time the ordeal was done, I was exhausted. I kept running the scenario through my head. I kept thanking God for saving them all. My precious girls were safe. It is one of the worst feelings that I had ever experienced in my life. Just thinking back today on that moment makes me shudder. I am grateful for all the help that friends had given. I had asked for simple things to get my in-laws though the next few weeks, and everyone pitched in.
One amazing story that I have aside from everyone being saved from the fire, was that in the bedroom of the home, there was a prayer card of Our Lady of Czestochova. (The Black Madonna) . The story goes that there was a church the burned down and all was ruined except for this one painting...The only difference was that the face of the Madonna was charred black. Well, on the dresser in the bedroom, my mother in law had a prayer card of her in a frame. Everything on the dresser burned, the frame had melted, but the picture of the Black Madonna remained completely in tack. A miracle? That is for you to decide! That card was the miracle to us on that ominous day when our world turned black by fire!