My name is Brooke. I have blue eyes. My house burned down in 2008 when I was eight months pregnant. I like pink.
I am learning, for better or worse, the fire defines me, just as my hair color, body type, and shoe size.
I often have a goal of getting through an activity without mentioning the fire... or Lyme. I usually fail. I'm starting to wonder if it just wouldn't be easier to wear a badge or tell people within seconds of meeting them.
I don't talk about the fire to get sympathy or for entertainment. I see my life and myself through the lens of a fire survivor, and without that context, I find it hard to be me.
I'm sure it's exhausting to hear the story over and over, though I'm starting to question whether being around those who are exhausted by it is the right environment for me. Living this has been far more exhausting, I can promise that.
Because the fire is a defining part of me, it's been difficult to see the story within to craft the memoir. It's been the reason I stepped back from writing; I needed to see the story as just that and not as a third leg.
Stories have endings, need a climax and a resolution. But I don't have the ability to turn off that experience, disassociate myself from it and move on as though it never happened. It's ingrained. The fire, Lyme Disease - it's who I am.