Yep, I'm that family. I'm "the woman who lost her home in the fire. The big fire."
I remember so clearly walking through stores in those first few weeks and watching as a few people whispered into their friends' ears, looking at us. You might think this is an exaggeration. It is not. I remember buying a new comforter for my bed with a gift card at Macy's and the woman seeing my ID and whispering to us how sorry she was. We were "that family."
It's been a while since I've been referred to that way. The fire has been (mostly) forgotten. We no longer walk along the aisles trying to restock our house, avoiding those who want us to tell our story to them.
And then I got pregnant. I hope that I can convey over the next few months how much this pregnancy has brought me emotionally right back to the fire. The things I didn't have to deal with because I was hurriedly trying to prepare for my son's birth are now sitting like a willful two year old right in the middle of my heart.
Many of the care providers who helped ensure my son's safe arrival haven't seen us in three years, haven't seen us since the trauma was still smoldering. And we're still "that family." They want to know how we are doing. It's understandable, and it's cathartic to talk about the progress we've made. But it's one more reminder of the hell that became our lives in that last month of pregnancy, a hell that I hope to god does not find us once again as we await the arrival of our second child.