That Monday was so full of promise.
Young children lined up at their classroom doors, anxious to meet their new teachers and classmates, eager to find out if what they had heard over the summer was true. There was an energy in the school that is only outdone on the last day of the year when the kids are like an over-tired two year old who finds a burst of adrenaline at ten p.m.
I spent that Monday running around the school, lining up assessment tests, working on the parent newsletter, working on maternity plans for the first of October. I spent so much time on my feet that I scheduled a prenatal massage that afternoon to relieve the pressure on my back.
Even with the excitement of it being the start of a new school year, it was still just a day, a day just like those preceding it.
And then everything changed. The days that followed were no longer just days, they were a part of "after."
Today is the first day of school for Dan (public schools start Wednesday this year). The three year anniversary of the fire is Thursday, but this Monday will always be a part of my memory. The first day of school will always remind me of the day that seemed to contain so much energy and excitement and, that when it was over, had changed my life forever.
I could break down the next week in slow motion, hour by hour, remembering so many minute details, memories that wouldn't matter except for the fact they are tied forever to that day. Memory is funny that way.
I can't believe it's been three years. There are days when it seems like it could have been last month. And there are other days when the fire feels like it was decades ago even though my emotions are often stuck in that moment.
It's amazing how much changed in that week, has continued to change in the last three years, change that only happened because at 7 p.m. on August 25, 2008, my home burned down.