I had intended to reflect further on the people I saw at the cricket match. Then, this morning I received a call from one of my daughters. She reported that the house she and her sister shared had been burgled and set alight.
Two rooms in particular were gutted, and everything else was extensively smoke damaged and the building has been structurally compromised due to the fire getting into the ceiling.
So many emotions went through my mind: anger, sorrow and incredulity were just some. We are not a materialistic family but the material things that mean most are those with a sentimental attachment: a grandmother’s cross stitch, a gift from a special friend, an art work by a student and so on. All this is now irretrievably damaged.
I don’t wish to comment on the perpetrators but I do want to reflect on a number of things.
The cost: so far I have seen, firemen, police, detectives, fire investigators and forensic investigators invest many hours and it is only 6 hours since the fire. Apart from the emotional cost to my family, the social cost is enormous. We haven’t even started with insurance assessors, and the whole relocation and replacement effort that my daughters will now have to face. There were the ten years of educational resources that one daughter had accumulated. This was all at home because she was changing schools over this term break. As she says, it is now in her head. There was the precious doll that had survived in immaculate condition for 29 years but is now destroyed.
As a dad I was proud of the ways my girls handled it. They focused on what was important, thanked God that He is still sovereign and proceeded to deal with the issues before them.
Also as a dad you realise that you can’t protect your kids from the realities of the world. All you can do is teach and show your children what is truly important – eternally important. At that level they have not lost a thing. If anything they have gained.
But the incident is still fresh. I even get emotional just writing about it. In the future I will reflect again, when I am a bit calmer.
Your title says it all. My sincere commiserations with you and your family. We can only thank God that the girls themselves are safe; but it all takes some living with. Please be assured of our prayers as you work your way through the enormity of it all. And thanks for sharing – that has cost you. At times like this, I think we begin to realize just how precious ‘ordinary’ is. And life will get ‘ordinary’ again in time. Bless you and your family.