Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's The Little Things

On Friday afternoon, I stepped outside to take Big Brother to his gymnastics class.  There was a very pleasant smell outside.....like someone had lit a bonfire or just simply a wood fire in their fireplace.  Being a bit of a flame-o-phile, I took in a deep breath before starting to pile my children into the car.

Then I heard the siren.  And it was close.  And I suddenly realized that the smell of this fire that I was enjoying smelled like it was right on top of me.  If it was a bonfire or a fire in a fireplace, it would have to be a distance away....but this one wasn't. I saw a neighbor outside and said that that it sounded close. He pointed behind me and I saw the smoke pouring out behind another neighbor's house.

Later that night, I read on Facebook a comment that the house was burning again.  I responded to the post and sent the writer a private message and learned that the house was for a fellow parent of a few children who attend the school my children attend down the street.  I know this Mom for she is a fellow volunteer at the school.  She lives in this house with her family, including 5 children.  My heart simply broke.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.  The mother was out when the first blaze occurred with the two younger children and the 3 older kids were able to get out of the house without injury of any kind.  But by the time the second blaze was out, all of their possessions had been destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

What if this had been MY family and MY house?  It was a regular fire, believed to be started by a clothes dryer.  Our dryer is running almost daily.  Two of my children are Autistic.  If we were in this situation, would they panic?  Would I be able to make sure they got out of the house safely?  What about my dog?  And what would I do if, assuming we all did get out without injury, if I were to lose all of the items that mean so much to me?

Some of the parents from our school and neighborhood have been doing all that we can to help this family get through this difficult time.  We are setting up some home cooked meals to be delivered to them at the hotel where their insurance is providing to them.  We are also donating food, clothing, and toys for the children as well as gift cards to some local stores so they can get through these next couple of months until their home is ready for them to move back in.  I'm one of the organizers.  People keep thanking me for doing this.

But I am not doing this just to help a neighbor or a friend.  I'm doing this because I'm a human being.  I'm doing this because, G-d forbid, if I was in this situation, I would want someone to do this for me.  I would want someone to help me figure out how to shoulder some of the burden.  I would want someone to help make my life seem a much happier thing than what I'm sure I'd be facing in my own mind.

I'm not an altruistic person.  I'm a selfish individual.  But sometimes, when the situation arises, they are one and the same thing.

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My name is Ilene and I am a SAHM with 3 amazing children, a loving husband and a dog.  My children are 7 and 6 year old twins.  Both of my twins (girl and boy) were diagnosed with Autism at the age of 26 months.

Life has gotten absolutely crazy for no reason at all these last couple of months and I haven't been able to blog as often as I like (barely at all).  But when I do, I do so at My Family's Experience With Autism.

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