Coffee, Literature & Life: Destiny’s a Fire

Life is the Real Drama

In a devastating fire recently, a local family lost everything except a single bucket of photos, and the clothes on their back.

The first call came a little after five PM in the evening.

The mother evacuated safely, the father and kids were away from the house. Dad was picking them up.

The first intercession was a neighbor who parked his car and called 911, only to have his car trapped by emergency vehicles and road closures for hours.

The second intercession came from the first responders and other emergency personnel.

Police kept neighbors away from the scene and safe, directed the traffic, kept the traffic away from other personnel.

Firefighters entered the burning building to suppress the fire, keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes and property, and make sure it wouldn’t rekindle after everyone went home.

EMS, EMTs and Medics, stood by to make sure other responders stayed healthy and hydrated, and stayed in case any were overcome by smoke or heat.

Some of these folks were out for hours in the cold and occasional misting rain. A few of the police would receive a paycheck for putting life and limb and health on the line to serve. Most of the others there were volunteer.

The fella who first called 911 got to leave about the time the last hoses, the five inch supply lines, were ready to be folded back onto the truck that had laid them.

The police left after hours in the cold. You should never mock their coffee and donuts at Dunkin’s. They’ve earned it. EMTs and medics went back into quarters, and home to families only to wait for the next EMS alert. Firemen had to go back to the station and get their apparatus, the firetrucks, ready for the next call.

By one in the morning the first responders were done with their immediate job, heading home.

But for the family, the difficulty was only beginning.

They had the clothes on their back, the bucket of photos, a car, and considered themselves graced to be alive.

It’s so nice to see community pulling together. We read our books and thrill to the drama. But life? Life is the real drama.

The third intercession was their family and loved ones. The family had a warm, dry home to sleep in that night. They weren’t stuck in the cold.

The fourth intercession was the community.

Neighbors brought them clothes, charities provided a starter set of necessities…blankets, mattresses, other necessities…so that they weren’t destitute.

The local charities kicked in. Churches, the soup kitchen, other emergency services organizations: all are working to help keep this family solvent. Around the holidays, how healing this is to this family!

As a society, we often expect society as a faceless mass to care for us.

But nothing replaces a community. Our neighbors and friends watching our backs, coming together in a crisis; our loved ones opening up hearts and hearths in times of need.

This doesn’t start during the crisis.

The neighbor calling 911 was a friend. The emergency responders fellow parishioners, car poolers, Wednesday night quilt clubbers or bridge players. These were the folks who kept the charities going.

And family…nothing can compare to having that.

So like a corny old movie once said, “Be excellent to one another.” Be a neighbor and a friend.

There is drama in all of our lives. At one time or another, we all provide fodder suitable for a good book.

No guarantees in life, but we can load the dice in our favor if we care for one another when skies are blue.

See ya next time.

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