My first thoughts while reading today’s prompt, ‘Burning Down the House’ was that my answer would have been so much different if it was 12 years ago.  My list would be long, my trunk full, and a panic in my heart.  The first thing I would have grabbed would have been my grandmother’s bowls, then the watercolors that I worked so hard on, the writings and poems that I had saved since third grade.  I would have never forgotten my wedding dress (twenty year’s old) with the white platform shoes that matched.  Of course, it would not be possible to go anywhere without all of my children’s doodles and drawings, ribbons and trophies. On the bottom of that list would be clothes for the family, food or practical supplies.

Here I am today and my life has changed, priorities have changed and my attachment to things has changed.  Although I was abandoned as a child, suffered many losses in my young life, and my body and my heart had endured unthinkable abuses, the loss of my husband is what turned my world dark and cold, without a desire to go on.  I lost interest in everything and everyone.  And in the midst of my grief three years later my youngest son’s bright light was dampened.  Then I mourned for two of the most beautiful people in my life.

Today is a brand new day.  I finally have hope, freedom and even happiness.  I have found what is truly important to me.  The things in my life are lovely, but nothing I couldn’t live without.  Now I live for my passion of helping children, and for my most precious children, Maximillian and Crystal Amor, and the relationships that I have with the other extraordinary people in my life.

Now, on this day, if my house was burning to the ground and I knew that my sister, mother-in-law, dog, cat and four birds were safe, I would take my medicines, photos, a quilt made by my mother-in-law with my husband’s old shirts and my computer.  Yes there would be beautiful things and sweet memories to be gone, but my mind would hold all of them locked inside. I have not lost them.  They come with me wherever I go.

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