Friday, December 25, 2009

A heartbeat away

Images snagged from Peter.

Last night from the window of Vega Yoga I watched an apartment building on Lyman St burn. 15 families lived there and countless families have lived there in the past. It was heartbreaking to watch. My thoughts, as they always do in such situations, turned to the after effects of this fire. Homelessness, tragedy, loss. No one died in the fire but it looks as though everyone lost all their belongings.

Two days before Christmas.

It was a low income building and it is not lost on me that I have lived in a similar building, I know first hand what Christmas is like in those places. I know how much it hurts to lose hard earned Christmas gifts, things you have scrimped and saved for. I know what it is like to eat ramen noodles 3 days a week to buy some trivial but coveted gift for a child. To lose that feels like all your insides have suddenly burst into flames and then melted, the world tilts a little and you feel overcome with an urge to cry and stomp your feet and shout “It’s not fair!”

It is not fair.

I called the Red Cross but they were unable to offer any way to help those particular families. You can send them money or drop off clothing but it all goes into a pool for disaster relief which is great and all but I would really like to do something for the Lyman St families.

This Christmas is a tough one for us but nothing at all compared to how tough it could be or has been. One Christmas we were robbed. Once there were only a few dollar store gifts and once there was only a paper tree. In comparison this is a wonderful Christmas for my children and me. We are together; we are warm and well fed and happy.

Christmas eve we will be with wonderful new friends who have come to mean so much to us. Christmas Day we will be with people we are not related too but have been my family in every way that matters since I was an angry and confused 14 year old girl who needed someone to look past my outrage and my mother and see the girl I really was. People who, without fail, love us.

I will keep in mind, every moment, those 15 families who just lost everything at the end of a year that was full of growth and laughter for us. Keeping them in mind will remind me (as if I need reminding) that we are all only a moment away from poverty and devastation.

More Photos from amazing local photographers and dear friends.


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