Finally, Tuesday night a miracle happened. The bishop was able to gain access with law enforcement and check on my parents house. You've never heard such sweet words as "it's still there!" The real miracle is trying to comprehend how a fire 20 miles wide parted like the Red Sea, and spared a single house. The neighboring houses are all gone. Before I show you a picture of the house, let me show you their street- you may see trees in the photos, but the homes and structures underneath are all burned out:
How is it possible that this house survived?
It wasn't without damage, but it's still standing. And that's an answer to many many anguished prayers. The workshop is gone, as are the sailboat and camper. Basically, anything that was on the property that wasn't the house itself is gone. There will be a lot of work to do on the house itself, but structurally it's still sound.
Residents still are not allowed access, and the power to this poor little house isn't scheduled to be back on for another 3 weeks. I see a new refrigerator in Mom's future! I'm glad I won't be the one cleaning that out....
Ultimately, this has been a week of many emotions. I've been devastated, worried, and sick to my stomach. Since helping others with the information effort, I've felt compassion and pity. In trying to wrap my brain around the sheer miracle and blessing of it all, I've been overcome with gratitude and humility. Not to mention, sheer relief and elation! Also, a renewed resolve to put my own affairs in order, so that my own little family will be better prepared in an emergency situation.
As a side note, it's tempting to think that maybe my parents were spared because of great faith, or the power of prayer. And while this could possibly be true in their case, most of the families in their ward were not so lucky. Sadly, a very large percentage lost their homes. Adversity and trials come to us all, and I'll be grateful if I never have to see such a trial as losing everything.
Thank you to everyone who hung in there with our family, and prayed so fervently for a good outcome. What tremendous and wondrous blessings our family has experienced this week! (I'm exhausted!)