Monday, March 31, 2008
Twenty two years ago tonight, I put Ruth and Joanna to bed in a safe house. Kerry was already sleeping, preparing to go in for his night shift at the post office. When he left for work at two something in the morning I was still sleeping lightly, barely remember the kiss. Less than twenty minutes later the house was blazing with fire. The heater - which had been inspected just days earlier, had malfunctioned and explosive flames filled the hall, blocking my access to eight year old Joanna. I remember standing terrified in the heat and scream of alarm and roar of flame - standing in the door to Ruth's room believing Joanna was probably dead and there was nothing I could do about it - could only save the child I could save. That still is the most terrified I've ever been - and on this anniversary I am so thankful for the safety, however fragile, of my daughters and all the people I love.