how do you tell a six year old her world has been shattered?
if you're me, it goes like this:
Emily: Hey, Dexy is Here!! Where's Pixie? Where's Max?
Me: Honey, Sit down, We need to talk.
Emily: Okay, but - where is everyone, why are we at Erma's?
Me: I need to tell you something, but first, WE are all okay. We are safe. Something Happened Em, there was a fire.
Me: She's gone baby.
Me: She's gone too, they're all gone baby. I am so sorry baby, I am so sorry.
Emily: YOU PROMISED!!!
Me: We promised we'd do our best to keep everyone safe, and not have this happen, I am so sorry.
Mike: We tried honey, we did.
Me: Dexy survived because she was hiding in the basement.
But listen. Pixie was old, and she was ready. She knew you'd need Dex because she sleeps with you every night, Rufus was ready for Sera to come home and play with him again. He missed her terribly. And the boys? Well, Gullie & Ollie have never been apart, and they wanted to stay together. God gave Maxi to Pixie, so she could play. Finally, Pixie can play again. She has both of her eyes, she can run and play. She's happy. Healthy. She's not in pain anymore.
Emily: So, we have five more stars in the sky?
Me: Yes baby, we do.
On Thursday, March 13th at 345pm, I received a phone call I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.
My house, my home, was on fire. All six of my pets were inside, and normally, my husband would be too. Thankfully, that day, he had something else to do, and while he was heading home - he wasn't there.
We don't know when it started, we don't know how long it was burning. My neighbor across the street saw flames and smoke, and called 911. By the time the fire departments (there were 3) responded, it was too late for our animals. Dexy was hiding in the basement, where she had routinely gone to escape Maxi's advances for play.
Fire has recently been Emily's biggest fear. Irrational, Petrified, Unconsoleably (is that a word??) Sad and Nervous. No matter what we told her, or how we comforted her, the fear was there. We couldn't figure out why she was so nervous, yes - fire prevention week had recently passed, but there was never a mention of it. And then one day ... it was all she could talk about - almost obsessively.
We had a plan, an escape route, a meeting place. We assured her that we would all get out, and if we couldn't find all of our "babies" (pets) - the firefighters would. Because that was what they were good at. We would all be safe. We would all be fine. We were wrong.